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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Can You Get All The Nutrients You Need From Food?

I hear it.  I read it.  Just eat real food.  You don't need supplements.


If you are relatively young.  If you know where your food is grown --animal or vegetable.  If you know HOW it is grown.  (Organic?  Slathered in Roundup?  CAFO feed lot? Free range or grass fed or crammed with grains to increase body fat and someone's profit?)   If you cook from scratch.  If you have few stressors on your life.  If you know what your body needs. (We've been told whole grains for decades, now we know they are just empty calories--or worse--and that animal fat is bad--it's actually the healthy fat)  If you don't smoke, drink alcohol, eat a lot of preservatives, artificial colors and chemical additives.

And finally...if you're not already sick. 

But if any of those things are not true for you, you probably need supplements.  If all these things were true from your youth through whatever age you are now, you'd probably have reserves of the things your body needs and a dearth of the toxic things that tax your health.  Few of us are in that situation. And if you are already sick, it is de facto evidence that your body has deficiency(s) and/or toxicities.  They are the drivers of chronic inflammation which is the bedrock cause of all the ailments of aging--major or minor. 

Are you stuck with them?  No.  It's a self-correcting, self-repairing biology.  If you give it what it needs and quit giving it what it does not need.

What edibles you can buy in the store, almost exclusively are first and foremost for somebody's bottom line profits and second to entice you it's great food.  They do that with taste enhancers and clever marketing.  Almost all commercial foods have little thought toward what nutrients they provide.  The old adage "FOLLOW THE MONEY"  applies.  Produce is grown the fastest cheapest way possible.  Nitrogen makes things grow fast and big, but if other minerals are not added to soil, they eventually are used up. So you have beautiful, big leaves or fruit with no taste and not near enough nutrition.  Do they fertilize with kelp?  (iodine and many other trace minerals)  Do they add magnesium?  Is your area high in selenium or low?  And that does not address all the agricultural toxins that may be present.

So let's start with the big bogeyman of health.  Cancer.  In a few blog posts earlier this year I talked about the five biggies that prevent cancer.  To recap, they are 1) low bloodsugar/low insulin; 2) Vitamin D; 3) Magnesium; 4) iodine and 5) selenium.  The research is conclusive, well established and mostly ignored.  (Follow the money).

Once a person has cancer, can it be cured?  I would argue yes, using all the strategies that prevent cancer, they can also reverse it.  For instance we know of the Warburg effect--the fact that cancer cells can only burn sugar (glucose) and they need a lot to grow as fast as they do.  What happens if a cancer patient goes on a ketogenic diet, virtually devoid of glucose?  Cancer cells are denied their fuel and cannot maintain their rapid growth.  In lab experiments cancer cells die under those conditions, but even if they just stopped growing it would be a big plus for a patient.

Adding in supplements of the other nutrients that prevent cancer gives the body's immune system a chance to fight it--what the well nourished body would do in the first place to not allow cancer's initiation.  I am not talking about foregoing allopathic medicine.  But they will never discuss these things with a cancer patient because there's no profit in it and most doctors are woefully uneducated in matters of nutrition.  So that's a completely different topic.

Substitute any disease you can name--including mental disorders--including heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, pcos, IBS. psoriasis, depression, etc etc...for the word "cancer".and the nutritional treatment is the same with minor differences.  Fix the deficiencies, quit doing things that jack up chronic inflammation, let the body heal.

All that said, there are some worthless supplements out there. If you'd like help on brands, or amounts that I can point out, just email me.  It's very cheap insurance for a vigorous second half of life.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How Toxic is Vitamin D in High Doses?

I have been otherwise involved and not blogging lately even though I've looked at tons of research.  So today let me just remind you that Vitamin D shows up over and over as correlated with preventing so many diseases (including flu) that it's too big a list to include. It includes pretty much everything.  Getting tested is simple.  Your doctor will order a test if you ask.  They know Vitamin D deficiency is widespread.  That, of course begs the question of why they do not routinely order the test.  Follow the money.  There is no profit in Vitamin D supplementation.  If you do not have a doctor, the Vitamin D Council offers a self test for $50.

How much Vitamin D to take?  Let me just report my own experience.  It took me about six months to raise my levels from 33 to 43 taking 10,000 iu a day.  The next increase did not take quite so long.  So when you are severely deficient, taking a lot of Vitamin D is a vey good idea. 

All the hype about how dangerous too much can be, needs to be put into perspective.  Here is an excerpt from an article on the website of the Vitamin D Council.

From 2000 through 2014, there were 25,397 calls to poison control about overdoses of vitamin D (Figure). There were about 200 calls/year in the year 2000, which has increased to more than 4,000 calls per year recently. During that 15-year period there were only three serious cases of vitamin D toxicity, but no deaths.

Do you know how many people died from Tylenol toxicity during that same time? About three thousand.

Of the five serious medical cases involving vitamin D, two were from aspiration problems in infants when vitamin D drops went down the windpipe. The three serious adult cases were: 1) 55-year old male, chronic ingestion causing agitation, confusion, electrolyte abnormalities, renal failure and seizures; 2) 78-year-old male, chronic ingestion causing lethargy, electrolyte abnormalities, renal failure and respiratory depression; and 3) 53-year-old female with chronic ingestion causing elevated creatinine, renal failure, electrolyte abnormality and hypertension. Doses taken were not given.

