CAN WE REALLY SAVE THE PLANET BY ELIMINATING MEAT FROM OUR DIETS?
"The diet addresses the major role of farming – especially livestock – in driving climate change, the destruction of wildlife and the pollution of rivers and oceans. North Americans need to eat 84% less red meat but six times more beans and lentils. For Europeans, eating 77% less red meat and 15 times more nuts and seeds meets the guidelines." From an article in one of last week's issues of The Guardian (New Plant-Focused Diet Would 'Transform' Planet’s Future, Say Scientists)
"This was clearly a highly biased group, and the outcome of their report was therefore inevitably a foregone conclusion. Convening a one-sided group on a topic cannot be expected to produce a balanced outcome. It would be like pretending to negotiate an agreement in Congress with only one party at the table. Like-minded people talking to themselves is not a scientific debate, and the product of these inbred conversations cannot be considered a scientific product." Nina T, chiming in from her blog (discussed below)
If you are a person who eschews meat because of a love of animals; while I don't necessarily agree with that viewpoint, I get it. However, if you are a person who avoids meat because you believe it's good for the health of both our planet and the people living on our planet, research has shown that this is simply not true (I'll show you why momentarily).
I bring this up because one of the oldest and most celebrated medical journals in the world (LANCET) recently published a position paper (you would be correct in calling it a "MEDICAL GUIDELINE"), by 37 authors, titled Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT–Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems. Citing "potentially catastrophic damage to the planet," the authors called for a new "planetary health diet" that among other things, would dramatically reduce meat consumption, while saving 11 million lives a year in the process.
"Food systems have the potential to nurture human health and support environmental sustainability; however, they are currently threatening both. Providing a growing global population with healthy diets from sustainable food systems is an immediate challenge. Although global food production of calories has kept pace with population growth, more than 820 million people have insufficient food and many more consume low-quality diets that cause micronutrient deficiencies and contribute to a substantial rise in the incidence of diet-related obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes."
This paragraph is dealing with two totally separate and distinct problems; one involving dietary choices and the other involving people who are simply trying to survive. The part about the preponderance of low-quality disease-causing diets is true. Unfortunately, it's doubly true of modern (wealthy) societies that are LIVING ON PROCESSED FOODS AND JUNK (calories) --- an all-too-common way of eating that I have declared "UNSUSTAINABLE" on many occasions, even though healthy food is more affordable than most pundits like to claim (HERE).
What's possibly even more interesting, however, is that this same phenomenon is increasingly true of the third world (or recently third world); a population seen each day as becoming more 'Westernized' (HERE). Allow me to show you, for better or worse, some of the Lancet's dietary / nutritional targets ---- targets that were specifically designed to with the Paris Accord (which the US pulled out of) and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in mind.
Although there are many aspects of this diet I can heartily agree with (no pun intended), we have to remember it's source. Not surprisingly, the journal it was chosen to be published in (Lancet) has, over the past decade, acquired a decidedly left-leaning bent. Lest you doubt me, realize that they have actually been arguing that the world's healthcare woes could all be solved and that everyone would be better off if we were all living under Marxism / Communism (I'M NOT LYING FOLKS).
What I was planning on doing for today's post was to look up the financial or philosophical / religious conflicts of interest for at least some of the paper's 37 authors; an endeavor that even though I would enjoy doing, was going to require a significant amount of time. Thank goodness for NINA TEICHOLZ'S two day old blog post, Majority of EAT-Lancet Authors (Over 80%) Favored Vegan/Vegetarian Diets.
Nina T, author of the best-selling book, The Big Fat Surprise, revealed that of the 37 authors, 31 of them espoused veganism / vegetarianism prior to this paper. Rather than me providing you with a synopsis, I suggest you take a look at her short post yourself (HERE). Suffice it to say that it's painfully obvious that many in this group have an agenda --- an agenda that in some cases could only be characterized as "radical" ---- a word frequently bantered around by proponents when describing this paper.
"It's the first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised. It requires huge cuts in red meat-eating in western countries and radical changes across the world." From The Guardian
Conflicts of interest, however, are not the only problem with the Lancet's diet recommendations. Nutrition and public health authority, Dr. Zoë Harcombe, recently made a powerful accusation via the title of a post on her blog; THE EAT LANCET DIET IS NUTRITIONALLY DEFICIENT. She used various governmental tables to compare EAT to current caloric and nutritional RDA's, concluding that the Lancet diet is deficient in "iron, Omega-3's, calcium, potassium, sodium, vitamin K (particularly K2), vitamin D, retinol, and B-12" --- many of which are significantly deficient. Dr. H, an ex-vegetarian who says that she "respects all personal choices in this delicate area," ended her article with this statement.....
There are numerous other issues with this plant-biased advice. Not least – what will all these plants be grown in when there is no top soil left because we have replaced soil-rejuvenating ruminants with soil-raping plants?
Although "rape" might be a bit too strong a word for what she's describing here; she's mostly right. It was only last month that I showed you that in order to regenerate or build soil in an area bigger than your backyard garden; not only does it require livestock, but it requires lots of livestock ---- rotated and managed in a highly orchestrated and systematic fashion (HERE). The truth is, you can't do it without animals; no matter what anyone tells you. These philosophical differences in farming are what's created the chasm between the nutritional composition of meat that's raised in a sustainable fashion (see above link) and meat raised in commercial feedlots.
As crazy as it may sound to those hearing it for the first time; I'll repeat myself. In order to heal soil that's been continually and relentlessly raped, not by plants themselves but by decades of COMMERCIAL CHEMICAL FARMING, we don't need less livestock, we need more. We simply need to manage these animals in a manner consistent with the link in the previous paragraph. So; if you want to avoid animals or animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese, etc, etc, make sure you are doing it for reasons other than because you feel it's healthy or is the key to saving the planet.
For people struggling with chronic health conditions, HERE is part of the generic regimen I suggest you research to help you get better. And if you appreciate our site, be sure and like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it's a great way to reach an audience of people you love and care about most.
| || |
"Studies were included if they reported relative risk for melanoma associated with sunbed use, vitamin D and UV effects on human health. The overall health benefit of an improved vitamin D status may be more important than the possibly increased melanoma risk resulting from carefully increasing UV exposure. Important scientific facts behind this judgement are given."
I've never been in a tanning bed and am not advocating you use them, but this is interesting. I have a patient --- a professional --- whose life was destroyed after being maimed in a CAR CRASH (head on impact with a drunk traveling near 100 mph). The only two things that help her are our TISSUE REMODELING to help break up the SCAR TISSUE AND FIBROTIC ADHESIONS and her tanning bed. Again, there are probably better ways to get UV exposure in the winter than a tanning bed, but it's yet another example that seemingly everything you've been taught by the medical profession and media has been turned on it's head --- continued evidences of "best evidence" not being followed (HERE are many others).
Although I am not going to get into sunscreens here (look for that in a future post), it's important to realize that UVA radiation damages skin over time, causing said damage via OXIDATIVE STRESS. A very cool study from a 2016 issue of the International Journal of Food Science & Technology (Harnessing Food‐Based Bioactive Compounds to Reduce the Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation: A Review Exploring the Link Between Food and Human Health) essentially suggested that on some level, food can be your sunscreen.
"Appropriate exposure to sun is beneficial to humans and living organisms. However, excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to photoageing, severe health risks and even death. Nowadays, the health risks of excess UV exposure have greatly increased due to the significant changes of global climate and human lifestyle as well as the thinning of the stratospheric ozone (a natural and effective filter for solar UV radiation). Therefore, protecting against UV radiation‐induced damage is a serious challenge. Research needs to address the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the UV‐induced damages and also explore the potential use of natural substances to combat the harm caused by UV radiation. Plant‐based substances have been found to exert significant protective effects against UV radiation. This review explores the most recent hypothesis of natural bioactive compounds (such as flavones, peptides, polysaccharides and terpenoids) as potential protective agents against UV radiation."
Bottom line, if undertaken with some wisdom and common sense, time with EARTH, WIND & FIRE (grounding, fresh air, and sunlight) can be a cornerstone of both health and recovery. In fact, it's been a part of my "UNIVERSAL CURE" post from day one. If you like our site and feel others need to be spending some time here, be sure and show us some love on FACEBOOK. Liking, sharing, or following is a great way to reach the people you love and care about most! Enjoy your day; I'm off to THE RIVER with my wife for a day of improving my health!
DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM DOCTORS
It seems that on the first day of summer, former FDA commissioner, Dr. David Kessler gave a speech talking about OBESITY as related to diet in which he admitted that the medical profession (he's an MD) has failed in this arena. "Is a calorie a calorie? Can I eat unprocessed meat? What's going on in my brain? I think we have failed the American public when it comes to giving them basic information. If diet and exercise were the answer, we'd all do it and there wouldn't be a problem."
One of the attendees, Dr. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and public health at New York University, said something about Kessler's lecture that I told you was the case a couple of years ago --- that as far as our national health is concerned, things really went south in the 1980's (a great decade for music, but a terrible decade for nutrition --- HERE). She and Kessler both mentioned specific things that occurred in the 80's that they believe led to the quandary we're in today.
- Over-production of food by farmers
- Wall Street profit mongers
- Deregulation of marketing
- Junk food became far more common
I'll not get into the reason this meeting even occurred in the first place (two senators were present -- a Republican and Democrat --- to debate their idea of how to solve the healthcare crisis -- something I declared to be a pipe dream a couple years ago thanks to our collective diets and addiction to junk foods of all sorts (HERE), but I feel that they really missed the boat on this one. Allow me to throw in my two cents.
First, the comments as is often the case, were not only better than the article itself, but showed just how much division there is within the profession on this subject (it appears that much -- maybe most -- of the medical profession is still stuck on the guidelines that were created in the 1980's and based on the food pyramid). You know; lots of talk about not eating any SATURATED FAT, EGGS, BUTTER, RED MEAT, etc.... Unfortunately, even though it was brought up by a commentor, no one really addressed the elephant in the room --- the fact that our government, via guidelines that were bought and paid for by industry research years ago (HERE, HERE and HERE are examples), is the party most responsible for a large part of the national health train wreck we see today (such as the fact that men are increasingly turning into women and women are increasingly turning into men --- HERE).
Secondly, if we cannot yet answer the question of whether a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, it's no wonder we have problems in this department. MICROBIOME aside, carbs and blood sugar are what most regulate our metabolism. It's why CERTAIN HIGH FAT DIETS help sick people get their blood work in order while allowing them to lose weight --- a fact that cardiologist, Robert Atkins, was talking about half a century ago. It's also why THIS BREAKFAST, which as far as I can tell is still being suggested by our government under their still-recommended DASH program, is almost unbelievable. Almost.
One of the commenters suggested that we should do away with government guidelines / recommendations concerning diet. Honestly, this would not be going far enough. I am of the opinion that not only have government guidelines brought us the obesity epidemic with all it's trappings (T2D and a myriad of others, including CANCER), they brought us the opioid epidemic as well (HERE). The unfortunate truth is that most GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES are bought and paid for by special interests and industry (see our posts on EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE if you feel I'm being too harsh in this assessment).
And lastly; to Kessler's point that if diet and exercise were the solution, everyone would do it --- I must disagree. Thanks to the fact that studies have shown that junk food, heavily processed food, and junk carbs / sugar are more addictive than hard drugs (HERE), our younger generations are becoming junkies, in many cases, before their first birthday. Couple this with a life lived electronically / sedentarily (HERE), and you have a recipe for disaster that is not going away anytime soon --- especially not because the government may or may not decide to create still another guideline.
