NEW Health Tips

reports and opinions are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider

 

 

MAY 16

How Much Water Do You Need?

Do you believe that a person needs to drink eight glasses of water every day? If you do, you will spend a lot of time running to the bathroom.

Why do so many people believe this rule? The number originally came from the National Academy of Sciences of the United States Food and Nutrition Board, which publishes recommended daily allowances of nutrients. The 1945 edition of the Food and Nutrition Board recommended: “A suitable allowance of water for adults is 2.5 liters (about 8 cups) daily in most instances.” This amount is based on the calculation of one milliliter of water for each calorie of food. HOWEVER, the Board also noted that most of the water you need is in the food you eat.

All foods contain water. Even the driest nut or seed has a lot of water in it. Furthermore, when food is digested, it is converted to energy, carbon dioxide and WATER. Most people can get the fluid the body needs from food, and they only need to drink enough water to prevent constipation.

When you eat, the pyloric valve at the end of your stomach closes to keep food in the stomach. Then the stomach takes fluid that you drink and food that you eat and turns the solid food into liquid. If you don’t drink enough fluid, your stomach takes fluid from your blood and adds it to the food in the stomach to create the soup. The pyloric valve will not let food pass to the intestines until this liquid soup is formed. Then the liquid soup passes to the intestines and remains a soup until it reaches your colon. Only then is the fluid absorbed to turn the soup into solid waste in the colon. If you do not have enough fluid in your body, your body extracts extra fluid from your stool and turns your stool into hard rocks, causing constipation.

A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (April 2003).shows that plain water is not needed as long as enough fluid is obtained from other drinks and food. Twenty-seven healthy men consumed one of two diets for three-day periods and were studied in a lab setting. The first diet included plain water while the second omitted it, relying on only foods, orange juice, diet soda, and coffee for fluid. None of the nine measures of hydration were affected.

A reasonable amount for a healthy human is one cup of water or any other fluid with each meal. If you have a problem with constipation you may not be drinking enough water, but if you are not constipated, you are getting plenty. You’ll also want to replace fluids whenever you sweat a lot, particularly when you exercise or in hot weather. Drink water whenever you feel thirsty, but there’s no health benefit from forcing yourself to drink eight glasses of water a day. Drinking too much water can be dangerous; see Hyponatremia. This is of particular concern if you are exercising in hot weather and fail to replace the salt you lose in sweat.

APRIL 26

5 Proven Ways that Manuka Honey Benefits Your Health

By Holly Klamer, RD

Honey has been used to treat various ailments for centuries.  Is the buzz around the health benefits of honey valid?  Scientific research has shown honey may provide some health benefits including: antibacterial, wound healing properties, aiding relief for sore throat/cough and more research is needed in honey’s role on heart disease, fighting cancer cells and diabetes risk.

Research around specific types of honeys is also relatively new in discovering specific health benefits of honey from specific regions or flowers.

 

In particular, manuka honey has received attention and research as a special type of honey that may offer some health advantages.

What makes manuka honey special? 

Manuka honey is specifically from New Zeeland.  Manuka honey is from bees that solely rely on the manuka bush (or called tea tree) to make honey, nectar and pollen.

Researchers suggest manuka honey contains special compounds from the manuka flowers that may offer additional health benefit.

Research is ongoing for the health benefits of manuka honey, but so far these are research backed ways manuka honey may benefit your health.

1. Antibacterial Health Benefits

All honey can provide some antibacterial health benefit, but the degree of antibacterial properties can vary depending on the type of honey and how it’s harvested (1).

Most of the antibacterial property from honey is associated with honey’s production of hydrogen peroxide.  This acts as a means to kill bacteria.

Manuka honey has some additional properties that may provide even more antibacterial properties.  Methylglyoxal (MG) is one property in manuka flowers that is in manuka honey that offers additional antibacterial benefit.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) (2) from the nectar of manuka flowers helps DHA convert to MG in manuka honey.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

A 2005 study (3) compared the antioxidant activity of 4 different honeys including manuka honey.

Researchers found manuka and buckwheat honey had significantly higher antioxidant activity compared to 2 other types of honey.

In addition, only manuka honey had specific activity for superoxide anion radicals.  Therefore, while all honey may provide varying amounts of antioxidants, manuka honey has been shown to provide a high level of antioxidant activity and specific activity not found in other tested honey samples.

3. Wound healing

Both honey and sugar can be used as a treatment for dressing wounds and ulcers.  Honey has the ability to draw moisture from a wound and provide an antibacterial protection for healing wounds.

Because manuka honey has higher amounts of MG, it can provide an additional antibacterial benefit for healing skin wounds.

One study (4) found the non-peroxide antibacterial activity from manuka honey inhibited growth of Staphylococcus aureus for up to 8 hours.

This suggests manuka honey may be beneficial for lowering risk for infection in wounds from bacteria Staph aureus and possibly other bacteria.

In fact, founder of Fresh Med NYC Dr. Robert Graham (5) suggests in a 2018 Health article manuka honey may also lower risk for developing an infection from potentially dangerous Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

MRSA is resistant to common antibiotics, so finding alternatives to treating antibiotic resistant bacteria strains is important for keeping these dangerous bacteria under control.