As far as suicide attempts, 106 people tried using overdoses of vitamin D to kill themselves, though none succeeded.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

About Fat Cells and Inflammation

This study, conducted by researchers at Newcastle University and the University of Leeds, UK, is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.  In it they found that being overweight more than doubles the risk of bowel cancer in people with Lynch Syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder which affects genes responsible for detecting and repairing damage in the DNA. Around half of these people develop cancer, mainly in the bowel and womb.

However, over the course of a ten year study they found this risk could be counteracted by taking a regular dose of aspirin. 

What!!!???  Aspirin counteracts the risk of cancer in fat people?  Wow.  Aspirin is one of the oldest, safest, drugs known to man, from at least the time of the ancient Egyptians (willow bark) to the development of the pills we have today in the 1800’s.  Caveat—stomach problems are the drawback of aspirin.

Cancer, we know, is a disease of inflammation.  Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug.  But the connection to obesity is my point today. 

Separate from normal wear and tear aging, full fat cells drive chronic inflammation.  The details of that are beyond the scope of today’s post, but they jack up inflammatory chemicals in your body.  The more visceral fat you have, the higher your level of chronic inflammation - and thus the more damage gets added over time to the state of your biology. 

Aging itself is simply your body’s reaction to the damage inflammation causes.  YES, even WRINKLES!  So for those of us with more visceral fat, we have to do more to knock down those inflammatory chemicals. 

The name of my website is minding the middle aged middle—and getting it smaller is important for us who are overweight.  But not only because of cultural pressure or superficial reasons.  It’s an anti-aging strategy because it’s an anti-inflammatory strategy.

 In overweight mice and humans the fat cells, are sending out  false distress signals - they are not under attack by pathogens. But this still sends local immune cells into a tizzy, and that causes inflammation.
Is it hopeless until you’ve lost the weight?  No.  You have heard me talk about the CRP test that measures chronic inflammation.  I am happy to report mine is now VERY low.  And I still have visceral fat I’m working on.  It can be done. 

And what does that get me?  The net result is that I feel better than ever before, I run circles around most of my peers and many who are younger.  And my risk of cancer or any number of other inflammatory and degenerative diseases is extremely low.  That is what I wish for others, as well.  Read back issues to find out what it takes.  It’s not doctors but it is under your control. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's Not Just Me

I harp on the subject of chronic inflammation.  I know, I sound like a broken record...And your doctor never mentions it, most of the health news rarely mentions it either.

Sometimes it's nice to know I'm not the only one, though it would be helpful if more people and doctors recognized the importance of chronic inflammation.  But here's an article that appeared this week.  It's short, go ahead and take a look.

Where this article failed, is in defining something as simple as "what is an inflammatory marker?"  How do you know if you are inflamed?  And more important, what do you do about it? 

The inflammatory marker is called the CRP test.  It is a simple blood test that measures the C-reactive protein, THE marker of your level of inflammation.  A low test score (1.0 or less) indicates little risk. Over 1.0 and you have chronic inflammation going on and it is doing bad things.  Those are the bad things that keep you from being functional both mentally and physically as you age.  Someone recently asked me what is the upper limit of the score...There may not be one, though people with multiple organ failure, have scores over 100--but they are near death.  This is not an obscure test that you have to fight to get.  Just ask for it.

If you have an infection, your score will be higher, and if you are overweight, your score will be higher.  One of the discoveries of recent years is that fat cells are modified cells of the immune system and full fat cells put out inflammatory molecules.  It takes more to reduce chronic inflammation if you are overweight.  That said, what it takes to reduce inflammation is well understood. 
Two of the best things you can do for yourself is get blood sugar and insulin very low and take plenty of Omega 3 fish oils--get a good brand for there are many that are worthless.  I prefer Carlson's brand myself.  And test.  Know your CRP and if it is high, get it down.  Not so you'll live to 100 or more, but so that however long you live with be without disease and dementia.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Study About Carbohydrates and Depression

Today I want to share the results of a study that just came out in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: 

Consumption of carbohydrates increases blood sugar levels to varying degrees, depending on the type of food ingested. The more highly refined the carbohydrate, the higher its score on the glycemic index (GI) scale. The GI scale, which goes from 0-100, measures the amount of sugar found in the blood after eating. Refined foods such as white bread, white rice, and soda trigger a hormonal response in the body to reduce blood sugar levels. This response may also cause or exacerbate mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression. 

The investigators found that progressively higher dietary GI scores and consumption of added sugars and refined grains were associated with increased risk of new-onset depression in post-menopausal women. Greater consumption of dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables and non-juice fruits was associated with decreased risk.

While the above information is mostly accurate and interesting (i.e. carbohydrates are mostly not human-friendly)  they started with the same ol’ same ol’ assumption that whole grains are better than processed grains.  Yes, lowering the glycemic index (or load which is dependant on serving size) is likely protective of brain and mood, but the information below needs to be factored in, too. 

