STRUGGLING WITH FIBROMYALGIA?
HOW AGES FORM
WHAT AGES DO TO YOU
One of the biggest factors that increases the AGE content in meat and poultry is the cooking method used. Meat that has been blackened, fried, seared, broiled, or grilled, has a tendency to be very high in AGES. This has to do with the Maillard Reaction mentioned earlier --- a "carmelization" sort of thing that occurs with the darkening of meats or other food products via heat (Video #1). As far as AGES are concerned, meat is better off slow-cooked in fluids at a lower temp, like you would do in a crock pot. Interestingly enough, The AGE Foundation tells us that, "acidic marinades [think lemon or vinegar here] can suppress AGE formation by up to 50 percent when cooking meat." Cooking, however, is not the biggest factor in our exposure to AGES ---- not by a long shot. Meet Chris Masterjohn.
Dr. Masterjohn earned his Ph.D in Nutritional Sciences from UConn, and currently works as an Assistant Professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences and researcher at City University of New York, Brooklyn campus. He runs the website CHOLESTEROL AND HEALTH (his blog is called 'The Daily Lipid'). Allow me to summarize his post, 'Where Do Most AGEs Come From? O Glycation, How Thy Name Hast Deceived Me!'
Remember that there are two different ways that AGES get into our bodies. Firstly, and most importantly, is the Maillard Reaction --- an internal reaction that is directly related to the amount of HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATE / SUGAR that we consume (endogenous --- it's made by our bodies in response to sugar). Secondly, are the AGES that come directly from our diet (exogenous --- not made by our body, but consumed). Listen to what Dr. Masterjohn says about exogenous AGES.
"The available evidence suggests that we do absorb certain AGEs from the intestinal tract, but almost immediately begin peeing them out. As a result, dietary AGEs are unlikely to contribute meaningfully to the pool of AGEs circulating in our bodies at any given moment."
What does this sound like? Although the mechanism for clearing the body is certainly different, this reminds me of what we know about CHOLESTEROL. For years we were told not to eat any fat (HERE), all the while being lectured that carbs and sugar can't make us fat since they don't contain any fat. Hence, we endured forty years of stupid BS like, DON'T EAT EGGS or DON'T EAT RED MEAT OR FAT (but eat all the carbs you want) --- positions that have been turned on their heads by several decades of research (not to mention the fact that we are the sickest and fattest society in the history of the world).
In other words, the Cholesterol you consume does not cause your blood cholesterol levels to increase (see first link in this paragraph) --- and neither does dietary consumption of AGES cause blood levels to rise like you would assume they would. It's kind of akin to people going on the Atkins Diet and not only losing a ton of weight, but getting their blood work in order as well --- even though they are probably consuming more fat than they ever have before. Masterjohn then says something that I myself have said in the past, "Diabetes is not so much a sugar problem, as it is an Inflammation problem" (my quote, not his). Dr. Masterjohn reveals that.....
"Diabetes involves a lot more than high blood sugar. Most likely, increased concentrations of glucose and ketones, defective energy metabolism, defective insulin signaling, and oxidative stress lead to the increased production of and decreased detoxification of dicarbonyls. These dicarbonyls then form AGEs, defective degradation of AGE-modified proteins elevates their concentration further, and if the diabetes damages the kidneys, even the free AGEs released from degraded proteins will not be efficiently excreted. High blood sugar is a part of this, but only a part."
Interesting, but this brings up a whole other issue for those using a Low Carb or Paleo approach --- ketones. WebMD says this about having lots of ketones in your bloodstream. "Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin." Did you catch that? Ketosis is "normal" when you burn fat for energy. Unfortunately, many people confuse Ketosis with Keto-acidosis.
According to the American Diabetes Association, Ketoacidosis (aka Diabetic Ketoactidosis or DKA) occurs, "When your cells don't get the glucose they need for energy, your body begins to burn fat for energy, which produces ketones. Ketones are chemicals that the body creates when it breaks down fat to use for energy. The body does this when it doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose, the body’s normal source of energy. When ketones build up in the blood, they make it more acidic. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick. High levels of ketones can poison the body. When levels get too high, you can develop DKA. DKA may happen to anyone with diabetes, though it is rare in people with type 2." While true, is this definition completely accurate? After all, the purpose of the 'Induction Phase' of Dr. Atkins' diet was to put people into Ketosis. According to the website Ketogenic Diet Resource, never confuse the two.
