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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.