1 cup of hard red winter wheat (whole) is 137 grams of carbs with a glycemic load of 68.  This is raw wheat.  I’n not sure, but cooked in water that might be two cups of whole wheat.  Halve those numbers and you get almost 70 grams of carbs with a glycemic load of 34—the glycemic load says 10 and below is a low load, over 20 is high.  Tell me how anyone can possibly think whole grains are good for blood sugar/insulin levels.  WHOLE GRAINS ARE NOT HEALTHY!!!!  They are nothing more than packages of high density glucose delivered with an unhealthy dose of anti-nutrients (lectins, phytic acid and gluten).  Whew, sorry if I was shouting.  This crappy information riles me!  If you want to avoid depression, keep the glycemic index and load of your carbs low.  But do not kid yourself that whole grains fit that bill.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

What do you think chronic inflammation is doing to your body right now?

Yes, I think you have some level of chronic inflammation going on right now.  I hope I am wrong, that you do not, but statistically, you probably do.  It is an ubiquitous player in modern life, a result of many foods you’ve been told are good, but are not; aggressive marketing by corporate edible producers, and lifestyle factors only some of which are under your control.

 Want to prove me wrong?  Ask your physician for a CRP (C-reactive protein) blood test.  It’s not obscure, and though they do not normally order it, they will without too much confrontation.  The test measures a protein that is part of the immune response.  A high level (above 1.0) indicate your immune system is simmering (or boiling) and not able to shut down so your body can heal.

 Do you have an medical condition?  Do you experience pain on a regular basis?  Those are manifestations of an immune system cranked up.  Healthy aging is not painful, forgetful, frail, disabled or fraught with medical diagnosis. 

 All those things ocurr in the presence of decades long chronic inflammation.  The damage continues to accrue until you have something (or somethings) wrong with you and a curtailed quality of life.

 So if you get the blood test, and it’s high, or you believe me that your chronic pain or disease is the result of chronic inflammation, what are you willing to do about it?  What exactly do you think it means for you—not the facts of it, but the consequence of it?

As I have researched inflammation, and what it means for myself, my friends and family, I can tell you what frightens me the most.  It is the effect of chronic inflammation on the health and function of my mind.  Having watched my own mother and others lose cognitive ability, I am most certain that isn’t what I want for myself.  An inflammed brain cannot stay sharp.  It cannot remember well.  It cannot serve us well.  But that’s not normal aging, it is pathology.

How do you reduce inflammation?  There are lots of things that help, but the biggest inflammatory factor in your body is the level of blood sugar and insulin.  They are an overwhelming cause of it.  Protein and fat do not increase blood sugar or spike insulin.  Only carbohydrates do.  Fewer are better for you, especially the high density things like sugars and grains.  The longer you have abused that system, the harder it is to get it working right again.

Next thing that reduces inflammation is to eliminate vegetable oils.  The healthy balance of Omega 3 oils (mostly animal fats) and Omega 6 oils (mostly vegetable sources) should be 50/50.  They do opposite things so an even balance keeps you right where mother nature intended.  For 40 years or more we were told saturated fat was deadly so they squeezed grass seeds to process out some oil and marketed rigorously.  Read labels.  Soy oil is in way too many packaged goods.  Too much Omega 6 is inflammatory.

Next is to eliminate the deficiencies.  Chances are very high that you are deficient in many minerals because almost everybody is.  Almost everyone is low in Vitamin D.  I blogged about these earlier this year.

Next, there are a variety of things that can tweak the process of eliminating inflammation, if the above steps do not do it for you--that depends on your individuality and lifestyle.  But the above are the ones to try first.  They are inexpensive, very effective, and have no bad side effects—only good ones. Yes, turmeric is anti-inflammatory, but if your blood sugar and insulin are high, turmeric’s benefit will be swamped and a waste of money.

Get the test.  While you’re getting that one (CRP) ask for fasting insulin.  Not fasting glucose.  Insulin should be 5 or below, lower is better.   Holler if you’d like help on any of this sort of nutritional approach to aging without brain fog, pain and disease!

So back to the question in the title…what do you think inflammation is doing in your body?  I think it is damaging you somewhere, shortening your life and increasing potential misery.  It’s keeping your body from being able to heal itself like it was intended. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Findings on Dementia

Results from 7 studies about what things boost risk of your brain failing you as you age.  Two thing to remember.  a) Your body has only one thing it can do when something is wrong (toxins, deficiencies, injuries, micro invaders)--anything wrong, it cranks up inflammation.  If it gets cranked up and never allowed to shut down it causes damage.  Where that damage shows up for you is individual, but the biggies in the category of diseases of civilization are the heart, metabolism, brain and malignant growths. Ultimately they all are part of a network (you).  All the info below ties to the inflammation thermostat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Science as an Adjunct of Big Pharma

Mice are used for many studies because they have many, many similarities to humans.   In fact, wild mice are omnivores, they eat a variety of foods including meat--insects or in hard times, each other.  If you have been reading with me for very long, you know I think carbohydrates are far too prevalent in modern human diets.  In research mice, the normal mouse chow is 13% fat, 62% carbohydrate and 25% protein.   Why they decided this is "normal" for mice is anyone's guess.  Here is the headline for a recent mouse study and one line from the study. 