"Ketosis is NOT Ketoacidosis. The difference between the two conditions is a matter of volume and flow rate. Benign dietary ketosis is a controlled, insulin regulated process which results in a mild release of fatty acids and ketone body production in response to low carbohydrate intake, and higher fat consumption. Nutrional ketosis associated with a properly formulated ketogenic diet is not dangerous because it is regulated by insulin within the body. It's simply the metabolic process of burning your own body fat for fuel, and unless you are diabetic and lacking insulin, or you are a raging alcoholic, it is perfectly safe. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which abnormal quantities of ketones are produced in an unregulated biochemical situation. In order to reach a state of ketoacidosis, the body has to be in a state of not producing enough insulin to regulate the flow of fatty acids and the creation of ketone bodies. If left untreated, acidosis can result in a coma and death."
All of this brings me to another interesting point concerning the KETOGENIC DIET. Despite the negative reviews by people in the (Ornish camp), not only is a state of Ketosis an excellent way for the VERY OBESE to lose weight in a hurry, but for those with severe neurological conditions to help get them under control as well. Almost a century ago, Dr Russell Wilder of the Mayo Clinic designed a diet specifically used to treat Epilepsy, which was based on consuming large quantities of cream (unlike milk, cream has no sugar or carbs) and other protein-based foods. Although, not surprisingly, it has fallen out of favor due to the advent of anti-seizure drugs, this begs the question of whether or not it was / is effective? A 2012 Cochrane Review (Ketogenic Diet and Other Dietary Treatments for Epilepsy) helps answer this question.
"Several large observational studies investigated the effect of ketogenic diets in epilepsy and reported a beneficial effect. Recently, this view has been strengthened by the publication of four randomized controlled trials including one study which looked specifically at the Atkins diet, a related diet.These studies suggest that in children, the ketogenic diet results in short to medium term benefits in seizure control, the effects of which are comparable to modern antiepileptic drugs. We found one randomized study of reasonable quality of the Atkins diet. This study showed similar benefits in seizure control with a less restrictive diet. For those with medically intractable epilepsy or those in whom surgery is unsuitable, a ketogenic diet could improve seizure control, but tolerability is poor (dislike for the diet). All studies showed 30-40% reduction in seizures compared to comparative controls."
Did you catch that? The effects of the KETOGENIC DIET are comparable to drugs. But enough of this; let's get back to AGES. Although there is a huge debate about whether or not dietary AGES are bad for you (or at least as bad for you as some say they are), there is no debate as to whether the AGES created by your body in response to sugar / carb consumption are bad. I went over to PubMed and cruised through studies on AGES published just in the past few months. AGES have been tied to Diabetes, OSTEOARTHRITIS, problems with the eye, hearing problems, liver problems, any number of cardiovascular problems, AUTOIMMUNITY, CANCER, SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION, PCOS, MS, HASHIMOTO'S THYROIDITIS, periodontal disease, mutations of DNA, cellular apoptosis (death), ULCERATIVE COLITIS, wrinkles (premature aging), kidney problems, OSTEOPOROSIS, OXIDATIVE STRESS, pregnancy complications / preterm labor, inability to heal bone fractures, and all-cause mortality (death by any and all causes) ---- and this was only going back to July.
In a study published in the August issue of Molecular Aspects of Medicine (Dietary Glycemia as a Determinant of Health and Longevity), the authors looked at what it takes to live for a very long time, by specifically studying the link between visual health and dietary carbohydrate consumption. "Extending healthful life is a millennia-old dream and objective. During the intervening centuries a multitude of concoctions and remedies have been offered, usually with few substantiated results. Loss of vision due to age-related cataracts or age-related macular degeneration is widely prevalent, affecting about 85% and 15% of the elderly respectively. With centenarians among the fastest growing segments of societies, and with loss of vision a very costly personal and societal burden, there is keen interest in extending vision - that is, delaying age-related macular degeneration and cataract - or diminishing risk for these debilities. Using extensive epidemiologic and nutritional information from the Nurses' Health Study and Age-Related Eye Disease Study we determined that measures of total carbohydrate, and even more so, glycemic index, are associated with visual health."