Lastly, one of the article's commenters mentioned environment as a factor in the obesity epidemic. I can't argue, particularly with him specifically mentioning GLYPHOSATE. But it certainly doesn't stop there. The numbers of CHEMICALS and TOXIC METALS people (especially kids) are exposed to today is off the chart, with the absurd number of vaccines being promoted today being a significant contributing factor in this exposure (HERE).
In my clinic, I try and keep things simple. Although diet is not the chief thrust of WHAT I DO HERE, I can't ignore it. If you are inflamed, you sabotage every aspect of your health. Diet is the lowest of the low-hanging fruit as far as controlling INFLAMMATION is concerned. And because inflammation always leads to fibrosis (HERE), you are going to cause yourself both pain and an early death if you fail to answer Kessler's questions correctly (HERE). The handout I give my patients points them in the right direction (HERE), with dietary information on the top row. It also contains THIS POST, which is full of ideas to help you start taking your life back. And if you appreciate our work, be sure to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it's a great way to reach those you love and care about most.
HAVING HEART PROBLEMS?
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T TRUST THE NEWEST STUDY
PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CARDIOLOGY!
Just recently, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) released new guidelines lowering the definition of high blood pressure to 130/80. This immediately makes over half of Americans defined as having high blood pressure. While the committee was relatively free of COI, it was not noted that on average, each editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) received $475,072 in 2014 from Big Pharma. Who made this change? Oh, right. The ACC. Where was it published? Oh, right. JACC. The fact that millions more patients would be looking at starting new medications for the newly diagnosed ‘high blood pressure’ surely did not escape the notice of those pharmaceutical companies paying off the editors. The reason there is so little public trust in doctors is really quite simple. We’re not that trustworthy. Dr. Jason Fung writing for the November 23, 2017 issue of Medium (Clinical Practice Guidelines or Legalized Bribery?). He is discussing the study published in the previous month's issue of the British Medical Journal (Payments by US Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturers to US Medical Journal Editors: A Retrospective Observational Study).
Please understand that I myself have written about using the futility of using "NUTRITIONAL MONO-THERAPIES" (single nutrients) for treating almost anything. However, as I have shown you time and time again in my EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE column (most recently HERE and HERE), researchers --- especially researchers who are creating the GUIDELINES that the rest of us are supposed to follow if we want to be "healthy" --- are on-the-take. And no group seems to be on-the-take bigger than individuals associated with the ACC and JACC (HERE and HERE are their --- ahem --- completely unbiased Cholesterol Guidelines from a few years back).
As I was sitting down on a rainy Saturday morning to write today's post (I was going to take this study apart bit-by-bit), Eric sent out a video of his buddy, Dr. Alex Vasquez, doing just that. Because heart disease in it's numerous forms is the number one or two killer in America (it's running neck-and-neck with CANCER), if you know someone with CVD or have a family history of CVD, this video is a must. Thanks Dr. V, you really kicked it with this one.
Although some complain that I am picking on them (HERE), the cold, hard truth is that the average patient is getting exactly zero guidance from their physician (family physician or specialist, it doesn't matter) regarding nutrition (HERE). That's why you must be your own biggest advocate when it comes to your health and the health of your family. If you like what you're finding on our site, be sure to let those you love and care about most in on the secret. A great way to reach them is by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK.
GOVERNMENT TIME MACHINE IS TAKING US BACK TO THE FUTURE
"When President Trump nominated Scott Gottlieb for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, you could almost hear the sigh of relief that rippled through the health care community. Gottlieb is an internal medicine physician and a drug company insider, who presumably knows you need at least some scientific evidence for efficacy. The trouble with feeling relieved by Gottlieb’s nomination? He may not be much better... when it comes to protecting the public from the health and financial risks of harmful or useless drugs and devices." From STAT's Gottlieb as FDA Commissioner Would be Music to Pharma’s Ears by Judith Garber and Shannon Brownlee
"The National Food Policy Conference is a key national gathering for those interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) was established in 1968 by national, state, and local pro-consumer groups to advocate the consumer interest before the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies. CFA was organized by reform-minded advocates during a period of change and social protest. Many of these advocates came from organizations established earlier in the century—Consumers Union, industrial labor unions, and rural electric cooperatives, among others—who viewed the late 1960s as a time when political conditions permitted the establishment of new consumer protections and agencies. CFA is a research, advocacy, education, and service organization."
Although the NFPC is only one small part of the CFA, the point here is that they are a consumer watchdog organization who is supposed to be advocating for your best interests and educating the public on what constitutes healthy food choices. In other words, they are supposed to be looking out for those of us who at least on occasion, must make trips to the grocery store. Dr. G started his speech by talking about the 1.2 million Americans who annually die of HEART DISEASE and CANCER, stating that, "these maladies often result from a lifetime of accumulated risk". What are the risk factors he's most concerned about? Gottlieb kept it simple, saying, "we can’t lose sight of the public health basics – better diet, more exercise, and smoking prevention and cessation." So far I find it hard to argue. However......
Pertaining to smoking, Gottlieb discussed government goals of, "rendering combustible cigarettes minimally or non-addictive. At the same time, we’re also taking new steps to try and more rapidly transition adults who can’t quit tobacco altogether, and still want to get access to satisfying levels of nicotine, onto products that may pose far less risk to individuals compared to continued smoking." Sounds noble until you read between the lines. It seems that Dr. G is an investor in a company called Kure (Kure Vapes dot com). Kure is an upscale full-service chain of vape shops whose website urges customers to, "Belly up to our Juice Bar and test any one of our KURE On Tap vape juice blends." While $15,000 worth of stock is probably not a deal-breaker, it's clearly a CONFLICT OF INTEREST, leading me to wonder about the rest of his agenda. Wonder no more. As is the mandate of his organization, he is rightly concerned about what America's food supply. Before talking about our nation's outrageous OBESITY STATS, he said.....
"Improvements in diet and nutrition offer us one of our greatest opportunities to have a profound and generational impact on human health. And FDA has a critical role to play to help make this happen. Improving the nutrition and diet of Americans would be another transformative effort toward reducing the burden of many chronic diseases, ranging from diabetes to cancer to heart disease. The public health gains of such efforts would almost certainly dwarf any single medical innovation or intervention we could discover."
Although I couldn't have said it better (except for the part about government's role in making this happen), the question now becomes how. How in the world does Dr. Gottlieb plan on accomplishing this feat, and what sort of dietary advice is he dishing? For starters he stated that, "Clear, science-based information is a central pillar to the work we do at the agency. It’s also a driving factor in better consumer choices." While this would certainly be true under normal circumstances, in the same way that Big Pharma cannot be trusted, neither can Big Food / Big Ag. In other words, the term "EVIDENCE-BASED" frequently anything but --- particularly once you see how much of the so-called (ahem) 'evidence' is bought and paid for (and jimmied) in an array of unique and interesting methods (HERE are some examples).
After saying that "there shouldn’t be one set of food opportunities for the affluent, and another for lower-income and working class families," he went on to talk about the miracle that is American agriculture. Unfortunately, this idea of everyone having "one set of food opportunities" is part of what has put our nation in the health conundrum it's currently in (HERE). We have 1 in 7 citizens on SNAP (the program formerly known as 'Food Stamps'); a program with zero stipulations put on what recipients can put in their collective shopping carts (HERE). SODA? Sure? Chips and other SNACK FOODS? No problem. CANDY? Check. Heat-and-serve HIGHLY PROCESSED JUNK? You get the drift. But it doesn't end here.
Dr. G went on to discuss ways that the FDA is going to step in and save the day. One was by creating better "Nutrition Facts Labels." Another had to do with the claims made by companies, his pet peeve obviously being use of the word "healthy." And this, folks, is where he started revving up the engines of his time machine. Gottleib stated that, "we’re also interested in exploring claims for [healthy] products that offer food groups for which American diets typically fall short of recommendations. Examples include whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables and healthy oils." Firstly, whether processed or not (see failed food pyramid or the currently promoted DASH DIET), Americans are consuming WAY TOO MANY GRAINS. Secondly, are we to believe that "low fat" anything is healthy? Thirdly, the day I trust government bureaucrats to tell me which oils and fats are safe and healthy (HERE or HERE) is the day I...... And lastly, suggesting that we increase our vegetable consumption is fantastic; but what this tends to mean to the average target of FDA recommendations is MORE CORN (a grain, not a vegetable). Just remember, in far too many cases, doctors and nutritional advice are like oil and water (HERE).
The reality is that these ideas will be hijacked by industry just as previous year's recommendations were hijacked. It's a big reason our nation's healthcare trajectory is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNSUSTAINABLE. If you are looking to get healthy and stay that way, my best advice is to take anything the government says WITH A GRAIN OF SALT (literally). In fact; there are far better ways to eat than the fore-mentioned DASH diet. Want to get an idea of what I typically recommend? HERE is my clinic's E-checklist (the top two rows contain the nutritional information). As I've shown you in the past (HERE), trust the FDA at your own peril.
DIET AND BRAIN FUNCTION
WHAT YOU EAT AFFECTS YOUR MOODS, EMOTIONS, AND ABILITY TO THINK
Defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over thirty (you can calculate your BMI HERE), the authors start out by letting readers know that one third of American adults fit the clinical definition of "obese". They also revealed that the rest of the world is catching up (38% of adults and 18% of children and adolescents worldwide are classified as either overweight or obese). Not surprisingly, "Cognitive and emotional dysfunctions are increasing" along with. When I was a kid, TYPE III DIABETES (aka Alzheimer's) was rare. Today it seems like everyone knows / loves someone with PARKINSON'S, ANXIETY / DEPRESSION, ADD / ADHD, or generalized "Brain Fog," characterized by an inability to think or make sensible decisions. And that's just for starters; the list is truly endless.
Next, the authors pulled the rug out from under one of the most common beliefs widely touted by the medical community today --- that much of, maybe even most of, the health problems that the average person deals with today are the result of bad genetics. As I have shown you time and time again on my site, in the case of the vast majority of disease processes, genetics actually plays second fiddle to something known as epigenetics. Listen between the lines as these authors explain. "Next to our genetic makeup, the interplay between specific environmental challenges occurring during well-defined developmental periods seems to play an important role." What are these "environmental challenges"? They could be any number of things, including poor nutrition (either mother or baby). Or they could be be exposure to toxic chemicals / elements such as GLYPHOSATE or ALUMINUM. Or they could be exposure to the STRESS of a violent or harsh upbringing. It's another list that's truly endless.
Quick example of epigenetics. My house may have the best lighting system ever devised, but unless I actually flip the switch when I walk in the door after dark, the lights will not express themselves. In similar fashion, even though you may carry the genes for any number of nasty diseases, including those mentioned earlier; unless those genes are actually turned on, they won't express themselves either. This phenomenon is known as EPIGENETICS and is (or at least should be) concerned not so much with whether you have this gene or that gene, but about triggers. What are the most common triggers? For the most part, the things that trigger "bad" genes are bad habits or exposure to "bad" things. A great example is sugar (see OTTO WARBURG'S Nobel Prize winning work from 1931 on sugar and cancer). And case you missed Dr. Seyfried's amazing video on this topic, HERE it is. To oversimplify it, bad habits turn on bad genes, leading to ill health.
The very next sentence provides the theme of this paper by revealing that "brain dysfunction most often co-occurs with metabolic disorders (e.g., obesity) and/or poor dietary habits." While I certainly don't want to discount what happened to you in you formative years (you'll see this in a moment), the fact that epigenetics trumps genetics should leave you feeling empowered. In other words, despite the message conveyed by deceptive and ever-so-clever advertising campaigns (VYTORIN COMMERCIALS a few years back come immediately to mind --- it's another crappy STATIN DRUG otherwise known as Ezetimibe / Simvastatin), in most cases your fate and health are much more up to you and your conscious decisions than your genetic makeup. The next thing mentioned is that our collective diets lack many nutritional components, including antioxidants (we can change diets and habits!). If you want to see some really cool research on a major source of antioxidant power that you might want to start tapping into, make sure to take a look at YESTERDAY'S POST.