Age-related cognitive decline tied to immune-system molecule "Since B2M goes up with age in blood, Cerebral Spinal Fluid, and also in the brain itself, this allows us multiple avenues in which to target this protein therapeutically."

This protein with a negative effect on brain function goes up with age.  I want to know why.  Is it correlated with other markers of chronic inflammation like CRP?  I suspect the answer is yes.  And if that's the case,  the therapeutic intervention I'd be most interested in is one that reduces chronic inflammation (including B2M protein) without drugs, by changing the diet. 

So back to the mouse diet.  If chronic inflammation is going up with age, the first place to look would be the diet.  Yikes--62% carbohydrate and low fat of only 13% would sure be inflammatory in a human.  Little mouse subject might just need a better diet that promotes a healthier--lower--level of chronic inflammation. 

My point is that there is a bias in much of the science (follow the money) to make money for big pharma.  I think this is a good example of that.  They're simply not asking the right question in the first place. They're asking what drug can ameliorate the effects of this immune protein that goes up with age?  I would ask what's making this protein go up with age and I'd bet on a diet that's totally out of whack for an omnivore.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Two Research Papers I've come across Lately

The first is interesting in that it further demonstrates that researchers are looking beyond symptoms into actual causes...and our old friend inflammation is rightly getting the blame it deserves.  What's more, there is a trend of identifying inflammation as causative of mental dysfunction.

As I am many others have said, the evidence is there that chronic inflammation causes all the pathologies of modern humans.  I just like to celebrate when it gets the attention it needs. Here's the substance of their conclusion: 

"Our findings contribute to a growing body of evidence that immune system dysfunction, including inflammation, may be involved in the pathophysiology of major psychiatric disorders...

"A new analysis of existing studies strongly supports the idea that there are increased levels of chemicals, called cytokines, in the body and brain that promote inflammation in individuals who are contemplating or have attempted suicide, even when compared to patients being treated for the same psychiatric disorders who are not suicidal.

"These cytokines are known to be involved in problems in other body organs, such as the joints (arthritis), the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis) and the lungs (asthma). Studies have long suggested that cytokines are released under conditions of psychological stress and that inflammation in the brain contributes to depression. Thus, the current study suggests that suicide emerges in the context of a relatively greater activation of the immune system than typical stress or depression."
And in another study, the headlines is this:
"Fat, sugar cause bacterial changes that may relate to loss of cognitive function"

Fat gets first billing even though the gist of the study indicates that the high sugar diet cause the most gut biome disruption.  Too many are still stuck on FAT being a culprit.  But the actual study is more interesting.  I sent for that actual paper that is going to be published.  Here are the breakdowns that don't appear in the headline.

The percentage of macronutrients are:
high fat (42% fat, 43% carbohydrate (CHO),
high sucrose (12% fat, 70% CHO (primarily sucrose)
normal chow (13% kcal fat, 62% CHO) diets 
I'm not sure what one can conclude from a high fat diet that is still 43% carbohydrate.  Isn't that still a high CHO diet?  And normal mouse chow is even higher...who says mice do best on this diet?  OK, I have lots of unanswered questions.  I'm inclined to think more than are answered...but their conclusions are actually more about the high sugar diet with just minor changes in cognitive function from what they are calling high fat.  Their Highlights are: (sucrose being table sugar and Bacterioides being the gut bacteria that are implicated in staying thin)

*High sucrose diet altered more gut bacterial orders and genera than high fat.
*High sucrose diet impaired spatial memory and cognitive flexibility.
*Increased gut Clostridiales was associated with decreased cognitive flexibility.
*Decreased gut Bacteroidales was associated with decreased cognitive flexibility.

I think the take away from this is low sugar, for sure, for healthier gut and brain but I think the info about high fat is suspect..

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Answering Two Questions

I recently had a couple questions from a friend of mine who is looking a health ideas and wondering about such things.  It's been a while since I addressed these ideas, so I'm including my responses in today's post.  The questions are:
1.  "Why can't we just get all the nutrition we need from food?
2.  "Why do I need to give up all carbs?"
1.  I think ideally, it's possible to get everything we need from food--but I also think there are some big caveats.  If the sources of our foods are impeccable.  If the soil has not been depleted of minerals.  If the animals we eat (and things like eggs and cheese and milk) have been produced in healthy ways (not stuffed with grains and antibiotics and junk).  If we have maintained levels of nutrients throughout life so the organs where these things (often minerals) are stored in our bodies are not depleted.  If we never binge on things that do damage or cause cellular dysfunction. 
But I am a pragmatist, too, and once the deficits or damage has occurred, I don't think food has a chance in hell to overcome it.  And what actually happens is that the damage of the standard American diet is accumulating over decades and people go along not recognizing the insidious development of dysfunction because the body is marvelously adaptive about self healing and making do. 
What happens is I see people in their 50's and some times earlier or later, who wake up with debilitating diagnoses and then they decide it's time to figure it out.  Like me and my arthritis.  Or my clients like the gal with COPD, or the one with asthma, or the relative youngster with multiple diagnoses of fatty liver disease and bleeding ulcers and kidney stones,  or many others I've then the nutrition possible from the best food (if even available) is just too little too late.  There is no way you can get enough selenium from food if it simply is not IN the food and your organs have no selenium stored like they need.  So I am a believer in supplements and have seen near miracles from including them.
2.  The other thing I want to emphasize is that I don't recommend no carbs.  I think vegetables and fruits have an important place in nutrition.  They contain micronutrients that can only help.  But grains--especially grains that have been ground so the cellular nature is destroyed, offer no nutrients we need (really, they lied to you) and lots we do not (especially sugar but also phytic acid, gluten, lectins).  And while generally  both veggies and rice are carbs, a half cup of cooked rice is 50 grams of sugar but it takes 4 and a half cups of broccoli to get 50 grams.  And who eats a half cup of rice????  In fact if you get 50 grams of carbs a day on a low carb diet like I'm doing right now, that's still a lot of veggies and berries.  More animal fat and protein do almost nothing to bounce up blood sugar and insulin, but carbs are 100% to blame for it.  And your brain function as you age is more dependent on blood sugar and insulin that the "experts" are saying.  Want a sharp mind?  Keep fasting insulin low and that takes less sugar in your food and blood!
Get your tests done.  (A1C, Fasting Insulin, Vitamin D and CRP)  They tell the story.  Bad numbers mean chronic disease processes are going on--and while that manifests  differently for different people, it does manifest eventually.  Aging does not have to mean diseases and aches and pains and low energy.  Yes, you will die some day.  but the things most people are dying of are not normal aging and not inevitable.
Can such stuff be healed?  I think so and I see it often.  I had one client contact me after less than a week of no grains and no sugar and ask if he was just imagining his arthritis was better so quickly.  So I ask people, "What's it worth to you to be free of pain and the chronic or acute disease that plagues you?  Do you even believe it's possible to have robust health?  At any age." 
I think healing is possible at almost any stage of disease--at least dramatic improvement...but it takes a lot and not everyone wants to be free of pain or disease--there is much psychology tied up in things like 'do I want to live or die?' or "does my disease get me attention I like or get me out of things I don't want to do????'  The answers are different for everybody and sometimes I just have to watch people makes choices I wouldn't want for myself...But for some of us, the effort to clean up what we're putting into our bodies is worth it!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Insulin Resistand aka Metabolic Syndrome

 If you read National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) it will tell you that obesity causes metabolic syndrome (ie insulin resistance).  There are plenty of folk who challenge that assertion and think it's the other way around--that insulin resistance causes obesity.  I'm in that camp.  Here's the thing.  If you get a fasting glucose test that tells you your blood sugar is normal, it doesn't speak at all to insulin resistance, which is basically this:
      When you eat a lot of carbohydrates (or any sort) it takes a lot of insulin to handle it all and eventually the cells get tired of 'listening' to insulin yelling at them and put in ear plugs.  Now insulin has to scream to be heard (there's lots more of it produced).  You blood sugar might still be normal, but insulin is elevated.  If you are overweight, you are almost surely insulin resistant.
Why does that matter?  Lots of insulin in toxic. It triggers lots of inflammatory response.  The next step on that road is type II diabetes and more health issues.
If you are insulin resistant, it's almost impossible to lose weight--for two reasons.  Number one is that insulin is the hormone of hunger--you'll be starving all the time.  Nuber two is that when the cells are not listening so well, insulin shuffles those glucose molecules into fat cells at body fat.  Double whammy.
Stomach bypass surgeries cure insulin resistance but those surgeries are simply enforced starvation. So so major fasting intervals also cures insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.  Low carbs cures it.  Carbs cause it (probably other things too see below), so of course their lack eventually cures it.
But this is the main thing I want to tell you today.  There are some nutrients that are known to help reverse insulin resistance.  I'm going to list them below, but this is the thing I find bizarre.  If they help cure it, why doesn't anyone look into how their lack (deficiency) contribute to the development of insulin resistance --and by implication, the development of diabetes.
Stephen Guyenet, an obesity researcher,  says:
            So what's the ideal fasting insulin level? My current feeling is that we can consider anything             between 2 and 6 uIU/mL within our evolutionary template.      

So My fasting insulin test of a couple months ago was 8.2--clearly in the metabolic syndrome range and I have been having great difficulty losing weight.  Also, it concerns me for the other potential long term effects--none of them good.  So I just had another fasting insulin test this last week and my new score is 3.0.  And I have started to lose weight.
What am I doing different?  Several things.  I am working out vigorously and building muscle.  BTW, it is very functional and it feels wonderful to be getting stronger (even at this late age).  I have lowered carbs some and I am more rigorous about intermittent fasting.  (I'm really motivated right now). 
But the biggest thing, I'm pretty sure, is that I have added all the supplements on which there is good evidence of reversing insulin resistance.  They are:
                Vitamin K2
                Vitamin D (high levels are known to prevent insulin resistance, I think it cures it too.

If you want to know what levels or brands I've tried, email me privately.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015


The government who has wrongly told us to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol, drastically cut salt and eat sugars (cleverly disguised as carbohydrates) is now reversing that advice based on the science.
A short excerpt below:
"In short. Cholesterol is healthy, saturated fat is healthy, salt is healthy and sugar is unhealthy. I have pulled those four points out of a press release by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics"
I recommend you read this blog and I note the information is coming from Scotland not the US where all that crappy advice originated. if your doctor would just get the word...the blog is found here:

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Cholesterol Hypothesis is not true

Borrowed this AM from Dr. Malcolm Kendrick's blog
Here is the introduction to the chapter on cholesterol and mortality:
All-cause mortality is the most appropriate outcome to use when investigating risk factors for life threatening disease. Section 1 discusses all-cause mortality according to cholesterol levels, as determined by large epidemiological studies in Japan. Overall, an inverse trend is found between all-cause mortality and total (or low density lipoprotein [LDL]) cholesterol levels: mortality is highest in the lowest cholesterol group without exception. If limited to elderly people, this trend is universal. As discussed in Section 2, elderly people with the highest cholesterol levels have the highest survival rates irrespective of where they live in the world.
I don’t think that I really need to say anything else, other than to repeat this fact. If you have a high cholesterol (LDL) level, you will live longer. This is especially true of the elderly.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Interesting Article about eating organic

This article is interesting in that it tracks pesticide residues in people who ate organic for two weeks

If you're not growing your own, it might pay to get organic produce especially of those items that show up on the "Dirty Dozen" list every year. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

"What I discovered about Selenium Supplements"

I started supplementing selenium when diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease, and the selenium was the cure.  It might be more accurate to say that the disease was a deficiency of selenium. Rather inadvertently I discovered that selenium dramatically improved carpal tunnel as well.  The brand of Selenium I was taking was Life Extension and the form of selenium was two forms:
Se-methyl L-selenocysteine and L-selenomethionine.  It was combined with Vitamin E.

When I ran out I got a different brand and took those for a couple months or more, but noticed the carpal tunnel symptoms were  back slightly.  I no longer have that bottle so I don't know what form it was but it did not have Vitamin E. 

I recently went back to the original brand and type and have seen fairly noticeable improvement in carpal tunnel in about a week or ten days.  I can't say for sure why, but if you want my recommendation, I'd suggest Life Extension brand with the two forms of selenium and Vitamin E. 

On the same note, there is a lot of really worthless fish oil capsules on the market.  For the purists, you might want to try Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil, look it up on Amazon and read the reviews.  I have not tried it.  A little spendy for me.  I use Carlson's brand Norwegian Salmon oil.  OK, it's not straight salmon oil.  Their salmon is farmed.  But the quality is good, there is benefit from their product and it's affordable to me.  I have tried many brands over the years and many are a waste of money.  Real Omega 3's are actually effective at reducing inflammation and so reduce pain. Better than aspirin. Carlson's delivers and I choose not to be a purist on this item.

I'd like to hear from any of you who have tried good or bad supplements.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

More Information on Vitamin D

This next quote I think is important.  Our culture--in terms of politics, nutrition and other areas--thrives on promoting fear.  You will hear dire warnings about too much Vitamin D (and other things).  The following is a breath of sanity.
 "The evidence is clear that vitamin D toxicity is one of the rarest medical conditions and is typically due to intentional or inadvertent intake of extremely high doses," writes Hollick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine.
ANd as far as what's a good level, some are recommending 20 as within the normal range.  Bit when studies test levels of Vitamin D in the blood of peoples who live in the sun, we probably get a better idea of what's normal.  So here are two.
Many of us have been waiting years for this data. To me, it means that the Vitamin D Council’s recommendation of 50 ng/ml is just about right, although I cannot argue with someone who recommends a level of 55 ng/ml. Remember, when errors in measuring vitamin D are made, they usually are overestimates. Thus, if mean natural levels are around 45 ng/ml, keeping your level around 50-55 ng/ml keeps you within what both the Maasai and the Hadzabe are telling us.
We measured the sum of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D₂ and D₃ (25(OH)D) concentrations of thirty-five pastoral Maasai (34 (SD 10) years, 43 % male) and twenty-five Hadzabe hunter-gatherers (35 (SD 12) years, 84 % male) living in Tanzania. They have skin type VI, have a moderate degree of clothing, spend the major part of the day outdoors, but avoid direct exposure to sunlight when possible. Their 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography-MS/MS. The mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations of Maasai and Hadzabe were 119 (range 58-167) and 109 (range 71-171) nmol/l, respectively. Br J Nutr
Also there is evidence that aging per se does not cause poorer conversion of sunlight to Vitamin D, but rather that as people spend less time in the sun they begin to lose the ability to convert sunlight to Vitamin D.   Use it or lose it, apparently.  A good question to ask is if that ability can be restored with more sun exposure.  So far I can't find an answer.

Monday, April 27, 2015


I’ve been harping on minerals, especially in terms of what prevents cancer.  I stand by the information.  More looking at research is just more convincing.  You probably are low in some or most that I have discussed unless you are supplementing or have a very unusual source of produce and protein.  The nutrient I want to talk about today is choline, sort of in the family of B Vitamins.  And btw, a deficiency of this nutrient may play a role in causing liver cancer.  But it has far reaching effects that I want to touch on.  Another btw, it’s pronounced Coline. 

Here is a list of the things the research indicates (just cut and pasted from numerous sites): 

·         Choline is positively associated with specific cognitive functions, namely verbal memory and visual memory.

·         A choline deficiency can greatly impair your memory and reasoning functions while also making it harder to focus and even affecting your mood.

·         structural integrity and fluidity of neuronal membranes

·         Lower levels may be associated with inattention, difficulty remembering new information and recalling stored memories, diminished mental energy and the characteristic sensation of “brain fog”.

·         Anti-inflammatory

·         Helps to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida

·         May help you run the final miles of your marathon at a faster-than-usual pace.  Athletes have also been known to use Choline to give them an edge in sports performance. This is normally for the purpose of delaying the onset of fatigue. Endurance athletes benefit greatly, as do weight lifters and body builders looking to perform extra reps before their muscles fill with lactic acid.

·         Able to prevent fat from accumulating in the liver. Autopsies and ultrasound studies have shown that up to 75% of the obese and 70-85% of type 2 diabetics have fatty livers. And the low-profile but essential nutrient choline appears to provide the solution to the problem

·         May be useful to limit neurologic damage in stroke patients and improve retinal function in some glaucoma patients, maybe in dementia and head trauma cases as well.

·         Using Choline to lose weight is a proven, effective technique.

·         Helps reverse insulin resistance

 The last two are particularly of interest to me and I have recently started supplementing with choline.  I will report later. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Importance of Minerals

First of all, I have a correction.  I went back over old blog posts and realized I mis-spoke mathematically about how much selenium I took.  At most I was taking 600 mcg and then dropped that amount to 400.  The upper safe limit is 600 per day and more is not likely to help and may hurt.   I am currently looking into what difference the form of selenium supplement makes and will report.  Also, it needs to be taken with some Vitamin E as they work together.

I've run into information recently that zinc also plays a role in cancer prevention--probably other health issues.  Bottom line, all the minerals are extraordinarily important for our long term wellness.  I'd like to find a mineral supplement that is good.  All formulations I've so far looked at, are heavy on calcium and low on magnesium for a start.  We need at least as much magnesium per day as calcium, and a glass of milk is 300 mg of calcium.  If you drink milk, that Ca needs to be factored in.  None of the formulation I've looked at, has anything close to enough iodine or selenium, either, considering that nearly everyone is dangerously low in those.

Vitamins matter.  But vitamins are fairly easy to get.  Because they are so depleted in soils, I can almost guarantee you are low in many minerals and they matter big time.  They are extremely critical to all body processes, all the chemical reactions that constitute the complexity of our biology.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Miscellaneous Research

Today’s post is a collection of things I’ve run into in research that I think are interesting and useful information in terms of wellness and aging.  I will give you a plain explanation first then cut and paste from the research.


1)  Since we’ve been talking about cancer, this first is about cancer.  The Warburg effect is the discovery that cancer only feeds on glucose.  Unlike your muscles which can switch to another fuel, cancer cells cannot.  This research found that short term fasting kills cancer cells.  It does so by depriving them of a way to generate energy for cell activities.  This is up and coming research and we’ll be hearing more about it.


Fasting induces anti-warburg effect that increases respiration but reduces ATP-synthesis to promote apoptosis in colon cancer models


These findings indicate that the glucose and amino acid deficiency conditions imposed by STS (short term starvation) promote an anti-Warburg effect characterized by increased oxygen consumption but failure to generate ATP, resulting in oxidative damage and apoptosis.




New insight into the link between neurodegenerative disorders and inflammation has been gained by a new study that provides a framework to explore more fully the possibility that viral infection may lead to onset of these diseases.

3)  This one is easy to understand. 



Fewer than half of the physicians trained in the United States in 2013 received formal education or training on the subject of exercise, according to new research. "There are immense medical benefits to exercise; it can help as much as medicine to address some health concerns," said a national expert on the benefits of physical activity. "Because exercise has medicinal as well as other benefits, I was surprised that medical schools didn't spend more time on it."

4)  If you are insulin resistant…and the only way to really know is a fasting insulin test (not glucose)…this is very important information.  BTW, most people I know—even some thin ones are insulin resistant.  I was really pleased with what I learned about selenium and iodine, but magnesium is every bit as critical if not more so.  Like all minerals, if it’s not in the soil it doesn’t get into the plants. 

I go in for blood work next week and will have more to say about what minerals have done for me.  But one unexpected result of adding magnesium supplements is that of reduced incidence of getting up in the night to use the bathroom.  That’s a biggie for it means my sleep is better.


This study basically says that magnesium can prevent the transition from insulin resistance to type II diabetes because it reduces insulin resistance.  Take some.


Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects - a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial.


The incidence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome correlates with the availability of magnesium (Mg). We studied the effect of oral Mg supplementation on insulin sensitivity and other characteristics of the metabolic syndrome in normomagnesemic, overweight, insulin resistant, non-diabetic subjects.. The results provide significant evidence that oral Mg supplementation improves insulin sensitivity even in normomagnesemic, overweight, non-diabetic subjects emphasizing the need for an early optimization of Mg status to prevent insulin resistance and subsequently type 2 diabetes.


5)  Along the same lines, the following from Diabetes Care, is self explanatory


In a 2011 controlled trial, vitamin K2 supplementation improved insulin sensitivity.


To summarize, we have demonstrated for the first time that vitamin K2 supplementation for 4 weeks increased insulin sensitivity in healthy young men.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Few More Ideas re: Nutrition

Quick heads up of research I ran across today:  They found that one out of three college athletes have low Vitamin D levels making them more prone to injury and more pain.

Pregnant women with low Vitamin D levels have more painful labors.  Get your Vitamin D level checked.  Sweet spot according to the best info I can find is 50-70.

You’ve ‘heard’ me talk about nutrition for a while now.  If nutrition is perfect, health and vigor is perfect.  That’s the premise I support.  Otherwise we’d not be a successful species.  The following article link is a parallel demonstration of that idea from the plant world.  Below is just an excerpt from that article.  By the way, the premise is not about blame or trying to induce guilt, but rather gaining knowledge and getting back to real food, supplementing where it is advisable and losing the toxic components we’ve been brainwashed into accepting as nutrition.

The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture

By studying the immune systems of plants, they've developed a technique that eliminates the need for chemicals.

Kempf is the unlikely founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, a consulting firm established in 2006 to promote science-intensive organic agriculture. The entrepreneur’s story is almost identical to Zook’s (the farmer in this story).  A series of crop failures on his own farm drove the 8th grade-educated Kempf to school himself in the sciences.  For two years, he pored over research in biology, chemistry, and agronomy in pursuit of a way to save his fields.

The breakthrough came from the study of plant immune systems which, in healthy plants, produce an array of compounds that are toxic to intruders.  “The immune response in plants is dependent on well-balanced nutrition,” Kempf concluded, “in much the same way as our own immune system.”  Modern agriculture uses fertilizer specifically to increase yields, he added, with little awareness of the nutritional needs of other organic functions.  Through plant sap analysis, Kempf has been able to discover deficiencies in important trace minerals which he can then introduce into the soil. With plants able to defend themselves, pesticides can be avoided, allowing the natural predators of pests to flourish.

"Instead of trying to grow crops that are healthy with fungicides and pesticides, I started to grow crops that are healthy with nutrition."  (Zook)

And one more point to ponder today.  In Great Britain the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN),  is in the process of updating the Government’s recommendations for carbohydrate consumption.  Of the 40 scientists in the SCAN group, all but 13 have received funding from sugar and related industries. 

Lest we Americans get big heads about England’s level of corruption, our own is just as bad or worse.  What’s wrong with having the sugar industry (or wheat farmers or corn farmers) dictate government nutrition recommendations? 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why is Cancer Prevention Using Nutrition Not in the Media a Lot More?

If it’s clear from the literature that cancer prevention hinges mainly on minerals, Vitamin D and blood sugar (staying low) why don’t we hear more about cancer prevention using these strategies?

To answer that, ask yourself who benefits from the use of these (minerals, Vitamin D and low blood sugar)?  The general public could, but the general public is not trying to make a buck treating sick people. 


Would the pharmaceutical companies benefit from minerals, vitamins?  Nope.
Would the junk food industry who wants to sell you lots of their sugar saturated junk?  Nope.
Would your doctor benefit by taking an hour to tell you all about selenium, iodine, magnesium, Vitamin D and keeping blood sugar low?  Nope.
How about the oncologist who makes a living once you HAVE cancer? Nope.
There is no one who benefits from pushing this information—not even me who has spent the better part of six weeks finding out all this information and talking about it?  Nope.  Except my own wellness has benefited.  For not only are these cancer prevention but they are disease prevention as well.  And cure. 
So today, a short blog and I leave you with this Amazon review for the book “Megans’s Cure” which is a book about a cure for cancer.  And when you finish, ask yourself, “How sick is that?”

 an Amazon review of a kindle book, Megans cure

”Several decades ago, one of my college professors told my class that the world cannot afford to find a cure for cancer. It would undermine not just the US economy but the entire world economy. He went on to discuss things such as how many people are employed because of cancer... doctors, nurses, technicians, hospital personnel (even the maids, cafeteria workers and admission clerks), insurance company personnel, pharmacists (and their clerks, buyers, warehouse and delivery people), drug company personnel, researchers, grant writers and other research fund-seekers, workers in hotels, taxis and airlines who deliver loved ones to where they need to be and all the people who design, build, lease/sell and maintain the health facilities, just to name a few. If there were no cancer, he told us, a huge percentage of our workforce would be unemployed. And don't forget the loss in tax revenue from all of these people and companies who are no longer earning taxable money. I didn't know if I believed him then. But years later I still mull over the premise and have to confess that I have, indeed, come to believe him.”

I do too.