I'm not surprised. I have shown you repeatedly that LIVING A HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE will not only kill you, it can make your life a living hell (just look at the list of diseases above). And as for the whole don't-eat-meat-because-it-causes-AGES thing, lets take one last look at what DR ART AYERS of Cooling Inflammation has to say about this in his post called Diabetic Hypertension, Browning of the Arteries. "Should we fear browned foods as inflammatory. I don't think that AGE in foods is any more of a hazard than all of the toxic phytochemicals that are touted as plant antioxidants. I think that the gut and liver provide protection. I brown the sugar on my flans and sear my steaks, even as I relish eating my veggies. The body can detox these natural products in the gut better than it can handle the AGE made by high blood sugars." To see precisely what Ayers is talking about, you can read THIS POST.
The truth is that we have to be worried about dietary AGE consumption causing the high blood levels of AGES that lead to all sorts of sickness, pain, and disease, about as much as we have to worry about eggs or dietary fat making us fat. In a blog comment on Diabetes Forecast (Foods High in AGES), commenter Rehun says it nicely when he states......
"Wow! talk about misinformation! The proof that exogenous AGE's make it into the bloodstream is very dicey. Just like the idea that eggs have cholesterol, therefore we shouldn't eat eggs. Show me the proof that meat, which is protein contributes to AGE's in our bodies. Sugar contributes to AGE's. The AGE's we need to be concerned with are endogenous AGE's, that are created in our bodies when a glucose molecule binds with a protein/lipid molecule without a controlling enzyme. Those AGE's (glycation) become "ugly" molecules sticking to cells throughout our bodies and, with time, create a great deal of damage and disease. Want to lower blood sugar and AGE's? Reduce the carbs and increase protein. Then exercise and look for anti glycation products....they're out there. The idea that AGE's attached to the food we eat causes damage is just like the ridiculous idea that eating fat creates fat in our bodies."
YOU'RE IN FOR A SHOCK
THE SPEEDY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OBESITY AND INSULIN RESISTANCE
"Spurlock ate at McDonald's restaurants three times per day, eating every item on the chain's menu at least once. He consumed an average of 5,000 calories per day (the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs) during the experiment. As a result, the then-32-year-old Spurlock gained 24 lb, a 13% body mass increase, increased his cholesterol, and experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver (at one point he gained 17 lbs in 12 days). It took Spurlock fourteen months to lose the weight gained from his experiment by using a diet supervised by his then-girlfriend (now ex-wife), a chef who specializes in gourmet vegan dishes."
In other words, by the end of the thirty days, Spurlock was both physically and mentally messed up. This recent study is even more shocking in it's revelation of just how fast WEIGHT GAIN and INSULIN RESISTANCE can actually occur. Have you ever been on a vacation or holiday where you lay around watching old movies or one football game after the next, while eating ample amounts of junk food (think about a Christmas break where you are snowed / iced in)? According to this latest peer-reviewed research from Dr. Guenther Boden's team from Philadelphia's Temple University, the price you will pay for a sedentary "binge" of this sort is going to be steep.
Our government's own National Academy of Medicine says that the average sedentary, middle aged male (30 to 50) should be consuming about 2,200 calories a day. In this particular study, six "healthy" men were made to lay in a hospital bed for one week, eating almost three times that number of calories (6,200 to be exact) --- mostly in the form of high carb / high fat junk (PIZZA, COOKIES, white bread, etc, etc). The results? They gained an average of eight pounds each; a bit over one pound a day --- on par with Spurlock's gain of 25 lbs in a month --- most of it as BELLY FAT.
Remember, however, that due to the totally sedentary nature of the men in this study, it's almost certain that they actually lost several pounds of muscle mass, meaning that the weight gain (all fat) was even more pronounced than it appeared. But weight gain was not the only problem revealed by this study --- not by a long shot. Make sure you are sitting down when you read this next sentence. It only took 2 days for these men to develop a resistance to the hormone Insulin (Insulin Resistance --- a part of the METABOLIC SYNDROME, which, along with HYPOGLYCEMIA, is a precursor to DIABETES). According to the authors, by day two there were, "severe systemic and adipose [fat] tissue insulin resistance in every one of six study subjects."