Honestly, this entire study can be broken down to a single paragraph.....
"Overeating, obesity, acute high-fat diet consumption, poor early-life diet or early life adversity can produce an inflammatory response in peripheral immune cells and centrally as well as having impact upon the blood–brain interface and circulating factors that regulate satiety. Peripheral pro-inflammatory molecules (cytokines, chemokines, danger signals, fatty acids) can signal the immune cells of the brain (most likely microglia) via blood-borne, humoral, and/or lymphatic routes. These signals can either sensitize or activate microglia leading to de novo production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as interleukin-1beta (IL1β), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) within brain structures that are known to mediate cognition (hippocampus) and emotion (hypothalamus, amygdala, prefrontal cortex and others). Amplified inflammation in these regions impairs proper functioning leading to memory impairments and/or depressive-like behaviors. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), polyphenolics, and a positive early life environment (appropriate nutrition and absence of significant stress or adversity) can prevent these negative outcomes by regulating peripheral and central immune cell activity."
Poor dietary choices such as overeating, etc, etc etc (we'll talk about "acute high-fat diet consumption" in a moment*), lead to inflammation. INFLAMMATION is the collective name given to a group of immune system molecules that are at the root of virtually every health problem you can name (not to mention most of those you can't), including OBESITY. Among other things, inflammation opens up the body's numerous barrier systems (including the BBB or Blood Brain Barrier), causing something I refer to as "THE LEAKIES". Leaking epithelial barriers cause untold numbers of problems wherever they are found. One of the problems these authors mention specifically is the part of your brain is affected so that you can never feel full after eating (satiety is the medical word for this). The second they mention is that it ignites or "activates" your microglia.
MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION is serious stuff because it leads to so many potentially difficult-treat-problems (problems that are usually impossible to treat with the standard DRUG THERAPIES that are ubiquitous to our society). What does activation of the microglia do to people neurologically? As they mention, it affects memory, cognition, causes depression, screws up your moods & emotions, and generally fouls up your BRAIN. And although they did not delve into it here, it is frequently a chief component of CHRONIC PAIN, including CENTRAL SENSITIZATION, which can itself be associated with SYSTEMICALLY INFLAMED CONNECTIVE TISSUES --- something commonly seen in any doctor's office.
And although this phenomenon happens frequently in the adult population, it is not confined to adults. "Neuroinflammatory processes, including the role of microglia, can clearly be impacted by neonatal diet and represent at least one contributing mechanism for how cognitive function is affected. Neuroinflammation and microglia can also be impacted by other early life events and play a significant role in how stress during development alters long-term physiology." Stop for a moment and ponder something. This statement should make people pause and contemplate the neuroinflammation and microglial activation that's being PURPOSEFULLY INDUCED over and over and over again by vaccinations (including these FOUL BEASTS).
*A quick note on high fat diets. If people are doing high fat diets the right way (HERE or HERE), this manner of eating (aka ketogenic diets) has actually been shown to be neuro-protective as well as protective against cellular proliferation (CANCER). This is not my opinion but the opinion of a large and growing number of researchers. I would contend that our differences of opinion on this matter, as I have shown you many times previously, is due to the huge metabolic difference in fats (HERE). If you fail to consume healthy fats, everything mentioned is true.
Want to know why it's so darn important to BREAST FEED your baby and then feed feed them a diet based on WHOLE FOODS in their developing years? Easy. If you fail in this, you increase the odds of future and permanent neurological deficits and dysfunctions. Furthermore, just because you are breastfeeding junior; if you are sitting around eating Cheetos and Cheesecake all day yourself, you are sabotaging your good intentions. "Early life stress-induced alterations in the nutritional composition of the dam’s [mother's] milk.... could have lasting consequences for brain structure and function." Be aware that a form of stress that scientists have been talking about for decades is "dietary stress". Among other things I suggest to combat this is getting plenty of omega three fatty acids. Speaking of Omega 3's, listen to this....
"Abnormal omega-3 levels have been extensively described in both the peripheral tissues and in the brain of patients with mood disorders or cognitive decline, leading to a large number of random controlled trials aiming at evaluating the effectiveness of long chain omega-3 dietary supplementation on mood and cognitive disorders."
This statement raises an interesting question. Why is the research all over the place as far as supplements (not just Omega-3's) are concerned? We know that "abnormal omega-3 levels" are a major factor in ill health (study after study shows that the average American is consuming about 1/30th the recommended amount), yet some studies show positive results with supplementation, while others conclude it's a waste of time and money. My opinion is that it boils down to two issues. The first is that whether talking about nutrition or medications, MONOTHERAPIES are frequently not very helpful in isolation. Which brings us right into the second point; supplements are just that --- a "supplement" to a balanced diet based on WHOLE FOODS.
Unfortunately, my experience is that the majority of people don't really want to change their diets (at least don't want to change them too much). Instead, they continue to hope that the supplements they are taking will solve their problems. In other words they are using NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS in the exact same way that the medical community is using drugs; trying to cover symptoms without really making the lifestyle changes required to change their physiology (HERE). For the record, GRASS-FED BEEF as well as OZARK DEER (raised on acorns instead of GRAIN) are fantastic sources of Omega-3's. Supplementing with FISH OIL, while potentially good, can be also potentially harmful (click the link to see why).
The authors go on to talk about FRUITS AND VEGETABLES as well as the effects of diet on the aging process. "Aging and metabolic dysregulation are both associated with numerous cognitive and motor deficits on tasks that require fine motor control, balance, short-term and long-term memory, or executive function. Studies in both humans and animal models have demonstrated that oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as impaired insulin resistance, are common features in cardio-metabolic and vascular disease, obesity, and age-related declines in cognitive and motor function." OXIDATIVE STRESS, INSULIN RESISTANCE, CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME, DIABETES, and the rest of this mess are largely the result of LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. And while it is certainly possible to make changes as you get older, by the very nature of things, these changes become more difficult, which is why waiting to change until you have visible symptoms is a fool's game that leaves you vulnerable to a host of nasties that can destroy your life in incredibly unpleasant ways. In other words, it's easier to stay healthy than to get sick and then try to play catch up.
Overall, I felt this was a valuable review, and would recommend you take 15 minutes or so to read it. It is exciting to see real scientists go from recommending old worn out drug therapies for everything, to suggesting dietary and lifestyle changes that can positively affect every cell, organ, and tissue in your body, ultimately leading to various degrees of better physical and (as proved by this paper) mental health.
It's problematic that in this arena, the practicing medical community has lagged two to three decades behind current peer-review (HERE). Even though things continue to improve, don't wait on your doctor to start making changes. Dr. Ken Sharlin, a neurologist and specialist in Functional Medicine in the Springfield area agrees (HERE). Your health is up to you, and every day you fail to make the necessary changes, you increase your chances of ending up with a chronic inflammatory degenerative disease (HERE). Or maybe an autoimmune disease (HERE). Or maybe you'll become one of the 100 million Americans living in chronic pain (HERE). Fortunately for most of you, it doesn't have to be that way.
Although I would never tell you to do something rash like stop taking your medications, my desire is that you created a plan of change so that your doctor can one day tell you that you no longer need your medications (HERE). And while some of you might require some sort of SPECIAL TESTING or continued medical intervention, many of you --- probably the majority of you --- can use some of the totally and 100% free information in THIS POST to start taking you life back. While it's not easy (nothing good in life ever is), the longer you stick with it, the easier it will get. Since there's no time like the present, give yourself an early CHRISTMAS PRESENT and get started today!
ORGANIC FOOD -VS- NON-ORGANIC FOOD
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
The first thing I want to mention about this study is that it's well-bibbed --- over 270 sources. Secondly, the credentials of the researchers are impeccable, with no listed FINANCIAL COI. And thirdly.... Well, just let me show you. Today we are going to take just a few minutes to review this study and see whether organic foods really do make a difference, or whether they are a waste of time, energy, and money.
The first thing that these authors did was use current statistics to show that there is a market for organic food. They did this by revealing just how much more land is being farmed organically than even five years ago. The total amount of land being farmed organically around the world is almost 200,000 square miles. While this certainly seems like a lot, according to Wikipedia, the number of square miles of land used to raise food on worldwide is about 18,963,881 square miles. This means that even though there are many nations (mostly in Europe) where organic farming accounts for 10% or more of the total, organic farming makes up about 1% of all farm land worldwide, whether said land is being used to raise crops or animals.
For the record, there is a significant amount of land and likewise a huge number of animals (as well as animal products --- EGGS, MILK, MEAT) that are for all intents and purposes "organic," but because of the difficulty and cost of having their land "certified" by governmental regulatory agencies, are not 'officially' labeled as such.
The authors also reported that it was difficult to always tell whether or not those that ate organic were healthy because they ate organic, or ate organic because they were health-conscious. In other words, those who ate organic tended to also eat more fruits and vegetables and consume less JUNK FOOD. These individuals are also more likely to exercise and less likely to smoke. So, in the same way we have confounders in many medical studies (diseases, obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, etc) we similarly have confounders in organic farming and health studies as well --- it's just that they are on the other end of the health spectrum.
The authors did say, however, that as far as CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES are concerned, studies have shown that consumers who eat more organic food tend to have less HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, TYPE II DIABETES, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, and CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. But as weird as it may seem they also had a higher incidence of CANCER. The authors speculated that this is likely due to many individuals shifting over to organic food after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Also, a couple of studies were done where extracts from organically-raised and conventionally-raised foods were tested on cancer cells, with the organic extracts "showing promise" as far as inhibiting or slowing down proliferation.
As far as pesticides / herbicides are concerned, the organically-raised produce provided far less exposure. Furthermore, there were a wide range of natural pest protection mentioned. One thing I should mention here is that in many studies, organic foods were actually associated with higher excretion rates of toxicity (higher urine levels), probably because the healthier produce was helping the body shed some of its chemical burden (BIOTRANSFORMATION).
The study went on to talk about many of the diseases that were associated with the chemicals used in conventional farming (I've talked about GLYPHOSATE in the past). However, there was not enough research for the authors to conclusively say that conventional farming was the cause of numerous illnesses and diseases (mostly neurological and metabolic). The authors did say, however, that "Epidemiological studies have reported adverse effects of certain pesticides on children’s cognitive development at current levels of exposure."
One of the areas that these authors spent significant time on was the effects of animal ANTIBIOTIC EXPOSURE on humans --- an area where there is a lot of research. And although there was plenty of talk about antibiotic resistance ("It appears essential that use of antibiotics in animal production decreases strongly or completely ceases in order to decrease the risk of entering a post-antibiotic era."), there was no discussion of antibiotic affects on GUT HEALTH or MICROBIOME.
The authors concluded by saying, "Organic food production has several documented and potential benefits for human health, and wider application of these production methods also in conventional agriculture, e.g., in integrated pest management, would therefore most likely benefit human health." While I would certainly agree, I can also assure you that things will change slowly. Firstly, this is because change is hard for all of us. Most farmers who have always done things "conventionally" are understandably nervous about the potential of losing a lot of money, or even their farms. Secondly, in most cases organic farming is more labor intensive. For example, spreading manure on fields can take significantly more time and man hours than spreading synthetics. Speaking of synthetics.....
If you are interested in seeing why I believe that whole, organically-raised foods are both different and better, make sure to take a look at THIS and THIS. And for those of you struggling with chronic illness, including AUTOIMMUNITY or CHRONIC PAIN, it might behoove you to take a quick peek at this short post as well (HERE). And while today's study was not a 475 foot walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth, it was definitely an extra-base hit, extending the inning so that more research will be done in the future. But lest you forget, EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH has shown us that BIG PHARMA and BIG AGRICULTURE will fight studies like this every step of the way --- especially as more and more producers go organic. Oh; and for you who say that you cannot afford to eat healthy, THIS POST is for you.