In a 2005 case study (6), the use of manuka honey was used on eight cases of leg ulceration.  The wounds were dressed weekly with manuka honey.

Researchers found after 4 weeks of treatment all eight cases were significantly improved in wound size, pain and odor.  More research is needed to clarify the relationship between manuka honey and treatment of ulcers.

An important reminder when talking about using manuka honey for wound healing is this refers to medical grade manuka honey.

This type of honey is different than the honey you may purchase for consumption from the store.  The grading system for manuka honey is the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) scale.

Manuka honey with a UMF of 10 or higher is considered medical grade.  Do not put honey on a wound or consume for any ailment before consulting with your doctor first.

4. Oral health: Can prevent gum disease and plaque

Manuka honey, like all other honeys, is a source of sugar.  Eating sugary foods and drinks are associated with increasing risk for cavities and other negative teeth disorders.

So, it may seem counterintuitive manuka honey may actually benefit oral health.  Some studies have shown it may be beneficial for preventing gum disease gingivitis and plaque buildup.

A 2004 study (7) investigated whether manuka honey with a UMF 15 level could be used to reduce plaque buildup and clinical gingivitis.

Participants either chewed a manuka honey leather or sugarless gum for 10 minutes after each meal for 21 days.

After 21 days, researchers found significant improvements in the participants in the manuka honey group for lowered plaque buildup and less gum bleeding.  No significant changes were in the gum group.

The results of this study do not suggest eating high amounts of any honey will provide oral health benefit.

The honey in this study was manuka honey with UMF 15; consuming other honey may not provide these benefits.  More research is needed.

5. Relief from some side effects of chemotherapy

According to WebMD, a committee from the National Cancer Institute suggested manuka honey may be beneficial for reducing inflammation of the esophagus associated with chemotherapy.

Manuka honey may provide relief from other side effects of chemotherapy; more research is needed.  Before consuming any type of honey while on chemotherapy, consult your physician first.

Manuka honey and health

Manuka honey has been shown from research that is may offer health benefits more than other types of honey.  Keep in mind most research studies use medicinal grade manuka honey which may not be the same as what is available for consumption from a store.

Check the UMF rating of manuka honey to ensure authenticity and potency.  Generally speaking, manuka honey with a UMF of at least 10 is considered therapeutic.

Before applying manuka honey or ingesting it, consult your doctor.  Consuming manuka honey may interfere with certain medications.

Also note consuming manuka honey still provides a source of simple carbohydrates and should be eaten in moderation of a healthy balanced diet.

 april 19

 No More Junk Miles
You can always continue to learn, no matter how old you are. I am 81 and Diana is 74. We like to ride a bike as fast as we can. I thought that I understood training, and we followed the rules we believed in, but our race times kept getting slower and slower.We know that to make muscles stronger, you have to damage them by exercising them against great force. That means your muscles have to burn at some point when you train. We know that to improve your ability to take in and use oxygen, you have to exercise so vigorously that you must become short of breath.However, every time that you exercise intensely, you damage your muscles. You know this has happened when your muscles feel tight, heavy or sore on the next day. To deal with this soreness, we followed a program of racing as fast as we could three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). On the other four days we would recover by riding 20 to 30 miles slowly, at about 10 to 11 miles per hour. But something was wrong with this program because we were gradually losing our ability to ride as fast as we had in a previous year. We were doing too many junk miles on our four recovery days each week.What Are Junk Miles?
Junk miles means adding extra miles to your training plan with no purpose other than to increase the number of miles that you ride or run each week. They are done at such low intensity that you do not become short of breath and you do not push yourself very hard. Slow riding or running does not increase your ability to take in and use oxygen and it does not make your muscles stronger.Try to Go Fast Every Day
So we changed our schedule. We continued to race in a group almost as fast as we could ride three days a week. We then started to do intervals on the other four days. Intervals mean to ride a short distance fast enough to make you very short of breath. Then you slow down until you recover your breath, and keep on alternating short fast bursts with slow recoveries until your legs start to feel stiff and heavy. Then you stop the workout for that day.Virtually all competitive athletes use some form of interval training. Training is specific and the faster you ride or run in training, the faster you can go in competition. You can go much faster in all-out short bursts than you can go in a long continuous fast ride.

On some interval days, we would do 50 pedal-stroke repeats, resting between each long enough to get our breath back. Other days we would do 100 or 150 pedal stroke repeats. We never plan to do a fixed number of intervals. Instead we would stop the intervals as soon as our legs started to feel heavy or stiff, or when our legs did not recover and continued to feel tired a minute after finishing a fast interval.

When Your Legs Feel Heavy, Take the Day Off
We know that you can’t go intensely every day. There are some days that you have to rest. You have to listen to your body. We usually can ride fast on our three “race days”, but we have learned that on some days we should not ride at all. The recovery interval days are the most dangerous. These are the days when you are at your greatest risk for injuring yourself. When you start a workout, your legs usually feel heavy. Then as you continue to ride, your leg muscles usually start to feel better and you can ride fast after you have warmed up. However, if your legs do not feel fresh after you have warmed up for more than 15 minutes, you should just take the day off. We never plan to take a day off, but every sixth to ninth day, my legs feel so heavy that I know we need to take the day off. Then on the next day I feel fresh again.

Why Athletes May Need Some Junk Miles
Sometimes competitive athletes do include exercise at very low intensity in their programs. “Junk miles” can be useful for:
Base training: You have to exercise at low intensity before you can exercise at high intensity. If you are starting a new sport, or making a major change to your exercise program, you should start with several weeks of slow exercise before you begin the intense part of your training.
Endurance events: Some athletes do once-a-week long rides or runs just to get their bodies used to the many hours of hard racing in endurance competitions.

Caution
Intense exercise can cause heart attacks in susceptible people. The people most likely to suffer heart attacks during exercise are those who do not exercise regularly. You are also at increased risk when you increase the intensity or duration of your workouts. If there is any question about your heart or other health problems, always check with your doctor.

Checked  4/12/18

APRIL 15

MSM Organic Sulfur

MSM it is known in different ways: Organic Sulfur, Methylsulfonylmethane, or Methyl-sulfonyl-methane.

It is a natural product, not a drug. You can find it in many plants, raw milk and raw cheese made from pastured cows, but the soils all around the planet are sulfur-depleted due to over farming, then the plants and animals we eat are deficient in sulfur as well. Hence the need to take Organic Sulfur as a supplement. You have to make sure though, that you buy only pure organic sulfur (MSM).

MSM is a very powerful antioxidant formed of:

  • 34% Sulfur
  • 34% Oxygen
  • 26% Carbon and 6% hydrogen bonds

MSM is used for all types of chronic pain, joint inflammation, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendonitis, muscle cramps, periodontal disease, oral hygiene, eye inflammation, migraine, headaches, parasitic infections of the intestinal and urogenital tracts like: yeast, trichomonas, giardias.

It is also used to treat allergies, constipation, ulcers, diverticulosis, premenstrual syndrome, poor circulation, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, liver problems, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, for any lung disorders, for autoimmune disorders and for CANCER.

In the case of Cancer, MSM (organic sulfur) works as follows:

  • As an oxygen transporter.
  • To reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • To kill microbes in the blood stream.
  • To reduce lactic acid in the blood stream. ( Lactic acid causes a lot of pain in the patient)

How to prepare MSM water:

  • Start with small doses of MSM water because the stomach is not accustomed to drinking it.
  • Take a gallon GLASS jug of purified water. If you do not have purified water, take water from the faucet and leave it resting for at least an hour before you use it because MSM should not be mixed with chlorinated water at all.
  • Once you have your gallon glass jug full of the appropriate water, add 16 tablespoons of Organic Sulfur (MSM) into the gallon glass jug.
  • Wait until the organic sulfur is totally dissolved. Sometimes it takes an hour for the MSM to completely dissolve. You can shake the gallon jug from time to time to make the organic sulfur dissolve faster.
  • Do this until you finally see the crystals in the bottom of the jug have disappeared. Now you have MSM WATER.
  • Let it set at room temperature. Do not refrigerate it.


Doses of MSM WATER for adults:

The first thing you have to do is to check for allergies, so take 1 tea spoon of the MSM water from the gallon glass jug and if you do not get any rash, (some people who are allergic to Sulfa drugs may have trouble with MSM), then two hours later, you can start with the dose below.

It’s very important to do the dose just like it’s explained.

DAY 1

  • Take 4 table spoons of the MSM water from your gallon glass jug.
  • Three hours later ( after the first 4 table spoons) take 6 table spoons of MSM water.
  • Three hours later take 8 table spoons of MSM water.
  • And this is all for Day 1 because the idea here is to make your stomach accustom to taking MSM, so, taking small doses also helps in avoiding big detoxification reactions due to the massive die-off of microbes. When lots of microbes die, lots of toxins are sent to the bloodstream and it can make you very sick. To avoid getting very sick and then very scared of MSM and wanting to stop taking MSM, it is important to do the doses little by little.

DAY 2

  • Take 8 table spoons of MSM water.
  • Three hours later take 10 table spoons of MSM water.
  • Three hours later take 11 table spoons of MSM water.
  • DAY 3 AND ON GOING DOSE…
  • Take 12 table spoons of MSM water.
  • Two or Three hours later take 12 table spoons of MSM water.
  • Two or Three hours later take 12 table spoons of MSM water.
  • Two or Three hours later take 12 table spoons of MSM water.
  • You can increase the dose of MSM water everyday if you want, a dose of 44 to 64 table spoons a day is completely safe.

DO NOT GIVE MSM WATER TO CHILDREN.

You may experience some strange feelings in your head, but do not worry it is actually good because your brain is getting flooded with oxygen.

Organic sulfur is a superb cancer treatment because it grabs oxygen from water and gets it inside the cells (cancer and non-cancer)

APRIL 12
How Exercise Reduces Dementia Risk

Almost 50 percent of North Americans over 85 and 13 percent of those over 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s Assoc Facts and Figures, 2018). We know that you lose brain cells as you age, and scientists used to think that you could not make new brain cells. However, an exciting new study from Columbia University suggests that you can make new brain cells as you age, and that loss of brain function may be caused by lack of adequate blood flow and nourishment of brain cells (Cell Stem Cell, April 5, 2018;22(4):589–599).

The authors found that all age groups, from young to old, have the same number of neural progenitor cells and immature neurons that make new nerve cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that governs memory. Contrary to a previous study that showed no new nerve growth with aging (Nature, March 2018), this new study suggests that the brains of older people have progressive loss of new blood vessels with aging and with that, the loss of ability of brain cells to connect with each other. If lack of blood flow to brain cells can cause dementia, its prevention should include exercise — the most effective way to increase growth of new blood vessels. Many previous studies show that exercise:
• increases blood flow to the brain, and
• reduces risk for diabetes and obesity which can damage the brain.
This new study suggests that anything that increases blood flow to the brain may stimulate growth of new blood vessels and brain cells.

Studies Showing that Exercise Reduces Risk for Dementia
A study of 1,462 women, ages 38 to 60, followed for 44 years, showed that those who exercised regularly were one tenth as likely to suffer dementia with aging as those who did not exercise (Neurology, March 14, 2018). In another study, 6500 older people wore exercise trackers. After three years, those who exercised regularly had a 36 percent lower risk of memory loss as well as better memory and executive function (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, January 2017;49(1):47–53).

A third study of 81 older adults used VO2 max, a test of maximal ability to take in and use oxygen, to give a dependable measure of fitness. Those who were less fit had an increased rate of dementia and of losing the white matter in their brains that helps them to retain memory and make wise decisions (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dec 19, 2017;61(2):729-739). An earlier review of hundreds of articles showed that older people who exercise have far less loss of brain function with aging, less brain blood vessel damage, larger hippocampal brain size for better memory, less loss of brain tissue with aging, better spatial memory, better communication between brain nerves and improved ability to learn new facts (Mayo Clin Proc, 2011 Sep; 86(9): 876–884).

APRIL 8
Artificial Sweeteners, Obesity and Diabetes
 
Virtually all scientists agree that North Americans need to reduce their intake of sugar, but their views on artificial sweeteners are not as clear. Increasing evidence is showing that artificial sweeteners are not benign substitutes for sugar. In a new study, people who took sucralose (an artificial sweetener) for just one week developed signs of insulin resistance and diabetes, such as:
• increased cellular sugar uptake,
• increased fat formation,
• signs of inflammation and
• higher rises in insulin and triglycerides.
The overweight people in the study developed the highest rises in these markers of diabetes (The Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, March 20, 2018, Abstract SUN-071). The higher the dose of sucralose, the higher the rise in the markers of risk for diabetes. This study confirms other studies showing that the use of artificial sweeteners is associated with increased risk for obesity and diabetes (Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, Feb 23, 2017; Brit J of Nutrit, Sept 2014;112(5):725-734), even in people who are not overweight (BMJ, July 21, 2015).
How Artificial Sweeteners Affect Gut Bacteria
Several researchers have shown that artificial sweeteners can change the bacteria in human guts to raise blood sugar levels (Cell Metab, Nov 4, 2014;20(5):701-3). This study in humans confirms other studies in mice that artificial sweeteners may cause high blood sugar levels with increased risk for diabetes and weight gain by changing the bacteria in your colon (Nature, Oct 9, 2014;514(7521):181-6). Researchers showed that:
• Mice that drank water with the artificial sweeteners saccharin, aspartame or sucralose developed much higher blood sugar levels after taking sugar.
• High rises in blood sugar have been shown in many studies to increase risk for weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks, and premature death.
• Mice that drank plain water did not develop this high rise in blood sugar.
• Mice that were given antibiotics to kill most of their colon bacteria did not develop high rises in blood sugars after taking artificial sweeteners.
• Many subsequent studies show that humans who regularly use artificial sweeteners have similar changes in the bacteria in their guts and are also at increased risk for developing high blood sugar levels.
• One week of consuming artificial sweeteners changed the gut bacteria of apparently healthy humans to cause higher blood sugar levels after taking sugared foods and drinks.Other Ways Artificial Sweeteners May Increase Risk for Weight Gain and Diabetes
Artificial sweeteners may cause you to:
Burn Fewer Calories: Researchers at Purdue University reported that rats that ate yogurt sweetened with saccharin consumed more calories, gained more weight and were fatter than rats that ate yogurt sweetened with sugar (Behavioral Neuroscience, Feb 2008;122(1)). The saccharin-fed rats did not lose the extra weight that they put on after they stopped taking saccharin. The rats who were kept on saccharin had a smaller rise in body temperature after eating than those who were fed sugar, and therefore they burned fewer calories.
Eat More Calories: There is PET scan evidence that taking artificial sweeteners activates the brain’s pleasure centers, causing you to want to eat more calories. Since you don’t get extra calories in artificially sweetened foods and drinks, you have to get them from somewhere else, so you eat more of other foods (Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, July 10, 2013).
Have Higher Blood Sugar Levels: Obese people who have taken aspartame or saccharin within 24 hours have much higher blood sugar rises after taking sugar than those who do not use these artificial sweeteners (Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, May 24, 2016). High blood sugar levels call out more insulin and high insulin levels increase weight gain and inflammation to increase diabetes risk.My Recommendations
More than 40 percent of North Americans today have higher than normal blood sugar levels. Sugared drinks should be taken only during prolonged vigorous exercise. Artificial sweeteners are associated with higher blood sugar levels and weight gain, so I recommend avoiding them. I believe that water is the safest drink for quenching thirst. Unsweetened coffee and tea have also been shown to be safe as long as you do not take unreasonably large amounts.

 

APRIL 4

GENERAL
Try This Metabolic Diet And Lose 15-44 Pounds In 13 Days
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Even though this metabolic diet routine might seem a bit strict, if you manage to keep up with it, you can lose from 15 t o 44 pounds in only 2 weeks. Amazing, right? After the 13 days, you can go back to your usual diet, but with a new body.

During the diet, you should exclude beer, sweets, wine, and chewing gum and after the diet, you can repeat the diet, but only after six months, and then only after two years. Now, let’s take a look at the diet plan:

DAY 1
* Breakfast: a cup of coffee with half a tsp of sugar
* Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, 200 grams of cooked spinach, and one tomato
* Dinner: 200 grams of fried steak and a green salad with olive oil and lemon dressing
DAY 2
* Breakfast: a cup of coffee and half a tsp of sugar
* Lunch: 200 grams of ham and one cup of yogurt
* Dinner: same as Day 1 and a fruit
DAY 3
* Breakfast: the same as day 1 and a piece of toasted bread
* Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, a slice of ham, salad
* Dinner: medium-sized boiled celery, a tomato, a piece of fruit
DAY 4
* Breakfast: same as Day 1 and a slice of toasted bread
* Lunch: a freshly-squeezed orange or apple juice and a cup of yogurt
* Dinner: a boiled egg, a carrot, 200 grams of cottage cheese
DAY 5
* Breakfast: one carrot and lemon juice
* Lunch: 200 grams of boiled or fried salmon or trout with lemon and a tbsp of butter
* Dinner: 200 grams of steak, salad as on Day 1 and a piece of raw celery
DAY 6
* Breakfast: same as a Day 1 and a slice of toasted bread
* Lunch: 2 eggs and a carrot
* Dinner: 250 grams of chicken breast cooked or grilled and spinach salad with lemon and olive oil dressing
DAY 7
* Breakfast: a cup of sugarless tea
* Lunch: only water
* Dinner: 200 grams of grilled lamb chop and one apple
DAY 8
* Breakfast: a cup of coffee and half a tsp of sugar
* Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, 200 grams of cooked spinach, a tomato
* Dinner: 200 grams of fried steak, green salad with olive oil and lemon dressing
DAY 9
* Breakfast: a cup of coffee with half a tsp of sugar
* Lunch: half a slice of ham and a cup of yogurt
* Dinner: same as Day 1 and some fruit
DAY 10
* Breakfast: same as Day 1 and a slice of toasted bread
* Lunch: 2 boiled eggs, a slice of ham, and the same salad from Day 1
* Dinner: medium-sized boiled celery, a tomato, some fruit
DAY 11
* Breakfast: same as Day 1 and a slice of toasted bread
* Lunch: freshly-squeezed orange juice and a cup of yogurt
* Dinner: a boiled egg, a carrot, 200 grams of cottage cheese
DAY 12
* Breakfast: a carrot and lemon juice
* Lunch: 100 grams of boiled salmon with a spoon of butter and lemon
* Dinner: 200 grams of steak, spinach salad, a raw piece of celery
DAY 13
* Breakfast: same as Day 1 and a slice of toasted bread
* Lunch: 2 eggs and a carrot with lemon
* Dinner: 250 grams of grilled or cooked chicken breast, green salad with olive oil and lemon dressing
source

 

Read more: http://www.healthyfoodsolution.com/try-this-metabolic-diet-and-lose-15-44-pounds-in-13-days/#ixzz4mtoZbMR1

April 2

Why We Use Intermittent Fasting

A few years ago we became interested in all the research on intermittent fasting for various health benefits, and decided to try it ourselves. “Fasting” for various lengths of time has been shown to help prevent or treat:
• heart attacks (Research in Endocrinology, June 2014)
• diabetes (Translational Research, October 2014;164(4):302–311)
• certain cancers (Sci Transl Med, 2012;4:124ra127)
• premature death in animals (Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, May 2000;115(1–2)17:61–71)

“Intermittent fasting” does not mean complete avoidance of foods and drinks. Instead, you markedly reduce your intake of food during certain periods. The benefits of intermittent fasting can be seen as long as you significantly reduce your total caloric intake during those periods (Medical Hypotheses, 2006;67(2):209–11).

Intermittent fasting appears to work by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and reducing an overactive immunity, called inflammation (Cell Metabolism, Feb, 2014;19(1932-7420):181–92). Various programs of intermittent fasting have been shown to:
• lower blood pressure (British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease, April 2013)
• lower cholesterol and triglycerides (Am J Clin Nutr, Nov 2009;90(5):1138-43)
• reduce body fat (Int J Obes (Lond), May 2015;39(5):727-33)
• lower insulin (Am J Clin Nutr, Jan 2005;81(1):69-73)
• lower blood markers of inflammation (Free Radic Biol Med, March 2007;42(5):665-74)
• increase speed and endurance in athletes (Med Sci Sports Exerc, April 2016;48(4):663-72)

Types of Intermittent Fasting
Different researchers and authors have used different definitions of intermittent fasting for their studies, including:
• Daily limited-time fasting, such as eating only between noon and 6PM, eating three meals (morning, noon and early evening) and then fasting overnight from 6PM to 7AM, or eating only twice a day at the times of your choice
• Various combinations of fasting and non-fasting days in each week, such as fasting on alternate days, or 5:2 (five normal days and two fasting days, on the days of your choice)
• Monthly variations such as fasting five days each month
Research has not yet been able to prove that any one method of intermittent fasting is superior to other methods.

Our Version of Intermittent Fasting
We chose to follow a liberal alternate-day program of “fasting” because we can do it without keeping a calendar or making special schedules. When we have lunch or dinner dates with our friends, we let that take precedence and just skip that day or make the next day a fast day.

We eat a plant-based diet, with fish two or three times a week and occasional cheese. For breakfast every day, I eat oatmeal made with water and added raisins, and Diana eats cooked black beans. On “non-fast” days, we go out to eat our second meal between noon and 3PM, typically vegetables, salads, soups, seafood and fruits, with no limits on portion sizes. On “fast” days, we do not eat that second meal. Whether it is a fast day or not, we snack on nuts, fruits such as oranges and vegetables such as tomatoes or cauliflower, as often as we like. We know that no one can depend on will power, so we do not keep any other foods in our kitchen. We do not snack after 7PM.

Note that we eat only two meals a day on our regular days.  We decided many years ago that the three-meals-a-day pattern was just too much food for our needs and I think that is true for most people over 40, 50, 60, or wherever the weight starts to creep on.  We live in a large retirement community where we are surrounded by older people and what a sad picture it is; at least 80 percent and maybe 90 percent are overweight.  Usually our main meal is mid-day (noon-3PM) but if we are invited to join friends for dinner, we just adjust to their schedule and make our second meal “dinner” at their preferred time.

What This Program has Done for Us
After Diana’s accident two years ago, she found that she had lost more than three inches in height from compression fractures in her spine. She decided to use a strict program of intermittent fasting to bring her weight down to match her new height. She lost 15 pounds in six weeks, so where she had been 5’9″ and 135 pounds, she is now under 5’6″ and 120 pounds. I was so impressed with her results that I decided to try it myself. I am 5’10”, and after just a few months on the program, my weight had dropped from 168 to 138. See my report on Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

When we reached our goal weights, we went to our more relaxed program and have since maintained our weights without much effort. Diana exercises vigorously every day even though she has severe rheumatoid arthritis, and she believes that staying active and keeping her weight down help to control the pain. I have to keep my weight low because of my genetic predisposition to store all my fat in my belly. I have very narrow hips. I had high blood sugar levels when I weighed 168 pounds, my father died of diabetes and my brother is diabetic.

Why a Fat Belly Leads to Diabetes
Storing fat in your belly, rather than your hips, increases your risk for diabetes because it shows that you are storing fat in your liver. When blood sugar levels rise too high, your pancreas releases insulin which lowers blood sugar levels by driving sugar from the bloodstream into the liver. Fat in your liver prevents the liver from accepting sugar from the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels high. Almost everyone with a large belly and small hips already has high blood sugar levels and is at high risk for diabetes and heart attacks. In one study, intermittent fasting markedly helped decrease belly fat (Translational Research, October 2014;164(4):302–311).

Intermittent Fasting May Not Be for Everyone
Certain conditions may be complicated by fasting. Check with your doctor if you:
• are being treated for diabetes
• have low blood pressure
• take medications
• are underweight
• have an eating disorder
• are under age 14
• are pregnant or breast feeding, or may become pregnant

APRIL 1

Prostate Cancer and Heart Attacks

Heart attacks are the main cause of death in men diagnosed with prostate cancer (Circulation, Feb 4, 2016). More than 230,000 American men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Because prostate cancer usually progresses so slowly, the more than three million living American men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are at much higher risk for dying of heart attacks than they are of dying of their prostate cancer.

This is partly just statistics (heart attacks are the leading cause of death in men, and prostate cancer seldom kills), but patients also need to be told that some of the current treatments for prostate cancer can raise their risk for a heart attack. Doctors prescribe these treatments because they believe that the benefits outweigh any side effects they may cause.
1. Radiation increases risk for heart failure, irregular heartbeats and heart attacks. Women who receive radiation for breast cancer are also at increased risk for heart attacks (The Lancet, November 12, 2011;378(9804):1707-1716).
2. Chemotherapy drugs can damage the heart and peripheral blood vessels, increase risk for forming clots and raise blood cholesterol.
3. Giving drugs to block a man’s production of the male hormone, testosterone, to shrink prostate tumors increases risk for a heart attack in several ways (JAMA, Sept 22, 2015;314(12):1291 and British Journal of Urology International, March 2014). Blocking testosterone raises blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increases body fat, decreases muscle and bone, raises blood sugar, increases insulin resistance, decreases sugar tolerance and increases risk for diabetes (Am J Clin Oncol, 35(5) 2012;504–509), all risk factors for heart attacks.

My Recommendations
If you are a man who is diagnosed with prostate cancer, you should work with your doctor to decide what treatments are best for you. All men with prostate cancer should be aware that they are far more likely to die from a heart attack than from prostate cancer. Men who adopt a more healthful lifestyle after being diagnosed with cancer are less likely to have that cancer recur (Journal of Clinical Oncology, Oct 20, 2012;30:3697-3704). Whether you choose “watchful waiting” or any of the available treatments, you should do everything possible to lower your heart attack risk. Follow ABCDE, the heart-attack-preventing mnemonic:
• Aspirin if indicated
• Blood pressure monitoring
• Cholesterol management and Cigarette avoidance
• Diet and Diabetes Prevention: eat lots of fruits and vegetables; restrict sugar-added foods and drinks, red meat and fried foods
• Exercise
Also keep blood levels of hydroxy Vitamin D above 50 nmol/L and lose excess fat if overweight.

March 31

Lectin-Containing Foods are Good For You
The latest fad diet tells you to try to avoid lectin-rich foods and to buy their products that are supposed to block lectins in the foods that you eat. However, scientific studies show that eating the common foods with high-lectin content is associated with living a long life and avoiding diseases such as heart attacks, certain cancers, and diabetes (JAMA Intern Med, 2013;173(13):1230-1238). These foods include:
• legumes (dried beans, peas, lentils, peanuts)
• whole grains (wheat, rice, oats, barley and so forth)
• foods from the nightshade family (eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes)
• foods from the gourd family (squash, pumpkin, zucchini)
• many other fruits, vegetables and seedsWhat are Lectins?
Lectins are a type of protein found in all forms of life, both animals and plants, including most foods. Lectins can bind to sugars on the membranes covering cells in your body or in other foods you eat. In small amounts, they can provide health benefits, but in large amounts, they can reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients or can even be highly toxic. An extreme example is the castor oil bean, a source of the lectin, ricin, which is used as a deadly chemical weapon. Fortunately for us, our ancestors figured out (through trial and error) which plants are edible and which are poisonous. They also discovered that some plant parts needed to be cooked to make them edible (such as dried beans, grains and potatoes).Why Virtually All Plants Contain Lectins
Plants cannot run away from animals, insects or bacteria that try to eat them, so they need some other way to defend themselves. Many plants have evolved with lectins that can damage the intestines of animals and insects that try to eat them and make them sick or kill them. Lectins are found in large amounts in the seeds of plants where they prevent intestinal juices from digesting and damaging the seeds so the seeds can pass through the intestines of birds and other animals, to be dispersed on the land where they can sprout into new plants.Can Lectins Harm You?
Lectins in uncooked or under-cooked dried beans and grains can bind to the lining of your intestines to cause vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. However, proper cooking destroys or reduces the amount of lectins to prevent this harm. Lectins are absorbed very poorly, but they can enter your bloodstream to turn on your immunity to cause inflammation (Biochem Soc Trans, 1989;17:481–482; Lancet, 1998;352:1831–1832), an overactive immunity that can attack and destroy your own cells, but many other studies show that fruits and vegetables help to decrease inflammation (J Am Diet Assoc, Mar 2009;109(3):414–421). The rest of the many claims that lectins cause cancer, auto-immune diseases and other ailments are at this time unproven and unsubstantiated by adequate research.Risks of Restricting Lectins
• Trying to avoid high-lectin foods will deprive you of many foods with proven health benefits. People who eat a plant-based diet with whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables are at reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. See my report on Anti-inflammatory and Pro-inflammatory Foods.
• The most popular low-lectin diet recommends eating foods made from white flour instead of whole grains. This is harmful advice since refined carbohydrates cause high blood sugar levels and therefore increase risk for diabetes and heart attacks. North Americans suffer from an epidemic of obesity and diabetes caused by eating a diet with lots of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
• A lectin-avoiding diet will greatly reduce your intake of soluble fiber, an important dietary component for preventing and treating diabetes and heart attacks.
• If you follow the advice of the lectin-avoidance advocates, you will spend a lot of money on their costly supplements, specialty milks, pasture-raised meats and so forth.Sensible Ways to Reduce Lectins
The same cooking process that reduces the gas-causing tendencies of beans also reduces their lectin content to a safe level. Soak the beans overnight, discard the soaking water and cover the beans with fresh water. Bring to a boil and then cook with the heat kept just under boiling until the beans are soft. Canned beans have been prepared using this process, so they are not high in lectins. Dry heat does not usually destroy lectins. Sprouted beans, grains and other seeds have low lectin counts. Green (immature) beans and peas have low levels of lectins. Standard methods of cooking whole grains in water destroy or reduce the lectins; if they are soft enough to eat, they are usually safe. Fermenting markedly reduces lectins.The nightshade family has toxic levels of lectins in the green leaves, stems and shoots, but the fruits (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers) are naturally low in lectins and are perfectly safe to eat. White potatoes should be cooked, which reduces their high lectin content to a safe level. If potatoes have green sprouts or a green tinge on the skin, they should be discarded. Sweet potatoes and yams are from a different plant family and are not high in lectins.My Recommendations
• I believe that the recommendation to avoid foods rich in lectins flies in the face of epidemiologic data that shows that people who eat the most fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and other seeds are the healthiest, live the longest, and enjoy reduced incidence of diseases.
• The healthful diet that I recommend is varied, balanced and high in plants. Do not eat unreasonably large amounts of any single food.
• Follow the traditional cooking practices for dried beans and whole grains; our ancestors learned that these foods should not be eaten raw.
• The expensive supplements promoted to reduce your incidence of supposed lectin disease are not supported by adequate research, and I do not recommend using them.

march 30

Why We Use Intermittent Fasting

A few years ago we became interested in all the research on intermittent fasting for various health benefits, and decided to try it ourselves. “Fasting” for various lengths of time has been shown to help prevent or treat:
• heart attacks (Research in Endocrinology, June 2014)
• diabetes (Translational Research, October 2014;164(4):302–311)
• certain cancers (Sci Transl Med, 2012;4:124ra127)
• premature death in animals (Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, May 2000;115(1–2)17:61–71)

“Intermittent fasting” does not mean complete avoidance of foods and drinks. Instead, you markedly reduce your intake of food during certain periods. The benefits of intermittent fasting can be seen as long as you significantly reduce your total caloric intake during those periods (Medical Hypotheses, 2006;67(2):209–11).

Intermittent fasting appears to work by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and reducing an overactive immunity, called inflammation (Cell Metabolism, Feb, 2014;19(1932-7420):181–92). Various programs of intermittent fasting have been shown to:
• lower blood pressure (British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease, April 2013)
• lower cholesterol and triglycerides (Am J Clin Nutr, Nov 2009;90(5):1138-43)
• reduce body fat (Int J Obes (Lond), May 2015;39(5):727-33)
• lower insulin (Am J Clin Nutr, Jan 2005;81(1):69-73)
• lower blood markers of inflammation (Free Radic Biol Med, March 2007;42(5):665-74)
• increase speed and endurance in athletes (Med Sci Sports Exerc, April 2016;48(4):663-72)

Types of Intermittent Fasting
Different researchers and authors have used different definitions of intermittent fasting for their studies, including:
• Daily limited-time fasting, such as eating only between noon and 6PM, eating three meals (morning, noon and early evening) and then fasting overnight from 6PM to 7AM, or eating only twice a day at the times of your choice
• Various combinations of fasting and non-fasting days in each week, such as fasting on alternate days, or 5:2 (five normal days and two fasting days, on the days of your choice)
• Monthly variations such as fasting five days each month
Research has not yet been able to prove that any one method of intermittent fasting is superior to other methods.

Our Version of Intermittent Fasting
We chose to follow a liberal alternate-day program of “fasting” because we can do it without keeping a calendar or making special schedules. When we have lunch or dinner dates with our friends, we let that take precedence and just skip that day or make the next day a fast day.

We eat a plant-based diet, with fish two or three times a week and occasional cheese. For breakfast every day, I eat oatmeal made with water and added raisins, and Diana eats cooked black beans. On “non-fast” days, we go out to eat our second meal between noon and 3PM, typically vegetables, salads, soups, seafood and fruits, with no limits on portion sizes. On “fast” days, we do not eat that second meal. Whether it is a fast day or not, we snack on nuts, fruits such as oranges and vegetables such as tomatoes or cauliflower, as often as we like. We know that no one can depend on will power, so we do not keep any other foods in our kitchen. We do not snack after 7PM.

Note that we eat only two meals a day on our regular days.  We decided many years ago that the three-meals-a-day pattern was just too much food for our needs and I think that is true for most people over 40, 50, 60, or wherever the weight starts to creep on.  We live in a large retirement community where we are surrounded by older people and what a sad picture it is; at least 80 percent and maybe 90 percent are overweight.  Usually our main meal is mid-day (noon-3PM) but if we are invited to join friends for dinner, we just adjust to their schedule and make our second meal “dinner” at their preferred time.

What This Program has Done for Us
After Diana’s accident two years ago, she found that she had lost more than three inches in height from compression fractures in her spine. She decided to use a strict program of intermittent fasting to bring her weight down to match her new height. She lost 15 pounds in six weeks, so where she had been 5’9″ and 135 pounds, she is now under 5’6″ and 120 pounds. I was so impressed with her results that I decided to try it myself. I am 5’10”, and after just a few months on the program, my weight had dropped from 168 to 138. See my report on Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

When we reached our goal weights, we went to our more relaxed program and have since maintained our weights without much effort. Diana exercises vigorously every day even though she has severe rheumatoid arthritis, and she believes that staying active and keeping her weight down help to control the pain. I have to keep my weight low because of my genetic predisposition to store all my fat in my belly. I have very narrow hips. I had high blood sugar levels when I weighed 168 pounds, my father died of diabetes and my brother is diabetic.

Why a Fat Belly Leads to Diabetes
Storing fat in your belly, rather than your hips, increases your risk for diabetes because it shows that you are storing fat in your liver. When blood sugar levels rise too high, your pancreas releases insulin which lowers blood sugar levels by driving sugar from the bloodstream into the liver. Fat in your liver prevents the liver from accepting sugar from the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels high. Almost everyone with a large belly and small hips already has high blood sugar levels and is at high risk for diabetes and heart attacks. In one study, intermittent fasting markedly helped decrease belly fat (Translational Research, October 2014;164(4):302–311).

Intermittent Fasting May Not Be for Everyone
Certain conditions may be complicated by fasting. Check with your doctor if you:
• are being treated for diabetes
• have low blood pressure
• take medications
• are underweight
• have an eating disorder
• are under age 14
• are pregnant or breast feeding, or may become pregnant

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