Along with the chemicals we collectively refer to as INFLAMMATION, oxidative stress (oxidation is what causes unprotected iron to rust) was determined to cause the biggest changes to GLUT4 --- a protein regulated by Insulin that actually transports BLOOD SUGAR --- glucose --- out of the blood and into the cells. Several studies have shown that people who lack the gene for making GLUT4 in certain parts of their brain end up with DEPRESSION and cognitive impairment ("DEMENTIA"); symptoms that certainly jibe with what we saw on Supersize Me.
The authors of this study argue that it is oxidative stress and not inflammation that first triggers the weight gain and insulin resistance. As far as I am concerned, the point is moot because not only are both essentially caused in the SAME FASHION, you deal with both dietarily the same way as well (HERE). Because this study showed that oxidative stress is involved, it would naturally follow that a DIET RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS could be beneficial. Just remember, however, that research has shown that high doses of chemically synthesized individual antioxidants are not always the best approach. I bring this up because this is always what researchers are looking for --- some sort of chemical or drug that can be patented and sold.
Studies such as this one produce tons of hype about the potential for that "miracle product" that will solve your Diabetes (or PRE-DIABETES) without any effort on your part. You'll not need to change your diet or address the underlying Inflammation. It's the false hope of drugs and supplements --- that there is something out there WITH ZERO SIDE EFFECTS that will allow us to keep living our same old self-indulgent lifestyles, but prevent us from gaining weight or getting sick; or "cure" us when we do. Products like this are a staple of late night TV advertising.
The body and the foods we eat need to be viewed as a whole. It's why I am such a stickler for WHOLE FOODS & WHOLE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS. Prescribing people an isolated molecule can do amazing things ---- for awhile. But you upset the body's homeostasis, leading to an array of potential problems. CORTISONE is one such molecule --- ask anyone that's been on it. Amazing results; brutal side effects. If you follow medical logic, we should just be able to give folks GLUT4 and solve their Insulin Resistance problem. The problem with this approach is that according to a study published in the May, 2002 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (The Insulin-Sensitive Glucose Transporter, GLUT4, Interacts Physically with Daxx), this could potentially produce deadly results. Daxx is another name for Death-Associated Protein VI --- a chemical whose purpose is, among other things, to cause pre-programmed cellular apotosis (death).
PREDIABETES / METABOLIC SYNDROME
AND OUR GOVERNMENT
The brand new initiative called "STAT" (Screen, Test, Act, Today) revolves around taking a 30 second written test on a new taxpayer-funded website (Prevent Diabetes Stat). The test has a height / weight chart and asks easy questions such as whether or not you exercise and how old you are. The test has zero questions about diet (I scored poorly for the sole reason of being nearly 50 years old). While the solutions discussed on the site do mention seeing a certified diabetes coach, most of their answers to solving prediabetes (aka METABOLIC SYNDROME) revolve around more testing and whether or not you have some sort of health insurance.
Can you trust our government? What about the AMA? Look folks; when you have our government telling you that the DASH DIET is the way to go as far as dealing with blood sugar regulation issues and HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, you know you're in trouble. As for the AMA, they look at you as a commodity. If the American people are sick for the better part of their lifetimes, all the better. It's a veritable cash cow --- a gold mine for everyone involved (HERE). If you don't believe this, just look at some of the "EVIDENCE".
If you really want to start learning about what it will take to manage whatever health issues you are dealing with, including Diabetes or pre-Diabetes, simply start HERE. Definitely not as easy as the STAT recommendations, but far more effective.
HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
IS IT REALLY NO DIFFERENT THAN OTHER SUGARS OR SWEETENERS?
"The use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has increased over the past several decades in the United States, while overweight and obesity rates have risen dramatically..... The Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy convened an expert panel to discuss the published scientific literature examining the relationship between consumption of HFCS or "soft drinks" (proxy for HFCS) and weight gain...... The fructose:glucose (F:G) ratio in the U.S. food supply has not appreciably changed since the introduction of HFCS in the 1960s..... Based on the currently available evidence, the expert panel concluded that HFCS does not appear to contribute to overweight and obesity any differently than do other energy sources." From a 2007 issue of the medical journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (A Critical Examination of the Evidence Relating High Fructose Corn Syrup and Weight Gain).
"The hypothesis that the replacement of sucrose with HFCS in beverages plays a causative role in obesity is not supported on the basis of its composition, biological actions or short-term effects on food intake. Had the hypothesis been phrased in the converse, namely that replacing HFCS with sucrose in beverages would be a solution to the obesity epidemic, its merit would have been seen more clearly." Taken from a 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity (Lack of Evidence for High Fructose Corn Syrup as the Cause of the Obesity Epidemic).
"A study released last week by researchers from the University of Southern California and Oxford University claiming to find a unique link between high fructose corn syrup and Type 2 diabetes is flawed both in its design and conclusions." Taken from the website of the National Corn Growers Association (CRA Calls for Caution in Consideration of Flawed Study Alleging HFCS-Diabetes Link).
"We are not aware of any evidence, including the studies mentioned above, that there is a difference in safety between foods containing HFCS 42 or HFCS 55 and foods containing similar amounts of other nutritive sweeteners with approximately equal glucose and fructose content, such as sucrose, honey, or other traditional sweeteners." From the website of the FDA (High Fructose Corn Syrup: Questions and Answers)
Because several of the studies quoted from above use the word "Evidence" (two actually have the word in the title of their studies), it makes me wonder what the evidence really says when it comes to HFCS. Hopefully by now we all realize that "Science" is whatever the highest bidder says it is. For instance, the third quote above revealed that of the study's four authors, there were financial COI (Conflicts of Interest) with ConAgra, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Weight Watchers, and the Corn Refiners Association. In fact, one of the authors was a member of the CRA's Scientific Advisory Panel, another was an "adviser" for ConAgra, while yet another got a number of his research grants from these or similar companies. In fact, the lead author of this study lists PepsiCo as a partner right on his flippin "health-related" website (Rippe Lifestyle Institute). Such is the nature of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE --- "Evidence" is whatever the person with the most money says it is.
My goal today is to look at what some of the studies on HFCS actually say. Let's find out who's right in this argument --- people like DR. ROBERT LUSTIG or Big Corporations / Big Government. Before we do this, I want to take a few seconds to point out to you why it matters. If you slowly scroll through my numerous posts on BLOOD SUGAR, you will begin to notice that Blood Sugar Dysregulation or high sugar consumption is being associated with almost every health problem imaginable, including virtually all of the AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES and CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES (you can click either link for lists).
I honestly thought about trying to create my own "Super Page" on High Fructose Corn Syrup, but after looking at how much research there is on the topic (none of it good), I decided to leave you a few links to others who have at least to some degree, done the job for me.
- LIFE EXTENSION'S 2008 report on HFCS by Dana Flavin, MS, MD, PHD (Metabolic Danger of High-Fructose Corn Syrup).
- DR MARK HYMAN'S 2014 blog post (5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You)
- INTEGRATIVE CARDIOLOGIST Stephen Sinatra's 2014 blog post (The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup)
- DR. JOE MERCOLA'S outrageous info-graphic on fructose consumption in the US
There are hundreds of similar articles I could have included (just go to PubMed). HFCS is so ubiquitous to our society that it is extremely difficult to avoid --- it's in just about everything. Just realize that despite most of what you are being told by the corn industry, who is heavily funded by our government in the form of subsidies, is not true. Fructose --- particularly in the massive amounts seen in HFCS --- is metabolized differently in your body than glucose or other sugars. I want to leave you with a quote from Dr. Andrew Siegel (Urologist / Surgeon / Author / Professor) from his wishfully-named website The Ban of HFCS in the U.S.
"Importantly, fructose is metabolized very differently from glucose. Every cell in our bodies can metabolize glucose, but it is primarily the liver that metabolizes fructose. Fructose does not stimulate insulin release as does glucose, nor does it stimulate leptin (our satiety hormone). Fructose, more readily than glucose, replenishes liver glycogen, and once the liver is saturated with glycogen, triglycerides (fats) are made and stored. So, too much HFCS and we end up with a fatty liver…and body! The bottom line is that HFCS ingestion pushes our metabolism towards fat production and fat storage, potentially leading to obesity, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease."
SUGAR FEEDS INFECTION
"I have yet to see a quality clinical study that demonstrates that, in normal, not nutritionally or otherwise compromised people, that some intervention can lead to a meaningful increase in immune function and as a result have fewer infections.... If you are normal and in good health, there is nothing you can do to make your baseline better." Dr. Mark Crislip of Science Based Medicine from his 2009 article called Boost Your Immune System? He goes on to say that "I would bet 6 million years of evolution have more or less tuned our immune system to be running optimally, as long as we do the basics of eating well, exercising etc.... All the classic quack interventions: chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, can also boost your immune system by, you know, changing some energy vibration or unblocking something or other... I will make a prediction: people who use probiotics or other substances that can measurably lead to an inflammatory response, or, have their immune system boosted, will have more strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms."
"The average sugar-consuming American is nutritionally compromised." Dr. Russell Schierling from a previous post.
INFLAMMATION is the collective name of a group of chemicals made by our Immune Systems (HERE). Do we want to "boost" them? Maybe on occasion; and if so, just a little bit (FEVER is a great --- and often misunderstood example of this phenomenon). But too much boosting of these Inflammatory pathways can lead to serious --- and even deadly consequences (HERE). Think in terms of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES --- where your body's own Immune System starts attacking itself, or of the multitude of Chronic Inflammatory Degenerative Diseases (HERE is a short list of the diseases caused by Inflammation).
For the purpose of today's post, please realize that when I use words like "boost" or "suppress" I am talking in very generalized / generic terms that my audience will hopefully understand and not take me to task for. When I speak of "boosting" the Immune System, this is certainly not the most scientifically accurate way to describe what's actually going on. For instance; do we really want our Immune Systems ratcheted up to full bore and blazing away like an M-60 on full-auto? Of course not (HERE)! We simply want an Immune System that is fine-tuned and working at its full potential, in exactly the fashion that God created and designed it to work. Period. Everything balanced, with no parts working too much or too little. This is what I deem a healthy (or "strong") Immune System.
I've shown you in two previous posts how SUGAR FEEDS CANCER (and HERE); this after the heaviest of the heavy hitters in the medical community (MD Anderson, Johns Hopkins, Mayo, The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, etc) tried so hard to deny it (HERE). And with all the hubub about how ineffective and scary ANTIBIOTICS are, why aren't doctors at least making an effort to educate the general public about the link between BLOOD SUGAR and infections of all sorts --- particularly now that we have HARD EVIDENCE on the brutally Inflammatory nature of sugar(s) and processed grains (for many people GRAINS IN GENERAL are massively inflammatory).
- SUGAR IS INFLAMMATORY: Almost EVERY HEALTH PROBLEM that you can name --- including the propensity to develop infections --- can be tied back to Blood Sugar --- even in the absence of full-blown DIABETES. And as I've already shown you, sugar is one of the single most Inflammatory substances you can put in your body. Although there are about a million examples, one of my favorite is TYPE III DIABETES (Alzheimer's).
- SUGAR IS AN IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSOR: Back when I was six years old (I am nearly 48 --- you do the math) a study was done at Loma Linda University in Southern California and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (The Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis). The following are their conclusions. "Oral 100-g portions of carbohydrate from glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, or orange juice all significantly decreased the capacity of neutrophils to engulf bacteria... The decrease in phagocytic index was rapid following the ingestion of simple carbohydrates... the values were still significantly below the fasting control values 5 hr after feeding. This implicates glucose and other simple carbohydrates in the control of phagocytosis and shows that the effects last for at least 5 hr. On the other hand, a fast of 36 or 60 hr significantly increased the phagocytic index." If you are interested in seeing a cool animated video of this process (phagocytosis) taking place, it is embedded at the bottom of the page. The video is by MD Practice Guide to be used as a resource for Continuing Medical Education for physicians and healthcare providers. BTW, this idea of "suppression" is particularly interesting once you realize that the number one form of medical therapy in America is IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION.
- SUGAR DESTROYS GUT HEALTH: How many times have I said that while Antibiotics cause most cases of DYSBIOSIS (defined as too many bad bacteria and not enough good ones), sugar is what feeds and perpetuates it? Sugar is the soup du jour ---- the food-of-choice for bugs like CANDIDA (after all, what is dysbiosis but an infection?). And how could we forget the phenomenon that the medical community refers to as INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY (most folks will refer to this as "Leaky Gut Syndrome"), which is heavily implicated in Autoimmune Diseases in the peer-reviewed scientific literature? And let's not leave this section without at least mentioning H. PYLORI, one of the most common bacterial infections on the planet --- a known lover of sugar. Because 80% of your entire Immune System is found in your digestive tract (HERE), anything that fouls up Gut Health likewise fouls up your Immune System.
- SUGAR FEEDS INFECTIONS: Sugar is actually the food of choice for all types of infections. When I researched making my own agar (the gelatin-like bacterial "food" that goes in the bottom of a Petri dish), the University of Missouri St Louis' website listed sugar as a chief ingredient (this was essentially the same recipe I found on every site I looked at). On top of that, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that people with HYPERGLYCEMIA (High Blood Sugar) are at serious risk for a wide array of infections. To get a handle on just how serious this really is, go to the various Diabetic sites across the web and look at the multitudes of warnings linking jacked up Blood Sugar to a jacked up risk of infections.
It is likely that there are many times the number of "FUNCTIONAL DIABETICS" in America as there are actual Diabetics (there are approximately 25 million of the later). Functional Diabetics are the folks who, even in the absence of blood glucose readings above the magical 125 threshold (where you are "officially" diagnosed with Diabetes), have numerous symptoms of Diabetes or METABOLIC SYNDROME (sometimes referred to as CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME or "pre-diabetes") You cannot convince me that this group is not at a significantly higher risk for developing a wide range of infections. For instance, Diabetics are 25 times, 4 times, and 3 times more likely to develop Listeriosis, Campylobacterosis, and Salmonella respectively.
And finally, it comes down to common sense and personal experience. Over a hundred years ago, DR. PALMER asked a simple question --- a question that still seems to baffle much of the medical community today. Why? Why do some get sick while others don't? "I desired to know why one person was ailing and his associate, eating at the same table, working in the same shop, at the same bench was not. Why? What difference was there in these two persons that caused one to have various diseases, while his partner escaped?" Although Dr. Palmer believed that the major player in this scenario was SUBLUXATION (on some level he was correct --- HERE and HERE), there is definitely more to it than that. Most particularly, diet. Why is it when patients heed my advice and start a PALEO DIET, they frequently / routinely / commonly report not only WEIGHT LOSS (OBESITY is considered one of the many "Inflammatory" problems) but fewer COLDS, FLU, COUGHS, SINUS PROBLEMS, UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION'S, and other infections? Not only is there empirical evidence that sugar leads to infection, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming as well.
Before we go I want to talk about one more study that was published in in the May 2011 issue of the scientific journal Nature (Metabolite-Enabled Eradication of Bacterial Persisters by Aminoglycosides). People with weakened (there's that pesky word again) Immune Systems frequently develop recurrent infections --- especially if they are hospitalized. If these folks end up with Antibiotic-resistant "SUPERBUGS," they may well be out of luck. However, certain strains of every type of bacteria are known as "persisters". Persisters have the ability to go dormant (metabolically inactive) and just sort of hide-out in their host for many months. What have scientists done to get the persisters to show their ugly heads so they can be killed? They are now adding sugar to certain kinds of Antibiotics. When the persisters come out of their state of dormancy to get the sugar, the Antibiotics can kill them --- as long as they are not resistant.
As always, your health and how you decide to take care of it is up to you. You can poo-poo the evidence showing that infections are just another of the many CONSEQUENCES OF CONSUMING TOO MUCH SUGAR. Or you can take it to heart and make some changes in your life. For starters, I would suggest that you do an ELIMINATION DIET and stick with it for at least a couple of months. You can always go back to your old way of eating if you don't see some tremendous changes. For more information, go HERE.
THINKING ABOUT TAKING DRUGS FOR YOUR DIABETES?
I have reviewed articles from John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel previously (HERE are a few of them), but his recent article (The Slippery Slope: A Bittersweet Diabetes Economy), knocks it out of the park. It's just one more of a steady stream of revelations that show us that what we call Evidence-Based Medicine, isn't as "Evidence-Based" as we are being led to believe. Fauber lets the cat out of the bag by making an incredible statement early in his paper.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved all of those  drugs based on a surrogate endpoint: the ability to lower blood sugar. Many of the new drugs have dubious benefit; some can be harmful."
In other words, there are numerous drugs out there that do at least an "OK" job of lowering BLOOD SUGAR. However, according to what Fauber is telling us, beyond that, they provide exactly zero benefit to one's health. That's not my conclusion; it's the conclusion of the physicians that Fauber interviewed for his story as well as what is revealed when you take a hard look at the studies used to justify these drugs. The funny thing about the above quote is that the exact same thing is true of STATIN DRUGS that are given to lower CHOLESTEROL. I would never argue that Statins don't lower Cholesterol. The truth is, many of them do an amazing job of doing just this. What numerous people (including me) have argued is that using drugs to do so does not change outcomes (strokes, heart attacks, or death rates, etc).
As a side note; results that diminish a specific symptom but do nothing tangible to reverse or prevent the disease itself are called "surrogate measures". In other words, a drug might not significantly increase one's chances of surviving cancer one iota, but helps to shrink a tumor, would have nothing to validate it's besides surrogate measures --- an all too common deception within the scientific medical community. It's why I always tell patients that no matter what you are talking about in the field of health, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
But what about the people who say to me, "Dr. Russ, I'm 45 pounds overweight but I think you're being a bit harsh --- MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I DON'T HAVE DIABETES? Good for you. Unfortunately, if you are LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE, Diabetes is exactly where you are headed, whether or not you have "officially" crossed the blood sugar threshold of 126 yet.
Allow me to follow a rabbit for a moment. This past weekend my best friend from Kansas (HERE) was here with HIS WIFE and family, and we were all sitting around talking about health issues, nutrition, etc. He read me something from his Facebook page from Authority Nutrition: An Evidence-Based Approach called 20 Nutrition Facts That Should be Common Sense (But Aren’t). I read it and agreed with most of it. There were, however, two points that I just couldn't buy --- #13, Calories Count, But You Don’t Necessarily Need to Count Them, and #15, Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat, but Neither Does Carbohydrate.
The thirteenth point was disproved by Gary Taube's in his book, Good Calories; Bad Calories (HERE -- video at end of link). And as far as the fifteenth point is concerned, it's carbs; not proteins or fats (unless you count TRANS FATS), that hijack your blood sugar and ultimately leave you fighting the battle of the bulge. Excess dietary carbohydrate is converted to blood sugar that has to be dealt with in some form or fashion (burned as energy or stored as fat). But this is sometimes an oversimplified explanation. Be aware that you can actually be quite skinny and still have Type II Diabetes. These are typically folks that are referred to in the medical community as MONW (Medically Obese Normal Weight) or in the lay community as "Skinny Fat". Which leads me to the most underlying culprit behind our nation's DIABETES epidemic ---- Inflammation.
GLUTEN and DAIRY are two common ones. It could be BLACK MOLD. How about toxic chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, or food additives like MSG? PARASITES could be a culprit as well. What about MERCURY & ALUMINUM? How about the person who has taken way too many ANTIBIOTICS (or any number of OTHER DRUGS) and screwed up their GUT HEALTH? Even something like EMF's can be a problem for some people. The truth is, there are any number of things that could be driving Inflammation in your body and causing you to lose your ability to tightly control your blood sugar. If you fail to figure them out, you may not be able to get your Blood Sugar under control with even the most stringent PALEO DIET (my personal favorite for dealing with Inflammation --- HERE'S WHY). But back to Fauber's paper.
Now that you understand that Diabetes is not just a Blood Sugar problem, but a problem caused by Inflammation, it should help you understand why drugs have not proven to be much of an answer. If you've been following my blog (HERE), you'll also understand why the thousands of people that Fauber claims are dying each year as the direct result of their Diabetes Medications are just the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, you'll realize more than ever that when it comes to the drugs you're prescribed, it's neither love nor concern that makes the world go round.... It's MONEY --- pure, plain, and simple (HERE). And finally, if you are truly interested in looking at the "Best Evidence" as far as treating Diabetes is concerned (by physicians and for physicians), look no farther than THIS.
I would suggest that you take a few minutes to read the entity of Fauber's story (HERE). Just make sure you have a barf bag handy, because this sordid tale is sure to turn your stomach.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
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Re Invent Yourself
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Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
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The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration