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 on this, realize that they have actually been arguing that the world's healthcare woes could all be solved and 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.
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"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.
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