THE BIGGEST CULPRIT IN CHRONIC ILLNESS AND OBESITY?
DIETARY FAT -vs- DIETARY CARBS
If there's one thing that we know for sure about the field of nutrition, it's that there are any number of camps that they often disagree with each other --- often times radically. For instance, there are still those out there like Pritikin, Ornish, McDougal, Furhman, and others promoting a high carb / high starch diet, with limited or no animal-based foods. Much of Groopman's article is aimed at people in the other camp --- the camp that says a GRAIN-BASED DIET that's heavy in sugars (or at least heavy in high glycemic-index / glycemic-load starches) is the root of our epidemic of PRE-DIABETES, DIABETES, and OBESITY. Although I am not going to deal with the whole article, I am going to touch on some high points.
We see right away that Dr. Groopman is interested in this topic because it hits close to home. His family heard the message of DR. ANCEL KEYS in the "early ninteen-sixties," buying in to the 'WAR ON FAT' and radically changing their diets, converting to the low fat lifestyle (the 'FAT FREE' lifestyle would come later, in the late 1980's). Despite his father's best and strictest efforts, he died of a heart attack in his mid fifties. After invoking the seemingly unlimited powers of GENETICS concerning his personal cholesterol levels, Groopman tied these events together by extolling the virtues of STATINS. The following is the first of the three points I want to make about Groopman's article.
- DIABETES IS NOT A SUGAR PROBLEM: Groopman makes the statement, "Though there’s a clear correlation between diabetes and obesity, no one has yet discovered a causal link." Here's the reason --- one that I have talked about on more than one occasion. Diabetes is not really a "sugar" problem. Sure, you'll be labeled as having Diabetes if your fasting blood sugar goes over 125, but this doesn't really explain Diabetes. Even though SUGAR AND JUNK CARBS are in themselves extremely inflammatory (HERE), they are not the only driver of inflammation out there --- they are merely the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. The bottom line is that Diabetes is an inflammatory problem much more than it is a sugar problem (HERE). Once you see how many crazy, weird things can potentially drive SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION, you can start to see why this issue can become confusing --- especially when it (Diabetes or Insulin Resistance) is found in people of NORMAL WEIGHT. Although it certainly won't solve all these drivers, the PALEO DIET is beautiful because it cuts out the most potentially inflammatory foods. While a huge step up from the SAD (Standard American Diet), the Mediterranean Diet that Dr. Groopman keeps going back to, will adversely affect those who are gluten or FODMAP sensitive --- at least when done here in America, using AMERICAN GRAINS. This is why I believe that everyone needs to do an ELIMINATION DIET to figure out what these inflammatory foods may be, as they are different for different people.
- CALORIES ARE NOT ALL EQUAL: Groopman makes a statement that I quite agree with. "Research has shown that calories eaten are only part of what determines weight. Our metabolism reflects an interplay of things like genes, hormones, and the bacteria that populate the gut, so how much energy we absorb from what we eat varies from person to person." As far as weight gain is concerned, the number of calories consumed is not nearly as important as the type of calories consumed. If people don't understand the effect that said calories have on their ENDOCRINE SYSTEM and GUT (including one's MICROBIOME), it will be tough to conquer the battle of the bulge. For instance, sugars and most grains --- especially CORN and GLUTEN-CONTAINING GRAINS --- increase the body's insulin levels, often dramatically (HERE). This is why if people will eat foods that don't hype their endocrine system (i.e. GOOD FATS and PROTEIN); as long as they have the right bacteria in their Gut (HERE), they can eat just about all they want and get downright skinny in the process. This is largely how a KETOGENIC DIET works as well as being why cardiologist Robert Atkins was so ahead of his time. It's also why someone can consume mass quantities of good fats, losing weight and normalizing their blood work in the process. Although Groopman talks about Taubes' book The Case Against Sugar at length in this article, the book that best deals with the concept specifically touted by this bullet is Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories. I wrote about the various ways sugar affects the body (including Alzhiemer's Disease and PCOS) just a few weeks ago (HERE). Shifting to the next bullet, take a look at the cancer-quote below.
"...cigarette smoke contains carcinogens, molecules that have been shown to directly transform normal cells into malignant ones by disrupting their DNA. There’s no equivalent when it comes to sugar. Taubes surmises a causal link by citing findings that cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and absorb more of it than other cells. But this proves nothing: malignant cells consume in abundance not only carbohydrates like glucose and fructose but other nutrients, like vitamins. To imagine that, just because cancer cells like glucose, elevated levels of it might prompt healthy cells to become cancerous is to take a vast, unsubstantiated leap."
- SUGAR FEEDS CANCER; OR DOES IT? When it comes to fighting off INFECTIOUS ILLNESS or Cancer, fortunately we were created with an amazing immune system (HERE and HERE). This is because we all have mutations occurring all the time. And contrary to what EVOLUTIONISTS would have you believe, said mutations do not lead to the advancement of the species. In the vast majority of cases, they lead to a nasty array of diseases based on genetic foul up, including Cancer (HERE). Thus, we don't need sugar to start or create the Cancer --- there are plenty of other things we are exposed to all day / every day that can do that. All we need is for THE SUGAR that's already present, is to feed it --- sort of like taking a very small fire and dumping gasoline on it. What do we know about the affinity of Cancer for sugar? Instead of me answering that question, I'll let the Nobel Prize winner from 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg, do it for me (HERE). Suffice it to say, Pet Scans (CT SCANS used for detecting cancer) work because of this principle.
Dr. Groopman's article makes a lot of good points and shows that he is committed to the "Best Evidence" as found in peer-review. While I am a huge fan of peer-review (my site literally discusses thousands of studies), I also am aware of just how financially conflicted so much of the biomedical research can be --- particularly when it comes to Big Pharma (HERE). My point here, is not to sell you something (i.e. NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS). My point is to give you some information that might just help you help yourself. If you are struggling with chronic conditions of various sorts, THIS POST might be right up your alley.
STUDY SHOWS AVERAGE AMERICAN DIET LEADS TO CHRONIC PAIN
After watching the amazing movie, Woodlawn, last evening with my family (a football movie that took place early 1970's Birmingham), I immediately picked up on the fact that this study came out of the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Robert Sorge, a pain researcher in the IMPACT Lab (Immune Modulation of Pain and Addiction for Comprehensive Therapeutics), has a special emphasis in both CHRONIC PAIN and ADDICTION. In this study, Sorge's team divided mice into two groups --- one consuming a "healthy" diet (the control), and the other consuming something called a Total Western Diet (the experimental group) --- think JUNK FOOD here.
After 13 weeks, "Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging revealed a significant increase in fat mass with a concomitant decrease in lean mass in the TWD-fed mice. In addition, there were significant increases in levels of serum leptin [a marker for INSULIN RESISITANCE & DIABETES] and inflammatory cytokines [learn more about inflammatory cytokines HERE]." None of this was surprising. But this wasn't the end of the study --- it is here that the real research began.
Both groups of mice were then injected with something called Freund's Adjuvant --- a solution of inactivated Mycobacterium Tuberculosis emulsified in mineral oil (Adjuvants make vaccines work "better" by causing increased immune system responses --- the nearly-universal vaccine adjuvant is ALUMINUM). The purpose of this solution is to create a heightened immune system response (remember that INFLAMMATION is a huge part of said response), thus leading to pain. A popular online encyclopedia described Freund's Adjuvant thusly.
"Its use in humans is forbidden by regulatory authorities, due to its toxicity. Even for animal research there are currently guidelines associated with its use, due to its painful reaction and potential for tissue damage. Intradermal injections may cause skin ulceration and necrosis. Intramuscular injections may lead to temporary or permanent muscle lesion, and intravenous injections may produce pulmonary lipid embolism."
What there the study's results? "After chronic pain induction using complete Freund's Adjuvant, hypersensitivity was more pronounced and significantly prolonged in the TWD-fed mice. Therefore, prolonged exposure to poor diet quality resulted in altered acute nociceptive sensitivity, systemic inflammation, and persistent pain after inflammatory pain induction."
If you want to understand some of these terms a bit better (particularly HYPERSENSITIVITY), I suggest you read my very short post on THE THREE TYPES OF PAIN. It's not really news that the SAD (Standard American Diet) or as these authors called it, the Total Western Diet, is bad news. We know that an inflammatory diet leads to health problems (even though mainstream medicine ACTUALLY RIDICULES PEOPLE FOR EATING TO AVOID INFLAMMATION). However, this study showed how a cruddy diet led to both Obesity and Chronic Pain, "Obesity and chronic pain are often comorbid and their rates are increasing." Why? Both issues, obesity and chronic pain are considered to be "inflammatory" issues.
The pain journal Practical Pain Management weighed in by asking DR. DAVID SEAMAN, a chiropractor and functional neurologist as well as a Professor of Clinical Sciences at National University's Florida branch, about this relationship. An article by Rosemary Black called Unhealthy Western Diet May be Linked to Pain quoted Dr. Seaman as saying (I am cherry-picking here)....
"A poor diet is one that is restricted in vegetation and heavily burdened by refined sugars, flours, and omega-6 oils that enhance inflammatory chemistry. Pain is the result of inflammation, and inflammation occurs when a person consumes refined sugars, refined flour, and omega-6 oils. (Omega-6 oils come primarily from corn oil, soybean oil, safflower and sunfllower oil. Corn oil is found in everything from farm-raised fish to chickens to salad oil.) This in turn can lead to pain for some and heart attacks in someone else."
Although Practical Pain Management has been progressively coming around the these conclusions for several years, why doesn't the average treating physician grasp the conclusions of this study ---- that "A complete understanding of the impact of diet can aid in treatment and recovery dynamics in human clinical patients."? In other words, why is there such a CHASM between the medical research community and treating physicians? Mostly it's due to MONEY. And a LACK OF CONCERN for their patients (how could you come to any other conclusion?). And sometimes a LACK OF TIME. What does this mean to you --- the suffering patient? It means that if you are not willing to step outside of the box, you will continue to be saturated with "THE BIG FIVE". The thing that probably ticks me off the most is that the American Heart Association recently took a huge step backwards with this point when they issued their new guidelines on dietary fat (HERE).
If you are really interested in breaking free from Chronic Pain caused by things like FIBROMYALGIA, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, and CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, it's not too late to make this the year you turn things around and begin taking your life back. To start, take a few minutes to begin learning how to create your own personalized EXIT STRATEGY.
WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION -vs- SYNTHETIC NUTRITION
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
"Americans have been taking multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements since the early 1940s, when the first such products became available. MVMs are still popular dietary supplements and, according to estimates, more than one-third of all Americans take these supplements. Sales of all dietary supplements in the United States totaled an estimated $36.7 billion in 2014." From our government's National Institute of Health (Vitamin and Mineral Supplements)
Virtually no one would argue that in our pedal-to-the-metal chemically polluted society, none of us could benefit from better nutrition. For many of us, that nutritional help comes in the form of supplements -- often in the absence of a healthy diet. On top of this, the prevailing attitude with vitamins seems to be that if a little is good, a lot must surely be better. And a whole heck of a lot should be even better yet. As is true in most areas of life, when it comes to nutrition, this is rarely true. It's certainly not accurate when it comes to CALORIES, and it's not true when it comes to vitamins either. I have talked previously about synthetic B-vitamins (some of which are derived from coal tar and sewer sludge) and their whole-food counterparts (HERE). The same principle holds true for other vitamins as well (HERE are some vitamin side effects).
It is the chief reason that if you go to peer-review to look up the benefits of vitamins, the majority of the studies not only show no benefit, but actually show a negative benefit (Vitamin E is a great example). How can this be when we are bombarded by the message --- usually from those selling vitamins --- about how good they are? The result of this process is often people who have no real idea about nutrition (DOCTORS INCLUDED) taking way too much synthetic nutrition. In fact, it is my contention that many (again; maybe even most) people end up taking nutritional supplements in the same way they would take medications --- in the form of "MONOTHERAPIES". In other words, what vitamin should I be taking for (insert your disease dujour here)? These monotherapies, however, have some problems --- serious problems.
Although foods may be 'rich' in certain vitamins or minerals, the same vitamins and minerals are never found in high potency in said foods. This is because even though vitamins are certainly important --- even critical --- for our good health, we don't really need large amounts of them to do the job they are supposed to do. Vitamin supplements that contain megadoses (1,000 mg Vit C tablets are a great example --- the RDA is 60mg) are always synthetic crystalline fractions that are missing their synergists and co-factors (more explanation can be found HERE). An example of this would be the difference between raw local honey, and WHITE SUGAR (or HFCS). Yes, both can seriously jack your BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS, but few would argue that there is no difference between the two. Whole Food nutritional expert Dr. Janet Lang wrote this about synthetic nutrition back in 2003
"Crystalline means that a natural food has been treated with various chemicals, solvents, heat and distillations to reduce it down to one specific “pure” crystalline vitamin. In this process all the synergists, which are termed “impurities,” are destroyed. There is no longer anything natural in the action of crystalline “vitamins”—they should more accurately be termed drug. Synthetic means that a chemist attempted to reconstruct the exact structure of the crystalline molecule by chemically combining molecules from other sources. These sources are not living foods, but dead chemicals. For example, Vitamin B1 is made from a coal tar derivative, and d-alpha tocopherol (so-called Vitamin E) is a byproduct of materials used by the Eastman Kodak company to make film. However, it is not legally necessary to give the source from which the synthetic “vitamin” is derived. Synthetic “vitamins’ should more accurately be called drugs."
Part of the problem is that in order for your body to utilize these high doses of crystalline fractions, it must use up its stores of synergists. This is why people taking synthetics will often get a big initial "boost" in energy and symptomatic relief, followed by a steady decline in both. One of the biggest names in the "Whole Food" movement is Judith DeCava; a disciple of individuals like doctors WESTON PRICE, ROYAL LEE, FRANCIS POTTENGER and numerous others. Her book, The Real Truth About Vitamins and Antioxidants contains some excellent information on this topic.
"Natural food concentrates will show a much lower potency in milligrams or micrograms. This is frequently interpreted to mean they are less effective, not as powerful. Unfortunately, the `more is better’ philosophy is far from nutritional truth...... Vitamins are part of food complexes and must be associated with their natural synergists (co-workers) to be properly utilized and be a potent nutritional factor. In other words, a minute amount of a vitamin that is left intact in its whole food form is tremendously more functional, powerful, and effective nutritionally than a large amount of a chemically pure, vitamin fraction. Separating the group of compounds (in a vitamin complex) converts it from a physiological, biochemical, active micronutrient into a disabled, debilitated chemical of little or no value to living cells. The synergy is gone."
A recent study, 2013's Synthetic or Food-Derived Vitamin C—Are They Equally Bioavailable? from the journal Nutrients, disagrees. Although the authors claim that the, "majority of animal studies have shown differences in the comparative bioavailability of synthetic versus food-derived vitamin C, or vitamin C in the presence of isolated bioflavonoids," they also say that the human experiments show the opposite (synthetic C is just as good as what comes from food). I am not really sure that "bioavailability" is the whole issue here. XENOHORMONES are tremendously bioavailable, but bioavailability is not the only issue in play in this debate. All of which brings me to the interesting pictures above.
One of the many things that sold me on the concept of Whole Food Nutrition was the fact that even though the chemical structure of the synthetic vitamins was identical to the chemical structure of the natural whole food vitamin (think about Tinker-Toy like molecular models here), the crystalline structure of the same vitamins as seen under an electron microscope is very different (pics available in Dr. Robert Thiel's excellent article -- HERE) ---- something I learned about at one of Dr. Lang's many nutritional seminars I attended years ago.
In the same way it is simple for third world builders to largely disguise their work, it is fairly easy for unscrupulous manufactures to disguise the differences between synthetics and whole food. Much of this has to do with they language they use to describe their products. Because words like "natural" are not defined by the FDA, they can mean virtually anything. For instance, one could market a supplement made from grass, rocks, and purified manure, as 'all natural' because it is all natural (and maybe even "organic" to boot). CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS are notorious for being described with weasel words.
The takeaway is that you should be getting the vast majority of your nutrition from whole foods, and the rest from Whole Food Supplements (HERE). The only time you should be using synthetic fractions is for short periods of time to accomplish a very specific metabolic purpose. There is nothing wrong with using very high dose C or SUPER HIGH-POWERED ANTIOXIDANTS for a time. Just understand that they are essentially a drug, and like drugs, come with their own unique side effect profile.
DOCTORS AND NUTRITION
COULD DOCTORS BE GETTING BETTER RESULTS BY DISCUSSING NUTRITION?
"Does your doctor ever talk to you about nutrition or exercise? No? You're not alone. Polling shows that fewer than one-eighth of visits to physicians include any nutrition counseling and fewer than 25 percent of physicians believe they have sufficient training to talk to patients about diet or physical activity. And the number of hours devoted to teaching future physicans about nutrition in medical school has actually declined recently, from 22.3 in 2004 to 19.6 in 2009. (The National Academy of Sciences says it should be 25 to 30 hours.)" Lennie Bernstein writing for the June 23, 2014 issue of the Washington Post (Your Doctor Says he Doesn’t Know Enough About Nutrition or Exercise)
A year and a half ago I wrote a post called, "NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?" For the most part they are not, and let me briefly explain why. I would contend that many people (maybe even the majority of the people) who take supplements are going about their supplementation the wrong way. People typically go to their (insert one of these here --- doctor, chiro, best friend, health food store proprietor, computer, other) and ask the question, "What do you have that can cure my..........?" Allow me to interpret what they are really saying in most cases.
You see, most people want to use supplements in the same way they use drugs (HERE). If you have symptom X, take drug Y. It is my opinion that supplements, at least for most people, are the easy way out. Just like it's much easier to drop a few bucks in the plate on Sunday than it is to follow Christ's commandment to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES; it's easier to take a supplement (or supplements plural) without doing anything meaningful about our collectively crappy diets and lifestyles. I get it; real change is tough. MONOTHERAPIES are easy, whichever form (drugs or supplements) they come in. It's not that I think supplements (or drugs for that matter) are a bad thing, but without concurrent dietary and lifestyle changes, they are not typically of great value.
In order to do research that is considered "valid," you cannot change too many variables in your experiments. In fact, you shouldn't change more than one. What does this kind of research lead to? Very often we end up with studies that show how a specific nutrient (zinc, iron, Vitamin C, VITAMIN B, etc) has no effect on a disease process. When it comes to studying nutrition, contradictions in results from one study to the next are the rule as opposed to the exception, with studies on ADHD and nutrition being no different. I did, however, find some things that most researchers could agree on (thereare many more studies on this topic than I have time to deal with today)
The October, 2011 issue of Current Psychiatry Reports (Dietary and Nutritional Treatments for Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder: Current Research Support and Recommendations for Practitioners) said, "Two nutritional treatments appear worth general consideration: Recommended Daily Allowance/Reference Daily Intake multivitamin/mineral supplements as a pediatric health intervention not specific to ADHD and essential fatty acids, especially a mix of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid [PGFO], and γ-linolenic acid as an ADHD-specific intervention." Some of this was echoed by this January's issue of the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry (Diet in the Treatment of ADHD in Children - A Systematic Review of the Literature) when they stated, "Elimination diets and fish oil supplementation seem to be the most promising dietary interventions for a reduction in ADHD symptoms in children." As you may already know, I am a huge fan of both PGFO and a good ELIMINATION DIET.
There were any number of studies linking ADHD to to a wide array of "EPIGENETIC FACTORS" such as sugar consumption, lack of breast feeding, and even tobacco and alcohol use. Although the research on diet was all over the place, there was a common theme I noticed when looking at studies pertaining to the cause of ADHD (officially, no one knows what causes it ---- "etiology unknown"). That common thread was that ADHD was linked to chemical exposure of the expecting mother. As a side note, there was also a trend in many of the studies to lump ADHD in with ASD (AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS). All of this leads me to theorize.....
It's no theory that chemicals are bad for you --- every doctor or researcher worth his salt realizes that there is a preponderance of evidence to this effect. However, I would argue that besides being ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS, many of the chemicals we are exposed to each and every day are causing problems such as ASD and ADHD by fouling the MICROBIOME. It's not a stretch when you understand how substances like Aspartame create obesity and INSULIN RESISTANCE by fouling the Microbiome (HERE). But there is more to this issue of chemicals. Without even getting into the issue of MERCURY, look at what Vaccines do to Gut health (HERE). I took the following from an article I wrote ten years ago for the West Plains Quill (HERE).
"Dr. O'Leary (Ph.D / M.D.) is a professor of Molecular Medicine at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (Dublin Molecular Medicine Center) at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He heads a large multi-discipline group researching the molecular effects of Cancer on numerous body systems. During his testimony before the United States Congress, he showed that 96% of Autistic children had measles virus in their Gut. Non-Autistic children had measles in their collective Guts less than 7% of the time."
I even found a recent study linking ADHD to a drug that is believed by most doctors to be so safe that it is commonly recommended for pregnant women --- ACETAMINOPHEN. Although not technically so, I tend to throw Acetomenophen (Tylenol / Paracetamol) in with the BIG FIVE. Remember Tylenol's old slogan; 'Tylenol; nothing safer'? It might not be as true as you once believed.
- The conclusions of a September, 2014 study in the medical journal PLoS One (Associations Between Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy and ADHD Symptoms Measured at Ages 7 and 11 Years) stated concluded that, "Acetaminophen was used by 49.8% of the study mothers during pregnancy. We found significantly higher total difficulty scores. Children of mothers who used acetaminophen during pregnancy were also at increased risk of ADHD at 7 and 11 years of age. These findings strengthen the contention that acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy increases the risk of ADHD-like behaviours. Our study also supports earlier claims that findings are specific to acetaminophen."
- A few months prior to that, one of the many journals of the American Medical Association (JAMA Pediatrics) published a study called Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders. This Danish study stated that, "More than half of all mothers reported acetaminophen use while pregnant. Children whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD [in the US we would probably call this ADD] or having ADHD-like behaviors at age 7 years. Stronger associations were observed with use in more than 1 trimester during pregnancy, and exposure response trends were found with increasing frequency of acetaminophen use during gestation for all outcomes. Results did not appear to be confounded by maternal inflammation, infection during pregnancy, the mother's mental health problems, or other potential confounders we evaluated. Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children."
- Another study published in 2014; this one from the July issue of the Canadian Family Physician (Acetaminophen in Pregnancy and Future Risk of ADHD in Offspring) revealed that, "There are few options for analgesia that are safe in all 3 trimesters. While acetaminophen has long been considered a safe treatment for headache, fever, and myalgia in pregnancy, the results from these two studies might cause us to reconsider the timing and amount of acetaminophen that we recommend." And even though the previous study specifically said they accounted for potential confounders, the authors of this study were loathe to admit to too much of a link due to, you guessed it, "confounding risks".
- Despite telling us that, "no firm conclusion can be made on the relevance of these observations to humans" the August, 2015 issue of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (Use of Paracetamol During Pregnancy and Child Neurological Development) said in their abstract that even though, "Paracetamol (acetaminophen) remains the first line for the treatment of pain and fever in pregnancy, recently published epidemiological studies suggested a possible association between paracetamol exposure in utero and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder/hyperkinetic disorder (ADHD/HKD) or adverse development issues in children. In parallel, recent animal data showed that cognition and behaviour may be altered following exposure to therapeutic doses of paracetamol during early development. These effects may be mediated by interference of paracetamol with brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotransmitter systems (including serotonergic, dopaminergic, adrenergic, as well as the endogenous endocannabinoid systems), or cyclooxygenase-2. In the context of current knowledge, paracetamol is still to be considered safe in pregnancy and should remain the first-line treatment for pain and fever." The problem is that few people (doctors included) truly grasp the benefits of fever or have any idea what current guidelines are for treating it (HERE).
Something else that leads me to believe that many cases of ADHD are starting in the Gut has to do with the number of studies showing a link between Acetaminophen and ASTHMA. If you simply follow the link, you'll see that Gut-destroying ANTIBIOTICS are heavily associated with Asthma as well. What does any of this prove? According to the so called 'experts' nothing. However, taken together it leads me to warn pregnant women (or those TRYING TO BECOME PREGNANT) to get serious about what they are exposing themselves to as far as chemicals are concerned --- and that goes for drugs. To learn more about this particular topic, simply cruise over to PubMed and do a search on something like 'ADHD Microbiome' and see what comes up.
COULD DOCTORS DO MORE AS FAR AS EDUCATING THEIR PATIENTS
ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUTRITION AND HEALTH?
Although you might think that I am being mean, harsh, or overly critical; facts are facts. The average doctor knows next to nothing about the relationship between diet and disease --- or if they do, they certainly aren't doing anything about it as far as helping their patients is concerned. Almost eight years ago, Dr. Eileen Kennedy wrote in her From the Dean column for a newsletter put out by Tufts University (Nutrition Matters) that, "ironically, the same issues related to the importance of nutrition in medical practice discussed in our cover story were being highlighted decades ago, when I was in clinical practice as a registered dietitian. Now, however, it appears that nutrition may genuinely be seen as more integral to health care, both here and around the world." But in light of recent facts, how much weight do her words really carry almost a decade after she wrote them? Let's see
- The March 26, 2012 issue of ISHN carried the headline, Doctors Need to Talk to Patients About Nutrition, Says AMA Head. In the article, Dr. Peter Carmel, AMA president was quoted as saying, "Americans are eating too little of the right things and too much of the wrong things -- and it's time for their doctors to do something about it. [He] urges his colleagues to begin regular conversations with their patients about healthy eating, and notes that chronic diseases claim 1.7 million lives a year and cost hundreds of billions of dollars." Although Carmel is probably on the low side in his estimates (HERE), you wouldn't have any idea of this from talking to the average doctor.
- The September, 2014 issue of the American Journal of Medicine published a paper called A Deficiency of Nutrition Education in Medical Training. In this piece, the authors stated that, "A 2013 report on the state of US health identified dietary factors as the single most significant risk factor for disability and premature death. Despite the wealth of knowledge linking food and health, nutrition receives little attention in medical practice. The reason stems, in large part, from the severe deficiency of nutrition education at all levels of medical training to be described in this commentary. How has this knowledge affected medical education? A recent survey of medical schools revealed an average of fewer than 20 hours over 4 years devoted to nutrition education—most of which occurs in the early years when basic science courses are taught, typically with little apparent connection to human diets or common diseases. Nutrition education is in even shorter supply after medical school graduation. In the 34-page accreditation document for cardiology trainees, there is no mention of a requirement for nutrition education. And in a 35-page Accreditation Committee of Graduate Medical Education document for Internal Medicine residency training, from which many doctors go on to serve as primary care physicians, the word “nutrition” is absent."
- Julie Deardorff, writing for the March 26, 2013 issue of the Chicago Tribune (Prescription for Nutrition) revealed that, "A 1985 landmark report on nutrition in medical schools by the National Academy of Sciences found that on average, future physicians received 21 hours of nutrition instruction over four years. Medical students need at least 25 hours to be adequately prepared to help patients, the report concluded. The number of hours devoted to nutrition education in medical schools is decreasing, leaving doctors unequipped to deal with common patient concerns about diet, studies have found. Even as rates of obesity and Type II diabetes soar, researchers report that doctors are spending less time than ever talking to patients about nutrition because they lack time, training and optimism that patients can make lifestyle changes. Insurance is also more likely to cover procedures than behavioral counseling. "There's tremendous ignorance about nutrition among physicians," added Dr. William Davis, a preventive cardiologist in Milwaukee. "It has never been part of the culture. On average, doctors receive 19 hours of total nutrition education in medical school; in 2004 the average was 22.3 hours, according to the study, conducted as part of the Nutrition in Medicine project at UNC. In 2009, 27 percent of the schools met the minimum standard of nutrition training, compared with 38 percent in 2004."
Don't think for one second that given a few hours, I could not have found a hundred more quotes just like these. Rest assured folks, there is one reason and one reason only that more is not being done by the average physician concerning nutrition ---- money. Few doctors are self-employed any more. They are essentially told by their employers (around here it's either Cox or Mercy) how they are going to deal with and treat their patients. And this doesn't even begin to take into account the MOUNTAIN OF PAPERWORK they are being buried under.
Plainly stated, the average doctor is exhausted, burned out, and rushed (HERE). And while few would admit it, it's not tough to see from today's post that they have become the pawns (witting or unwitting) of BIG PHARMA and the so-called EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE. My suggestion to you if you are one of the millions of Americans debilitated by Chronic Inflammatory Degenerative Diseases (HERE)..... Realize that neither your doctor nor the medicine they prescribe is going to save you. It's time to start shouldering the burden and figuring out your own EXIT STRATEGY.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
(And Their Relationship to Dysbiosis & Gut Health)
"A primary cause for incorrect flora is often a diet that contains either too much sugar, fruit, fruit juice, alkaline water, or raw food such as salad, sweets, alcohol and even medical or over-the-counter drugs. In fact, taking too many vitamins, minerals or herbs can upset the digestion enough to unbalance the flora." -Dr. Lawrence Wilson (MD) from Your Intestinal Flora
"I don't believe that vitamins are essential ingredients of a healthy diet, but rather I contend that all of the necessary nutritional chemicals are produced by the microorganisms of the gut. I have previously discussed the gut flora (bacteria and fungi) as the source of most vitamins." -Dr. Art Ayers
"Dr. Oz and the general biomedical community promote the idea that vitamin supplements or in foods are needed or improve health. Of course, several research studies show that typical multivitamin supplements or the levels of vitamins in "enriched" foods do not provide improvements in health. Since gut flora produce all of the needed vitamins, this should be no surprise." Art Ayers from Vitamin C, Guinea Pigs, Limeys and Gut Worms
"Almost all multivitamins are from synthetics. The same goes for fortified foods. There’s a good reason for this. Synthetic vitamins are cheaper to make and usually more stable. This means they can last on shelves for months or years, be added to foods in high doses, and create small dense tablets packed with insane amounts of every type of vitamin. These vitamins are allowed to call themselves “natural” even when they are actually synthetic because scientists say the synthetics are virtually identical to the ones found in food. The way these compounds are made is not remotely similar to the metabolic processes that plants and animals use to create them. The finished product is also usually a compound not exactly the same form as any found in nature. These synthetic vitamins, according to a multitude of studies, are not as bioavailable, absorbable, or usable. These “virtually identical” vitamins are not what we find in natural foods, not recognizable to the body, hard on the kidneys, and can often be treated as toxins." From Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamins – What’s the Big Difference? at the sunwarrior website
Just a couple of days ago I saw where Mal Wart and several other similar retailers (GNC was in the mix as well) were busted for selling herbal supplements; the vast majority of which (79%) contained zero (that would be none) of the active herbal ingredients they claimed to contain on the label (echinacea, ginseng, St. John’s wort, garlic, ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto). And now this. Dr. Art Ayers latest blog post (Healthy Gut Microbiota Means: No Supplements, No Cleanses, No Drugs, No Processed Foods) twists our brain capacity a little bit more --- or maybe a lot more. In this post (as well as several previous ones) Ayers reveals that (the following points were cherry picked from his latest post).........
"A healthy, functional gut microbiota (bacteria and fungi) supplies all of the vitamins needed, daily multivitamins are not beneficial, vitamin deficiencies are a symptom of gut dysbiosis, spiking your diet with multivitamins may disrupt your microbiota, because vitamins are actually the chemical signals used for communications between bacteria in biofilms, bowel cleanses damage gut microbiota, chronic inflammation is a symptom of vitamin D deficiency, and most medicines have substantial antibiotic activity."
The more I learn about GUT HEALTH and DYSBIOSIS, the more I realize that solving it is the key to everything related to ill health. And the really good news in this post is that Ayers lets us know that our plight is not hopeless, "damaged gut microbiotas / immune systems can be fixed". We learn some things about this process of "fixing" that besides HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE, you can find in the "Gut Health" link above. Oh; and I almost forgot to mention something really important. After warning people about taking vitamins or partaking of foods with added vitamins ("fortified"), he makes an interesting statement. "Try some whole foods instead."
Is Ayers correct? Just remember that no matter what anyone tries to tell you, there is a dramatic difference between WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION and SYNTHETIC NUTRITION. It's not that people can't get drug-like effects from SYNTHETIC VITAMINS (ANTIOXIDANT EFFECTS from mega doses of Synthetic Vitamin C, for instance). However, using drugs has consequences --- even if those drugs happen to be "natural" vitamins ("natural" is almost always the code word for "synthetic"), usually in the form of MONOTHERAPIES. I would strongly recommend that you read Dr. Ayer's post on this matter.
The best thing about using Standard Process Nutritional Supplements in our office is that they are made from food --- plants and animals. The best thing about Standard Process is that when you get the Whole Food Vitamin / Mineral Complex, it doesn't take much. Less is more. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A little bit of Whole Vitamin Complex from nature is typically much better than a whole bunch of an isolated chemical fraction synthesized in a lab. None of this plays well in our if-a-little-is-good-a-lot-must-be-better society. Food or food-based supplements are where it's at, because anything that puts our body OUT OF PHYSIOLOGICAL HOMEOSTASIS essentially becomes a toxin. To see more on this phenomenon (as well as a free generic template to help you start getting your life back), HERE'S THE POST.
CAVITIES IN YOUR TEETH
GENETIC OR NOT GENETIC?
"Tooth decay is the result of an infection with certain types of bacteria that use sugars in food to make acids. Over time, these acids can make a cavity in the tooth." - Our Government's NIH (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) from an article for kids called The Tooth Decay Process: How to Reverse It and Avoid a Cavity.
"By 1930, Price had shifted his interest to nutrition. In 1939, he published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, detailing his global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures. The book concludes that aspects of a modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats) cause nutritional deficiencies that are a cause of many dental issues and health problems. The dental issues he observed include the proper development of the facial structure (to avoid overcrowding of the teeth) in addition to dental caries." - Wikipedia
I recently had a conversation with a patient who had been to the dentist who discovered that he has several cavities. His dentist told him that this was simply a "genetic" issue, and that certain individuals were predisposed to this problem. Furthermore, there was not really anything to be done about it other than practice proper hygiene (brush / floss / FLUORIDE). After following WHOLE FOOD EXPERTS like DR. ROYAL LEE and Dr. Weston Price (both dentists) and FRANCIS POTTENGER (an MD), I have serious reason to doubt that this is the case. However, several studies seem to prove otherwise (these are a few of many).
- A 2012 literature review published in Brazilian Oral Research (Genetics and Caries Prospects) concluded that, "In summary, we believe genetic susceptibility to caries can be identified under specific experimental conditions. Several genes most likely influence individual susceptibility to caries, and these include genes involved in enamel development, in saliva function, and in immune response."
- The December 2003 issue of the Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice published a study called Evidence of a Contribution of Genetic Factors to Dental Caries Risk, which compared the dental histories of nearly 1,200 sets of twins. This study's conclusions stated, "Current evidence supports the notion that there is an inherited variation in enamel development that is associated with increased occurrence of dental caries".
- One year ago this month, PlosOne (a medical journal) carried a study called Multi-Dimensional Prioritization of Dental Caries Candidate Genes and Its Enriched Dense Network Modules. This study concluded that, "We identified 23 modules comprising of 53 genes. Functional analyses of these 53 genes revealed three major clusters: cytokine network relevant genes, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) family, and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) family, all of which have been previously implicated to play important roles in tooth development and carious lesions." Interestingly enough, all of the three families mentioned are made up of chemicals active in intracellular communication --- chemicals that would fit into that family of chemicals that we collectively call "INFLAMMATION".
So; what gives? Is the problem of Dental Caries "genetic" or is it the result of a crappy diet and failure to take care of your teeth? As mentioned earlier, it's probably some of each. You must understand something important about this genetic link. "Genetics" currently happens to be our most commonly used excuse for a wide variety of health problems. It's not my fault ---- blame it on momma. Or Grandpa. Or Uncle Rudy. Our society is expert at passing the buck. Probably why the phrase "the devil made me do it" strikes such a cord. But I regress. Back to the question of how this problem can be both genetic and diet-related at the same time. Enter something called epigenetics.
EPIGENETICS is an emerging branch of Genetics that says we are not as much the sum of our genes as we have been largely programmed to believe. Epigenetics is defined by Rachael Rettner of LiveScience as, ""Above" or "on top of" genetics. It refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes "on" or "off." These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells "read" genes." In other words, everything hinges on whether certain genes are turned on (expressed) or turned off (not expressed). This begs the question of what turns genes on or off?
Interestingly enough, it's usually poor lifestyle choices that cause genes to be expressed in "bad" ways. What do I mean by this? How about smoking, lack of exercise, crappy diets, exposure to chemicals, etc, etc, etc. In other words, you have a much greater ability to control your life than previously believed --- particularly when it comes to tooth decay. Enter Weston Price and his Magnus Opus, 1939's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (HERE is an online copy of the book).
Dr. Price (1870-1948) never stopped asking why. He was so interested in the cause of Dental Caries (Cavities / Tooth Decay) that during the late 1920's and early 1930's he traveled around the world with his wife seeking out indigenous people groups who had not been exposed to modern foods --- particularly machine milled flours; and then comparing them to the same people groups who had. What possessed him to do this? As a dentist in Cleveland, he was in practice during the years when machine milled flour had become the norm (commercial milling of grains creates huge problems --- HERE is one of them). During this period of time he witnessed the implosion of American dental health right before his eyes.
Not only is the book itself excellent, but the pictures are incredible. If you are interested in real health, you want to at least take a look at this book, along with the wealth of information you will find at the WESTON PRICE FOUNDATION.
ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?
- Investigators Find Something Fishy with Classical Evidence for Dietary Fish Recommendation - The May 1, 2014 issue of Medical Press
- Case is Closed: Multivitamins are a Waste of Money, Doctors Say - Bahar Gholipour for LiveScience, December 16, 2013
- Studies Show Supplements Are Ineffective - Michele Wessel for Liberty Voice on January 22, 2014
- Diet Supplement Pills Ineffective or Dangerous - Karen Collins, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. for the
- Study: Popular Supplements Ineffective Against Arthritis - The September 29, 2008 issue of USA Today
- Vitamin D Supplements Ineffective in Osteoporosis Protection - Isabel Alface from the October 11 2013 issue of Nature World News
- The HCG Diet: Yet Another Ineffective Quick Fix Diet Plan and Supplement - Scott Gavura from the July 19, 2012 issue of Science-Based Medicine
- Vitamin Supplements a Waste of Money – Ineffective, Sometimes Dangerous! - The Dec. 17, 2013 issue of SeniorJournal.com
- Healthy Women Advised Not to Take Calcium and Vitamin D to Prevent Fractures - Gina Kolata from the June 12, 2012 of the New York Times
- Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements Ineffective at Lowering Risks to Heart, Large Italian Study Finds - Marilynn Marchione, from the May 9, 2013 Associated Press Newswire
- Experts Decisive Against Multivitamins: 'Stop Wasting Money' - James Hamblin from the Dec 17 2013 issue of The Atlantic
- Effects of Calcium Supplementation on Bone Density........ - The October 12, 2006 issue of the British Medical Journal
- Antioxidants Don’t Lower Heart Risk Study Examines Vitamins C, E, Beta-Carotene for Preventing Heart Attack, Stroke Salynn Boyles - Salynn Boyles from WebMD's Health News from August 13, 2007
WHY IS RESEARCH PROVING THAT
NUTRITION DOES NOT MATTER?
Clearly, the medical community and pharmaceutical industry that largely controls them, detest nutritional supplements. The truth is, they want to control / regulate them. In fact, in the quarter century I have been in the field, the medical community and government have gone after Nutritional Supplements to make the "prescription only" numerous times. The only reason they failed was because the American people rose up and fought. Why was my instructor wrong about nutrition even though so many studies seem to be proving him right? What are some of the things that this individual clearly did not understand? Can Nutritional Supplements be a huge boost as far as regaining and maintaining health is concerned? Here is a partial list of the reasons why you are hearing that nutrition does not matter.
- EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE IS A HUGE FARCE: I have shown you repeatedly (HERE is an example from a few days ago) how studies can be set up to prove anything you want them to prove (HERE is another example). If you want to read about the myth of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, just click the link. If you have not already figured it out, you'll realize that money is what makes the world go round, and Big Pharma --- the power behind the medical community ---- does not want you healthy. Healthy people do not need drugs. Big Pharma views you as a commodity. Nothing more; nothing less. The sicker / fatter / more sedentary you are, the more money they stand to make off of you over your lifetime.
- MOST NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS ARE SYNTHETIC: Although synthetic nutrition is sometimes a viable solution for physicians looking to achieve a drug-like effect, most of the time this approach is problematic. You can read more on this issue HERE, but truthfully, you already know this intuitively. Eat foods made by God, avoid foods made by man. BTW, some of these like WHEAT can fool you. HERE'S why.
- MOST NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS ARE OF POOR QUALITY: Is your Fish Oil Supplement refrigerated? Does it sit on the shelf in the light or heat? Is it checked for heavy metals, PCB's or dioxins? Is it from wild, cold-water fish or does it come from farm-raised fish? This is just one example of dozens. Cheap supplements are usually cheap for a reason. Much of this has to do with the fact that they are synthetic / man-made (see link on synthetic nutrition) or of inferior quality.
- NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS IN AND OF THEMSELVES NEVER ADDRESS THE BIG PICTURE: Monotherapies do not change Physiology (HERE). In other words, it is a pipe dream to believe that simply taking this supplement, that vitamin, or some other product, is going to revolutionize your health. Health is a "BIG PICTURE" sort of thing. Fail to get the big picture, and you will fail in your quest for health.
- PEOPLE HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: What most people want is to live like they've always lived, eat what they've always eaten, and maintain the same old self-destructive habits they always have, but be able to take a magical Nutritional Supplement that miraculously makes everything better. This is how medicine is practiced. You have "X" symptom, take drug "Y". Symptom "A? Just take drug "B". You know that SUGAR CAUSES CANCER, DIABETES, and a whole host of other health issues (HERE), yet you refuse to give up your SODAS. I could give you dozens of other examples but you get the point. Simply taking supplements without making changes to your diet and lifestyle are ineffective.
- PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR INSTANT RESULTS: Are you willing to stick it out for a lifetime? Or are you one of those people who refuses to give up certain foods. Are you willing to add vegetables to your diet? What about EXERCISE? Instant fixes are rare in the field of Functional Medicine because it's all about changing the underlying physiology --- not merely covering or masking your symptoms. If you are really interested in going the distance, HERE are a few posts on getting started.
AGING, VITAL RESERVES, NUTRITION, AND DISEASE
"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?" - Satchel Paige
"Old age is not a disease." - Yours Truly
Why did I bring this up? The other day I discussed ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, and today we are going to discuss aging in general, what it is, roughly how it occurs, and how to go about slowing down the process. It's far too easy to look at the geriatric crowd (55 and over) and chalk their many health problems up to their age. This is where your doctor sits you down, looks you in the eye, and solemnly gives you words of wisdom such as, "Joe; you just aren't as young as you used to be". Today I am going to show you why you should not buy into this outdated line of thinking and all the baggage that comes with it.
Much of your quality of life comes down to something which the medical community refers to as "Function". When you hear me talk about Function, I am talking about a person's ability to accomplish everything they need to get done in the course of a normal day, and the level of health required to do so. Why is this important for you to understand at any age? The longer that folks can stay out of "Heaven's Holding Cell" (the nursing home), typically, the better their lives will be. The problem is, when you can no longer "Function" well enough to perform the things that make up the acronym D.E.A.T.H. (Dressing, Eating, Ambulation, Toilet, Hygiene), your odds of ending up there increase rather dramatically. My goal today is to show you how to take some years off of your "Body Age" and at the very least, question some of those DRUG COMMERCIALS that you see way too many of on television today.
It is important for people to remember that Big Pharma and Corporate Medicine typically view them as a commodity --- a money generating machine that can create hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars over the course of their lifetime. Think I'm over-exaggerating? Read a few of my posts tagged under "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE" --- that is, if you can keep from upchucking. Until you realize that as far as Big Pharma is concerned, you are nothing more than a walking, breathing, dollar sign; you will be led down a path that might keep you alive a bit longer than might otherwise happen, but saps the magic and joy from your life in the process (HERE or HERE).
As we all know, much of health comes down to doing two things correctly. These have to do with the fact that you need to be vigorously active on a regular basis and feed your body nutritious food. Are these difficult? Sure they are --- particularly if you are living alone. But, fail to do these two things --- particularly in your younger years --- and you drain your body's "Vital Reserves" before you ever get to become an 'official' card-carrying member of AARP.
We have all heard the old adage, "You are what you eat". While this is certainly true, it is more accurate if we make a subtle change to the last word. The truth is, we are not really what we eat, as much as we are what we ate. In other words, the fact that you broke down and had a piece of birthday cake yesterday is not nearly so big a deal as is the fact that you lived as a SUGAR ADDICT for about thirty years of your life. Not that you cannot to some degree overcome this, but dealing with the INFLAMMATORY EFFECTS of that sugar (not to mention the medications and other chemical exposure) is going to take a toll on your system and its ability to DETOXIFY itself. Sugar is only one example of many. I could pick on SMOKERS, couch potatoes, or a whole host of other groups here. I think you probably get the point. All of this begs the question of what are Vital Reserves?
Simply start taking care of yourself --- today. If you take a little bit of time to learn about the common threads that relate most disease processes to each other, you will begin to understand why there are certain steps that should be taken in the battle against virtually any disease process you could name (HERE).
ARSENIC IN FRUIT JUICES
The organic forms of arsenic are essentially harmless.Some scientific studies have shown that two forms of organic arsenic found in apple juice, dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) and monomethylarsinic acid (MMA), may also be a health concern. From a December 16, 2011 statement on the FDA's website. The statement was in response to an episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
The reason that there is arsenic found in these juices mostly has to do with what is sprayed on apples, grapes, and other fruits that the juices are made from. Many (maybe even most) countries that we import produce from, have little or no regulation as far as herbicides and pesticides are concerned. Chemicals that are banned for use by American agriculture are manufactured right here in the good ole USA, and then shipped overseas to be sprayed on foreign crops. The produce is then imported back into America and labeled "Safe" by the FDA. Look at any list of the worst fruits and vegetables for chemical residues, and you will always notice that grapes are at or near the top, with apples not far behind.
By the way, there is a reason that the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that babies under 6 months old completely avoid juice; and that they also suggest no more than a maximum of 6 oz per day until they are 6 years old and no more than 12 oz per day after that. Little (i.e. none) of this has to do with arsenic. It has to do with the fact that most "juices" are really only a small percentage of juice, and mostly CHLORINATED / FLUORIDATED SUGAR WATER (the whole mess being pasteurized so that anything vital and living is killed). How many kids do you know who drink mass quantities of juice because mom thinks it's healthier than other drinks like SODA? Is it any wonder that we have an epidemic of UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR and DIABETES in this country?
HEALTH or EXCUSES?
THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK
THE BAN ON TRANS FATS
"The removal of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils containing industrially produced trans fatty acids from the food supply has been described as one of the most straightforward public health interventions for improving diet and reducing the risk of noncommunicable disease." Dr. Shauna Downs, University of Sydney's Menzies Center for Health Policy, witing in the current issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Despite what one believes about government-run healthcare, there are certain substances that have been labeled as "food", that are as far from the definition of food as one can get (HERE). MSG is one of these. Another is Trans Fats. Although TRANS FATS occur in nature in very small amounts (these are actually good for you), they are, for all intents and purposes, a man-made product that is not real food. Why should they be banned? Only because they are directly related to a whole host of devastating and deadly diseases such as heart disease, CANCER, DIABETES, infertility / endometriosis, gallstones, ALZHEIMER'S DEMENTIA, and a host of others. In fact, if a disease is considered to be INFLAMMATORY, it is likely to be related to the consumption of Trans Fats.
BEETS ARE HEART HEALTHY
According to the latest issue of Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, Dr. Amrita Ahluwalia and her research team from Queen Mary University of London found that, "Drinking a cup of nitrate-rich beetroot juice significantly lowered blood pressure (BP) in hypertensive individuals." Beet juice is thought to accomplish this by dilating the arteries via a conversion of organic nitrites into nitric oxide (NO) --- a powerful vasodilator that many are familiar with from its use in bodybuilding supplements.
Can't find good beets in your neck of the woods? Never fear, Standard Process is here. A product that I particularly like for my patients (and myself when beets are not available) is AF BETAFOOD. DR. ROYAL LEE formulated AF Betafood back in 1951, which was itself based on a product (BETAFOOD) that was formulated 70 years ago (1943) ---- during the peak of WWII. Why do I love the Whole Food Ideology behind Standard Process so much? It's utter simplicity is a breath of fresh air in our hi-tech world. Man can never improve on something made by God (HERE).
WARNING WARNING WARNING
CINNAMON CHALLENGE COULD BE HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH
DEFINITELY NOT DOING ANYTHING FOR THE BRAIN EITHER
- Helping to REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR.
- Helping to reduce LDL LEVELS.
- Its Antibiotic powers --- particularly against H. PYLORI.
- It works against INFLAMMATION. Not only does this potentially help with everything from Arthritis to Heart Disease, but is showing promise for various Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Diseases, including: ALZHEIMER'S, PARKINSON'S, MS, and a host of others.
- It helps to fight CANCER.
- It works as a natural food preservative.
- It helps balance the HORMONAL SYSTEM.
- And to top it all off, it tastes great. And face it --- if it didn't, most of us would not care so much about the health benefits.
If you're like me , you may have never heard of the Cinnamon Challenge until someone sent me a link to the forthcoming video. The Cinnamon Challenge is usually undertaken by kids who try to hold a tablespoon of Cinnamon powder in their mouths for somewhere between 10 and 60 seconds without consuming any kind of liquid. Dr. Steven Lipshultz, MD, of University of Miami's School of Medicine wrote of the potential dangers of this practice in this month's issue of the medical journal Pediatrics.
Not to make light of his study, but this reminds me of similar studies from our not so distant past. You know; the kind of taxpayer funded research that boils down to plain old common sense. These include things like, "Over the Road Truck Drivers Live Unhealthy Lifestyles", "Cattle Fart a Lot", or "Inhaling Powdered Cinnamon Could be Bad for your Health". As you might imagine, The Cinnamon Challenge can prove to be quite problematic. Below is one such example. BTW, as you are watching this clip, keep repeating to yourself, "This is a serious problem ---- this is a serious problem ---- this is a serious problem."
THE CINNAMON CHALLENGE WITH GLOZELL
DRUG RECALLS FREQUENTLY INVOLVE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
A recent issue of the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine reported that just over half of all the Class I FDA Recalls are for dietary supplements. Most of this has to do with the fact that these supplements either contain things that are not on the label, they do not contain things that the label says that they do contain, or the ingredients are substandard. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Particularly when you find out that most of these "rogue" supplements fall into one of three categories.
- Bodybuilding Supplements (31% of the recalls) (REAL SOLUTIONS)
- Sexual Enhancement (40% of the recalls) (REAL SOLUTIONS)
- Weight Loss Aids (27% of the recalls) (REAL SOLUTIONS)
I have always said that if my life's purpose was making money, I would create a cheap weight loss formula using whatever garbage I could get my hands on, make all sorts of wild claims about its abilities, hire a couple of website / SEO gurus to promote it online, and sit back and rake in the cash from gullible consumers. And if I were really ambitious, I could take to the satellites and do a TV infomercial. Once people figure out it doesn't work as claimed (eat anything you want and still lose weight), I repackage the same formula and start the process over under a different corporation and with a "different" product.
As one might well suspect, the study's lead author, Dr. Ziv Harel of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, stated that we need to, "regulate this industry through more stringent enforcement and a standard of regulation similar to that for pharmaceuticals. Keeping the status quo may taint the dietary supplement industry as a whole." Is Dr. Ziv correct here? What needs to be done?
Truthfully, I am not sure anything needs to be done. Regulation always leads to more regulation, which in turn leads to even more regulation. Although Dr. Mitch Katz (in an editor's note) states that the number of crappy dietary supplements is, "grossly underestimated", and that, "dietary supplements should be treated with the same rigor as pharmaceutical drugs and with the same goal: to protect consumer health," I am not personally convinced that anything drastic needs to be done about this problem.
Simply stop buying these cheap crappy supplements! Let the companies wither on the vine and die. If the claims seem too good to be true, they probably are! For instance, what is the best 'male enhancement' supplement for dealing with impotence? I discussed that just the other day --- and the answer is HERE. In fact, read what I had to say about this entire issue on my WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION PAGE. And the brutal truth is that I could say the exact same thing about the way that most people want to use dietary supplements.
But I hear it all the time. Hey Doc; you got anything good for high blood pressure? I need to lose about 60 lbs; what have you got for weight loss? What about my heart problems? How about my stomach problems? What can you do for my hormonal problems, acid reflux, fibromyalgia, blood sugar, chronic fatigue, (insert your disease of choice here) ......cancer? This is how medicine is practiced in our modern, hi-tech medical culture. The patient has symptom A, so give the patient drug B. If you have Disease X, just take drug Y. This is what most people want. After all; it's easy. It doesn't require any effort from the patient (except maybe digging a few bucks out of their wallet to cover a co-pay). It's a truth that is sometimes hard to face ---- the fact that it's far easier to pay someone else to do something for us than to actually take care of ourselves. That pretty much describes the society we live in. It's not my fault. It's not my responsibility. Gimme, gimme, gimme!
This article was not written with public safety in mind. It was written to soften up the public for the medical / pharmaceutical industry's next big grab ---- yet another attempt to heavily regulate nutritional supplements (including making them a prescription-only item). How do I know this? Despite the fact that there are, as claimed by the FDA, lots of cheap, ineffective dietary supplements on the market, the article stated that, "No adverse events related to these recalled products were noted in the FDA database". So even though many of the supplements were undeniably junk, there were no adverse events associated with them. Too bad we can't say that for THE PHARMACEUTICAL AND MEDICAL INDUSTRIES.
Like Annie said in her comment below, "it all works". The way you can help us reach more people is to forward these posts on to people you care about. Not to mention, it takes three seconds to like us on FACEBOOK.
MAX GERSON, CHARLOTTE GERSON,
AND THE GERSON INSTITUTE
Max Gerson was born in Germany in 1881. While in medical school, he focused his efforts on using diet to cure his migraine headaches. Having had good results treating himself, he began treating patients using his diet. It was not long before one of Dr. Gerson's patients who was on his "Migraine Diet" realized that it had cured his 'Skin Tuberculosis'. Eventually, Gerson ended up creating a special treatment program for Skin TB at Munich's famed University Hospital using his diet as the foundation of the treatment protocol. Dr. Gerson's diet therapy for Skin TB was so successful that he ended up publishing numerous papers in the day's peer-reviewed scientific medical journals. But the icing on the cake was his experiment on 450 people with Skin TB ---- 446 were completely cured using his Whole Foods diet as their treatment.
It was because of this that Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, sought out Dr. Gerson to help his wife. She had contracted lung TB, and all forms of conventional medical treatment had failed her. Dr. Gerson's diet not only cured her, but ultimately, Dr Schweitzer cured his own TYPE II DIABETES with the same diet. Gerson was eventually eulogized by Schweitzer (he moved to the US in the 1930's).
“…I see in him one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine. Many of his basic ideas have been adopted without having his name connected with them. Yet, he has achieved more than seemed possible under adverse conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands attention and which will assure him his due place. Those whom he has cured will now attest to the truth of his ideas.”
Below is a recent video of Dr. Gerson's 91 year old daughter Charlotte. I love Charlotte because she is passionate about what she is doing, and has obviously practiced what she preaches. Let me ask you a simple question before I leave. Who do you trust more; Max & Charlotte Gerson, or the FDA? If you have followed my blog for very long, you'll quickly realize that the FDA has a serious credibility gap (HERE).
ARTIFICIAL OR SYNTHETIC FISH OIL?
The first thing I did was to Google "Synthetic DHA". Low and behold, there were hundreds of stories of Synthetic DHA. According to a January 2011 study in the biomedical journal Biochimie, DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) ---- one of the two active ingredients in Fish Oil ---- is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, sperm, testicles and retina. It can be obtained directly from maternal milk or fish oil.
After a bit of looking around, I found out that a company called Martek Biosciences Corporation, creates synthetic DHA via taking certain oils from genetically modified fungus and algae, and then using hexane (similar to propane) to extract DHA. When this product was first released, it was not necessarily intended to be of nutrutional benefit (the studies on it were incomplete). The benefit was being able to say that it was "closest to human milk". Although Synthetic DHA was recently banned from use in "Organic Baby Formula", it is still used in numerous regular BABY FORMULAS. This despite the fact that MBC's own research has shown that lab rates given Synthetic DHA have, "significant increase in relative liver weights," when compared to controls.
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) is the other active ingredient in Fish Oil. Rather than being a "structural oil" like DHA, EPA provides the Anti-inflammatory portion of Fish Oil. It is the part of the Fish Oil molecule that is going to protect you against the whole array of INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and a whole host of others).
Synthetic EPA (EPA-E or Ethyl Eicosapentaenoic Acid) has been patented and is marketed as a drug under the names Vascepa, Epadel, and EPAX. EPA-E has shown to be clinically effective for the same things that natural EPA has been shown effective for --- without the side effects. For more information about Fish Oil, the best kind(s) to take, and why it is so critical for good health, just visit our PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE FISH OIL page.
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
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration