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Posted by: | Posted on: December 6, 2019

Choose Avocados to Help Reduce Risk for Obesity and Diabetes


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/06/avocados-help-reduce-obesity-diabetes-risk.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  — Fact Checked
avocado diabetes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Avocados may help with weight management and blood sugar control, reducing your risk of obesity and diabetes. Avocados help you feel full longer, are packed with fiber and are high in amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, potassium and vitamin K
  • Researchers have discovered a unique fat molecule in avocados, avocatin B (AvoB), which demonstrates a positive effect on reducing insulin resistance by assisting the body in the complete oxidation of fatty acids in mitochondria. Results were positive in an animal study and human subjects
  • Factors affecting your risk of diabetes include obesity, high blood pressure, lack of physical activity, depression and a history of heart disease or stroke. Additionally, low levels of vitamin D and magnesium are associated with a higher risk of diabetes
  • The practice of intermittent fasting, during which you restrict calories for several hours or days, has a positive effect on metabolic flexibility, reducing your risk of diabetes. Consider one of several ways to incorporate this practice in your routine

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat your body burns easily for energy. They may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat every day as they help protect your heart and optimize your cholesterol. They also are rich in fiber.

Together with high amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, potassium and vitamin K, the avocado is a fruit you may want to consider for more than guacamole. Adding avocados to salad also helps your body to absorb three to five times more carotenoids, helping your body fight against free radical damage.

An average sized avocado also contains about 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium, a mineral used by every organ in your body. Insufficient levels may lead to unexplained muscle fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or muscle spasms.

Avocados are also surprisingly high in fiber, which plays an important role in digestive, heart and skin health. Fiber is also important in helping to regulate blood sugar and weight management. One study found eating one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may help you feel full longer and prevent snacking later.

Avocados don’t ripen on the tree, but only after they’re picked. Choose firm avocados, as they will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, ripening slowly. On your counter, they will ripen within a few days. After you cut it, an avocado will turn brown from oxidation.

If you don’t eat it all, you can keep it fresh longer by leaving the pit with the avocado and storing in an airtight container. Brush lemon juice and olive oil over the cut flesh to help inhibit oxidation. Be aware, though, that the oil can add oiliness to the texture, while the juice will give it a slight lemon flavor.

Avocados at Breakfast May Reduce Hunger Through the Day

Being overweight increases the risk of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, and it’s possible that eating avocados may help address these conditions. When it comes to weight management, some ethnic groups may be more prone to developing both prediabetes and Type 1 diabetes, for example, Hispanic/Latino Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1

Although this is “a diverse group that includes people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican and South and Central American,” they all have a higher potential risk of developing diabetes than nonHispanic whites, the CDC says. The increased risk may come from general risk factors including genetics, foods you eat, your weight and your activity levels.

To gain insight into how to affect change, one survey of Hispanic millennials showed that they would be interested in learning about lifestyle changes they could make that could reduce their risk for diabetes without medication.2 The investigation was spearheaded by the Hass Avocado Board, which runs Saborea Uno Hoy, a self-described research program3 that promotes avocados for their health benefits.

A clinical study published in Nutrients4 sought to evaluate how well avocados could satisfy hunger and replace carbohydrates in a meal. Using 31 overweight or obese adults, the researchers used a visual analog scale that matched against serum levels of ghrelin, a hormone associated with appetite, to measure how full the participants felt after consuming one of three different meals.

There was greater suppression of hunger after the participants consumed a whole avocado as compared to the control meal high in carbohydrates and low in fat. They also felt more satisfied after a meal with a half or whole avocado as compared to the control meal.

The researchers wrote, “Replacing carbohydrates in a high-carbohydrate meal with avocado-derived fat-fiber combination increased feelings of satiety …” Although the study size was small, the findings support a growing body of research that eating healthy fats, including those found in avocados, has a positive impact on weight management and glucose control.

A Fat Found Only in Avocado Associated With Glycemic Control

Another intriguing study found that avocados have yet another impact on glucose control and the management of diabetes.5 Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, discovered a fat molecule found only in avocados, avocatin B (AvoB), has a positive effect on reducing insulin resistance.6

The researchers wrote a diabetic’s inability to properly utilize blood glucose is associated with mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. When the body completely oxidizes fatty acid, the body can use fat for fuel. However, obesity and diabetes inhibit the body’s ability to completely oxidize fatty acids.

AvoB counters this incomplete oxidation in the pancreas and skeletal muscles, improving insulin sensitivity. As detailed by Science Daily, scientists fed mice fed high-calorie meals for eight weeks to induce obesity and insulin resistance. Then, in the following five weeks, they added AvoB to the diet of half the group.

At the end of the study the treated animals weighed less than those in the control group, demonstrating slower weight gain during the intervention, and exhibiting improved insulin sensitivity. The researchers also engaged human subjects and found AvoB supplement was absorbed safely without affecting kidney or liver function.

The human subjects also enjoyed weight reduction while eating a typical Western diet. The beneficial effects of consuming monounsaturated fats from avocados shown in recent studies support past research7 comparing a diet rich in complex carbohydrates against one rich in oleic acid from avocado and olive oil.

Data revealed replacing complex digestible carbohydrates with monounsaturated fatty acids in those with noninsulin-dependent diabetes improved the participants lipid profile while maintaining glycemic control.

Certain Lifestyle Choices May Increase Risk of Diabetes

In 2015, 9.4% of the U.S. population had been diagnosed with diabetes.8 This is slightly higher than the 8.5% of global prevalence among adults over 18 years of age recorded by the World Health Organization9 in 2014.

Your potential risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is dependent on your lifestyle choices and genetics. While you can’t change your genes, there are certain risk factors over which you have control that can affect your chances of getting diabetes, including:10

Being overweight or obese Having high blood pressure Dealing with depression
Having an imbalance in your cholesterol levels Having a history of heart disease or stroke Being physically inactive

In addition to these risk factors, low levels of vitamin D also affect your risk for developing metabolic syndrome, characterized by high triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, large waist circumference, high blood pressure and high blood sugar and/or insulin resistance.

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone responsible for influencing virtually every cell in your body. Studies have found those who have lower levels of vitamin D have a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Low levels of magnesium also contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

One review found magnesium deficiency may be the greatest predictor of heart disease, and that even subclinical deficiency may compromise your cardiovascular health. Studies have found those who have Type 2 diabetes are more prone to magnesium deficiency; depletion has been found in 75% with poorly controlled disease.

In addition, magnesium plays an important role in the regulation of high blood pressure, another risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Studies have also demonstrated supplementation may lower your risk and improve your condition if you currently have diabetes.

You can boost your magnesium by eating foods rich in magnesium, using Epsom salt baths or taking an oral supplement. My personal preference is magnesium threonate, since it appears to be efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including the mitochondria and blood-brain barrier.

Intermittent Fasting Helps You Achieve Metabolic Flexibility

When your body is resistant to insulin it lowers the cells’ ability to use glucose for energy. In response, the pancreas secretes more insulin to overcome the cells’ weak response and maintain blood glucose in a healthy range. Additionally, animal studies have demonstrated that repeated fasting may induce pancreatic beta cell growth accompanied by a marked improvement in blood sugar control.

In one animal study, researchers found pancreatic fat plays a role in the development of Type 2 diabetes, but intermittent fasting helps prevent these fatty deposits. The team found mice undergoing intermittent fasting every other day exhibited better glucose control and less fat in the liver and pancreas than the control group that was allowed unlimited food.

Intermittent fasting encourages your body to burn fat for fuel. By not relying exclusively on carbohydrates, it reduces insulin resistance that can develop in tissues and organs. Your skeletal muscle burns 60% to 80% of glucose thought to be related to the interaction of skeletal muscle and insulin resistance in those with Type 2 diabetes.

An overall metabolic inflexibility may be overridden by fasting and improving mitochondrial capacity. In other words, the ability to use both fat and carbohydrates for fuel is necessary to reduce insulin resistance, maintain weight and achieve optimal health.

What Is Intermittent Fasting and How Do You Practice It?

There are several ways to integrate intermittent fasting. The idea is to forgo food for a specific amount of time. The method you choose will vary by the number of days, hours and calories you allow.

There is no one plan that works for everyone, so it’s likely you’ll find a way to fit it into your lifestyle preferences to improve your metabolic flexibility. I recommend starting with a 12-hour fast from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Once you have achieved this for a week, try adding one hour every week for a month. This will help you easily move from a 12-hour daily fast to a 16-hour daily fast.

Before starting, remember intermittent fasting is not necessarily a form of calorie restriction but, rather, eliminating food sources to improve metabolic flexibility. Sugar and hunger cravings will disappear as your body begins burning fat, so the quality of your diet does play an important role in your health.

Reduce or eliminate as much processed food as possible and practice fasting under your physician’s care if you have an underlying medical condition. Here are several different ways of incorporating intermittent fasting into your daily routine:

  • 12-hours-a-day fast — This is often used as a jumping-off point as described above.
  • 16-hours-a-day fast — This is sometimes referred to as the 16/8 method and is a graduation from the 12-hour fast. Many people choose to finish eating by 7 p.m. and do not eat again until noon.
  • Two days a week — For some it may be easier to restrict food for 24 hours twice weekly as opposed to each day. Men may eat up to 600 calories on the fasting days and women up to 500 calories. To use this type of intermittent fasting successfully, there should be at least one nonfasting day between your fasting days.
  • Every other day — There are several variations of an every-other-day plan. Some completely avoid solid food and others allow up to 500 calories on fasting days. The authors of one study found this type of intermittent fasting was effective for weight loss and heart health for both normal and overweight adults.
  • Meal skipping — This is a more flexible approach that works well for those who respond to hunger signals and normally eat when they’re hungry and skip meals when they’re not.
– Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 29, 2019

What high blood pressure, insulin resistance and obesity are telling you about your liver health

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/obesity-fatty-liver-3202.html
by:  

(NaturalHealth365) According to the Fatty Liver Foundation, more than 100 million people in the U.S. have a fatty liver, and most of those people don’t even know it.  And with 2/3 of the population suffering with obesity … these numbers are expected to soar in the coming years.  Keep in mind, this health condition leads to millions of people developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis plus liver cirrhosis and failure.

Here’s the point: Since most people don’t realize they have fatty liver disease, it’s critical to understand liver health, other conditions linked to liver disease, and how you can prevent it.

For example, recent studies have discovered a link between fatty liver and metabolic syndrome – which includes components like high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance along with high blood sugar levels. This means that your blood pressure, blood sugar, and even your weight could be telling you a whole lot about your liver health.

The link between fatty liver, high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance

Fatty liver has a strong association with obesity, a condition that is well-known for increasing your risk of dying from other diseases. Obesity, especially visceral fat around the abdomen, is a significant component of metabolic syndrome, a grouping of disorders that may include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia.

Recently, researchers have brought attention to the relationship between fatty liver and high blood pressure, as well. Experts took a look at the livers in individuals with high blood pressure that had normal liver blood tests and no risk factors for poor liver health.

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Even without apparent risk factors for liver disease, an incredible 30% of these hypertension people studied also had a fatty liver. The results show a clear link between fatty liver and high blood pressure.

Interestingly, researchers discovered that while none of the subjects were overtly diabetic or obese, individuals with high blood pressure and fatty livers had higher body mass indices, insulin resistance, and glucose levels than the people who had high blood pressure without fatty liver.

The importance of early screening for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Generally, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a silent disease that presents no symptoms. Even when cirrhosis develops, there are rarely symptoms until the liver sustains so much damage that a liver transplant is needed.

For this reason, it’s essential to pay attention to other conditions linked to fatty liver disease, such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and obesity. If you have any of these components of metabolic syndrome, talk to your doctor about early screening.

The Fatty Liver Foundation advocates for early screening, and new technology offers a quick, economical, and easy method for early screening known as a FibroScreen. While many insurance companies may not pay for the scan unless you’re displaying symptoms, talk to your doctor about the option of early testing if you have metabolic syndrome.

The key to preventing liver failure is early detection (and immediate changes in lifestyle), so addressing this issue early can certainly save your life.

Sources for this article include:

BMJ.com
TheClinics.com
FattyLiverFoundation.org

Posted by: | Posted on: November 29, 2019

The connection between artificial sweeteners and diabetes

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/artificial-sweeteners-diabetes-3201.html

by:  

artificial-sweeteners-news

(NaturalHealth365) According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes has become a pandemic, affecting 30 million people in the United States alone. Unfortunately, the rate of diabetes continues to grow exponentially due to the overconsumption of processed foods – which dominate the standard American diet or its more popular name, “SAD.”

Shockingly, by 2030, WHO is predicting diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death around the world.  So, what’s the main ingredient fueling this health crisis of metabolic disorders?  Look no further than the consumption of artificial sweeteners, under names like, Sweet’N Low, NutriSweet, Equal, aspartame – the list goes on and on.

Listen to the experts: Artificial sweeteners are neurotoxic – causing major health problems

A study at the Imperial College of London found that people who drink a single 12-ounce soda a day increased their risk of type-2 diabetes by 18 percent – compared to those who avoided soda.

A study from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that women who drink one soda per day double their risk of developing type 2 diabetes – compared to women who drink less than one soda per month.

In addition, if these quotes (below) don’t make you think twice about consuming artificial sweeteners … then, nothing will.

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“Unfortunately, many patients in my practice, and others seen in consultation, developed serious metabolic, neurologic and other complications that could be specifically attributed to using aspartame products. This was evidenced by the loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia, the occurrence of presumed ‘insulin reactions’ (including convulsions) that proved to be aspartame reactions, and the precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these products… dramatic improvement of such features after avoiding aspartame, and the prompt predictable recurrence of these problems when the patient resumed aspartame products, knowingly or inadvertently.” – H.J.Roberts, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P

“In view of all these indications that the cancer-causing potential of aspartame is a matter that had been established way beyond any reasonable doubt, one can ask: What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? Is it not clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that aspartame has caused brain tumors or brain cancer in animals?” – Dr. Adrian Gross, former FDA toxicologist

“So in the case of diet drinks in aluminum cans, the very toxic brain aluminum fluoride compound co-exists with multiple toxins found in aspartame, thus creating the most powerful government-approved toxic soup imaginable. With the strong association between aluminum, excitotoxins, aluminum fluoride complexes and Alzheimer’s disease, it would be completely irresponsible to encourage people to consume this toxic mixture.” – Russell Blaylock, M.D.

Uninformed consumers, in an effort to reduce sugar intake and reduce the risk of diabetes, tend to think that artificial sweeteners offer some kind of “safe” alternative to processed sugar. But, as we now know, the scientific evidence is abundantly clear – consuming artificial sweeteners actually increase the risk of obesity, diabetes plus many other health problems.

How artificial sweeteners cause glucose intolerance

When researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel began studying the effects of aspartame, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners in the body, what they found was startling. Data acquired through the study revealed a significant change within the composition and function of the ‘good’ bacteria within the intestines of mice fed a steady measure of various non-caloric artificial sweeteners.

Since these bacteria play an important role in digestion and glucose metabolism, threatening this balance of good and bad bacteria, within the gut, by eating artificial sweeteners can lead to glucose intolerance, over time.

In addition to changing the intestinal bacterial composition, artificial sweeteners were also linked to higher blood sugar levels. People who regularly consume chemical sugar substitutes were found to have greater difficulty regulating blood sugar, and people who do not normally consume artificial sweeteners experienced higher blood sugar levels after doing so for just one week.

One of the researchers at Weizmann, Eran Elinav, told reporters during a news conference that he made a decision to stop using artificial sweeteners because of the surprising results of the study.

Artificial sweeteners proven to do more harm than good

With scientific data that upholds the dangers of artificial sweeteners within the gut and other areas of the body, why would anyone continue consuming these dangerous substances? Furthermore, why are these substances still touted as ‘safe’ and even beneficial for people who need to lower their sugar intake or calorie consumption?

Sadly, there are many organizations like, the American Cancer Society … that continue to push the notion that aspartame is “safe” and does not cause cancer.  Just look at what they say … and we’ll let you decide how deceptive they are.

In about 6,000 food products, artificial sweeteners lurk in all kinds of commonly consumed products such as, sugar-free gum, diet sodas, breakfast cereals, baby food and even the most popular brands of yogurt. It’s no wonder we see the steady growth of obesity, diabetes and neurological diseases like, Alzheimer’s.

Instead of using these neurotoxin poisons to prevent or “manage” diabetes, we must learn to enjoy natural sugars (in moderation) and commit to a lifestyle of clean, healthy living – including the consumption of organic vegetables, fruits, sprouted nuts, seeds plus a reasonable amount of healthy fats and proteins … as much as possible.

Combined with an active lifestyle, a balanced diet of real food – found in nature – free of artificial sweeteners and other food additives … will enable you to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and never be concerned about diabetes.

Sources for this article include:

Clinical.Diabetesjournals.org
Nature.com

Posted by: | Posted on: November 22, 2019

Skyrocketing Charges for Insulin Should Be a Crime


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/22/insulin-price-gouging.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  – Fact Checked – November 22, 2019
insulin price gouging

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks and destroys the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, which is why it’s also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetics require a steady supply of insulin for their survival, as their bodies produce little or no insulin at all
  • As prices of insulin have skyrocketed, many Type 1 diabetics are now risking their lives by rationing insulin
  • The price of insulin tripled between 2002 and 2013, and has doubled again since then. The three dominant makers of insulin, Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk, all sell their insulin for approximately the same prices, and have raised them in lockstep, raising suspicions of price fixing
  • Your lifestyle will have an impact on your blood sugar control. Ways to help manage your glucose levels include limiting your net carb intake, timing your meals appropriately, eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly

Conventional medicine still has Type 2 diabetes misidentified as a blood sugar problem. In reality, the condition is rooted in insulin resistance and faulty leptin signaling, caused by chronically elevated insulin and leptin levels. In other words, it’s a diet-derived condition that can be reversed using a cyclical ketogenic diet and fasting.

This is why the medical community’s approach to Type 2 diabetes treatment, which typically involves the administration of insulin, is fatally flawed and professionally irresponsible. Treating Type 2 diabetes with insulin is actually one of the worst things you can do, as it simply accelerates dying from the disease.

Type 1 diabetics, on the other hand, do require a steady supply of insulin for their survival, as their bodies produce little or no insulin at all. Previously called juvenile diabetes, there are actually more adults with Type 1 diabetes than there are children with the condition, with an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million Type 1 diabetics in the U.S. alone.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks and destroys your pancreatic cells that produce insulin, which is why it’s also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes. Tragically, as prices of insulin have skyrocketed, many Type 1 diabetics are now risking their lives by rationing their insulin use.1

Skyrocketing Costs Force Type 1 Diabetics to Risk Their Lives

In a recent article,2 The Washington Post tells the story of Alec Raeshawn Smith, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2015, just shy of his 24th birthday. Two years later, his health insurance coverage under his mother’s policy expired, leaving him with two expensive options: Get his own insurance, which would cost about $450 per month with a $7,000 deductible, or pay for his diabetic supplies out of pocket. The Washington Post continues:

“What Alec soon learned was just how much his insulin would end up costing… The price of insulin — once modest — has skyrocketed in recent years, making the lifesaving medication a significant, even burdensome, expense, especially for the uninsured and underinsured.

The costs are so heavy that they have driven some patients to ration their supplies of the drug in a dangerous gamble with life-threatening consequences. At the time Alec discussed skipping insurance coverage, he told his mother, ‘It can’t be that bad.’ Within a month of going off her policy, he would be dead …

As Nicole [Alec’s mother] cleaned out his cluttered blue car, littered with old prescription receipts, she started to cobble together just how much his insulin and blood sugar testing supplies cost without insurance or discounts. The total, by her count, was nearly $1,300 per month …

That $1,300 was almost $200 more than Alec’s biweekly paycheck. Nicole now believes that Alec was rationing his insulin because of the cost … ‘We realized that he had been taking less insulin and less often than he should, trying to make it stretch until he got his next paycheck.’ He was found dead three days before payday.”

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Price Gouging Insulin Should Be a Crime

As noted in the featured article,3 the three researchers (Frederick Banting, Charles Best and James Collip4) who in 1921 discovered insulin — thereby transforming diabetic treatment and offering hope for a more or less normal life for Type 1 diabetics, who were previously doomed to die young — sold their patent to the University of Toronto for $1 each.

According to historian Michael Bliss,5 these researchers were trying to provide a great humanitarian gift to the world. In the hands of drug companies, however, insulin has become a guaranteed profit center totally isolated from the inventors’ benevolent intentions for the use of their discovery.

The price of insulin tripled between 2002 and 2013,6,7 and has doubled again since.8 At present, the three dominant makers of insulin, Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk — which control 96% of the insulin market9 — all sell their insulin for approximately the same prices, and have raised them in lockstep, raising suspicions of price fixing.10

Drug makers also continue fine-tuning their formulas to prevent low blood sugar episodes, and while that’s good, it also ensures the drug patents don’t expire, preventing generics from being introduced.11

“For decades, manufacturers improved formulas, first using animal parts, then producing human insulin using bacteria and recombinant DNA. The 1990s saw the advent of insulin analogs, synthetic drugs made to better mimic the body’s own insulin production,” The Washington Post writes.12

“Today, critics argue that the price of insulin has far outpaced any innovations … In 1996, when Eli Lilly debuted its Humalog brand of insulin, the list price of a 10-milliliter vial was $21. The price of the same vial is now $275. Those costs can be compounded by the multiple vials that diabetics may require to survive each month.”

Price Hikes Threaten Insulin-Dependent Americans’ Lives

The Washington Post13 cites IBM Watson Health data showing Sanofi’s Lantus brand went from $35 per vial when introduced in 2001 to about $270 today, and Novolog, by Novo Nordisk, which started out at $40 per vial when released in 2001, now sells for around $289.

According to a 2016 JAMA study,14,15 the nondiscounted price for Lantus in the U.S. in 2015 was as high as $372.75, and the discounted price $186.38. Meanwhile, that same drug sold for $67 in Canada, $60.90 in Germany and $46.60 in France.

Even more telling is a 2018 study16 showing the estimated cost of manufacturing a 12-month supply of analog insulin is between $78 and $133 per patient, and $48 to $71 per patient per year for biosimilars. Why are patients having to pay as much as $24,000 a year for insulin that costs less than $133 to manufacture?

In response to growing outcry and lawsuits over insulin prices, Eli Lilly introduced Lispro, a less expensive generic version of its insulin Humalog, in May 2019.17,18 Lispro is said to sell at about half of the list price of Humalog.

According to a company statement,19 “The people who are most likely to benefit from Insulin Lispro Injection are Medicare Part D beneficiaries, people with high-deductible health plans and the uninsured who use Humalog.”

Lack of Competition, Payment Incentives Drive Prices

Why the dramatic increase in insulin prices? A November 2018 congressional caucus report,20,21 “Insulin: A Lifesaving Drug Too Often Out of Reach,” sought to identify the reasons behind these literally life threatening price hikes. As noted in this report:22

“Every day 7.5 million Americans rely on insulin [my note: over 6 million of these are Type 2 diabetics and should not be taking insulin] to manage their blood sugar levels and prevent debilitating, even deadly complications.

This lifesaving drug, however, has become increasingly unaffordable. Its average price has nearly doubled since 2012, putting an enormous financial burden on millions of patients.

For more than a year, Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY), the co- chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, have conducted a bipartisan inquiry to uncover the sources of this dramatic price increase.

This culminating report provides an overview of the insulin supply chain, discusses the drivers behind rising insulin prices, and recommends policy solutions to lower costs …

Many of the complicating reasons will be detailed further in this inquiry, including the myriad steps that insulin takes from manufacturer to patient, the perverse payment incentives and methodologies, the lack of transparency in pricing and outdated patent regulations, among other things.

These market failures have allowed a handful of players along the insulin distribution pipeline from manufacturers to health insurers to capitalize on their strategic positions, driving up the price of insulin and minimizing competition.

Congress should pursue a handful of legislative actions to increase price transparency, promote competition among insulin makers, and encourage the use of value-based contracts. Congress should also consider working on targeted patent reforms to prevent anti-competitive practices and streamline the drug approval process at the Food and Drug Administration for biosimilar insulins.”

While 1 in 4 patients gambles with their lives by rationing their insulin supplies by what they can afford,23 others have taken to illegally importing insulin from other countries where prices are more reasonable.

The Washington Post24 recounts testimony from one father who told senators a 90-day supply of insulin for his son costs $1,489.46 through insurance with a high deductible. He’s resorted to buying insulin from a Canadian pharmacy, from which he can get the same amount of insulin for $350 including shipping.

According to the article, while this is technically illegal, “the Food and Drug Administration generally doesn’t prosecute individuals if it’s a short-term supply for personal use.”25 Many others have turned to GoFundMe to raise donations for their insulin purchases.

Why Rationing Your Insulin Is a Dangerous Gamble

For Type 1 diabetics, whose bodies can’t make insulin, getting a steady supply is crucial for their health. Taking lower doses, or skipping doses, can be immediately life threatening and in the long term can result in even more costly health problems. As noted in the featured article:26

“Poor glycemic control can lead to blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart disease and stroke. In the short term, patients who stop taking enough insulin can lapse into diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition where blood sugars get too high and the body’s blood becomes acidic. It can become fatal in just hours or a few days.”

While not an ideal solution, The Washington Post points out an alternative solution: older versions of insulins, available at Walmart for approximately $25 per vial.

While there’s some evidence showing these older formulas, which came out in the 1980s, are more likely to trigger dangerously low blood sugar and are typically thought to be safer for Type 2 diabetics than Type 1 diabetics, the doctors interviewed by The Washington Post agree it’s better than nothing.

Similarly, in the information sheet, “Diabetes Meds on a Budget,”27 Beverly Thomassian, a registered nurse and president of Diabetes Education Services, points out:

“The older insulins are regular and NPH. They are available as Humulin R and N (Eli Lilly) and Novolin R and N (Novo Nordisk). These biosynthetic insulins take longer to start working and the NPH peaks at 4 – 10 hours.

ReliOn Brand — Walmart sells Novolin insulin Regular, NPH and 70/30 (biphasic insulin) under the ReliOn label at discounted prices … Newer insulins are referred to as analogues. The amino sequence of these insulins has been slightly rearranged through genetic engineering to make them more rapidly available or take longer to absorb …

Given these pricing disparities, please consider reading this article28 published in Diabetes Care, 2009 — that describes the effective use of NPH and Reg to manage Type 2 diabetes.

The authors research shows that for type 2s, NPH and Regular insulins are as effective as the newer analogues in getting glucose to goal. The main drawbacks are well known; the peak of NPH slightly increases risk of hypoglycemia and patients will get better post prandial glucose control by taking regular insulin 30 minutes before meal (vs at meals with the analogs).”

Insulin Makers Sued

As mentioned, the surprisingly similar price hikes by all three makers of insulin have raised suspicions that the companies are in collusion. It wouldn’t be the first time. In February 2010, Mexico fined Eli Lilly and three Mexican drug companies $1.7 million each for colluding to eliminate competition by agreeing to take turns in placing winning bids for insulin, thereby artificially raising prices.29

In January 2017, a class action lawsuit30 was filed against Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in Massachusetts federal court, claiming the companies are in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.31 The New York Times reported:32

“The lawsuit … accuses the companies of exploiting the country’s opaque drug-pricing system in a way that benefits themselves and the intermediaries known as pharmacy benefit managers.

It cites several examples of patients with diabetes who, unable to afford their insulin treatments, which can cost up to $900 a month, have resorted to injecting themselves with expired insulin or starving themselves to control their blood sugar.

Some patients, the lawsuit said, intentionally allowed themselves to slip into diabetic ketoacidosis — a blood syndrome that can be fatal — to get insulin from hospital emergency rooms.”

In October 2018, the attorney general of Minnesota, Lori Swanson, also filed a lawsuit against the three insulin makers, charging them with deceptive and misleading price increases.33 As reported by The Hill:34

“The lawsuit alleges that there is a deceptive difference between the sticker price of these insulins and the actual price that insurers pay after negotiators known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) get discounts.

The attorney general says drug companies are raising the sticker price ever higher so that they can give larger discounts to the PBMs, which helps them secure more favorable coverage of their products relative to their competitors in insurance plans.

The problem, Swanson says, is that the spiking sticker prices hurt people who don’t have insurance or who have high deductibles they have to pay before insurance kicks in.

‘The lawsuit alleges that the list prices the drug companies set are so far from their net prices that they are not an accurate approximation of the true cost of insulin and are deceptive and misleading,’ the attorney general’s office says.”

Biohackers Make Their Own Insulin

Aside from rationing, extended fasting, insulin sharing, using expired insulin, setting up GoFundMe campaigns or illegally importing insulin from other countries, some Type 1 diabetics are taking insulin production into their own hands.

In a recent Elemental Medium article,35 Dana Smith talks about the Open Insulin Project, “a biohacker collective that is trying to produce the lifesaving drug and provide it to people with diabetes for free, or close to it.” She writes:

“The group was founded in 2015 by Anthony Di Franco, a computer scientist with Type 1 diabetes, and a longtime member of the California hacker scene … He and his collaborators think one solution to the pricing crisis lies in enabling patients and hospitals to create insulin themselves.

The group works out of Counter Culture Labs in the trendy Temescal neighborhood of Oakland … ‘If we can make this stuff in our janky lab on a $10,000 a year budget, there’s no way it should cost this much,’ says Thornton Thompson, a molecular biologist who is part of Open Insulin.

‘One of the big goals of the project is just to demonstrate that.’ Scientists make insulin by inserting a gene that codes for the insulin protein into either yeast or bacteria. These organisms become mini bio-factories and start to spit out the protein, which can then be harvested, purified, and bottled.

Scientists at Genentech were the first to synthesize insulin this way back in 1979 from the bacterium E. coli, and drug manufacturers have been using the method ever since. Open Insulin’s goal is to develop a similar way to generate insulin that doesn’t infringe on any patents and can be made publicly available.”

The Open Insulin Project

To produce insulin, the group uses yeast rather than E. coli. A French biochemist named Yann Huon de Kermadec joined the Open Insulin Project about a year-and-a-half ago. He took charge of the manufacturing process and obtained the appropriate insulin gene, which is then inserted into the DNA of the yeast, thereby producing a small amount of insulin protein.

They’ve not yet been able to extract high-enough amounts to move on to the purification stage, so at present they’re still working on increasing the yield. “If they succeed, they will go through the final steps of purifying and testing the protein. Once they’re confident that what they’ve produced really is pure insulin, Di Franco will serve as the group’s first guinea pig,” Smith writes.

According to Open Insulin, 10 liters of yeast culture are enough to make insulin for 10,000 individuals, with a startup cost as low as $1 per person. Indeed, as noted earlier, insulin manufacturing is pretty darn inexpensive — at most around $133 per person per year for an analog, and as low as $48 per person per year for a biosimilar.

Once a well-working insulin has been developed, the group hopes to make the recipe open-source, allowing hospitals and other patient groups make it for themselves. Thompson told Smith:

“What we’re interested in medium- and long-term is to try to organize networks of production and distribution centers that work by a fundamentally different model. We want to partner with hospitals, free health care clinics, patient organizations, diabetes groups. What if you could set up a small-scale production center in the back of a hospital?”

Di Franco adds, “Economically, I think it’s much better to do it in this decentralized way. A very small investment from each patient could fulfill the patient’s needs and make insulin very close to free for everyone who needs it with this kind of technology.”

As you’d expect, others are less than excited about such a prospect, not because it would create much-needed competition, but because of safety concerns. For example, Dr. Eric Topol, chair of innovative medicine and executive vice president at the Scripps Research Institute, told Smith:

“There are so many things that could go wrong in the process: the sterilization, the efficacy, the safety. It’s like Murphy’s law, here. These are potent drugs that can have serious side effects. I just don’t see that that is a safe or practical route.”

Millions of Americans Get Their Medications Outside the US

At present, there are no easy solutions for insulin-dependent diabetics. What’s clear is that it shouldn’t cost thousands of dollars a month for an essential drug required to keep these people alive.

If you’re in this boat, consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of using the older biosynthetics, Humulin R and N, or Novolin R and N, available for about $25 at Walmart. It may not be ideal (you can read about some of the concerns in this Insulin In Nation article36) but it’s probably still better than nothing. Even better, however, especially for Type 1 diabetics, is getting your insulin from overseas — or even just next door, north or south of the U.S. border.

Research published in 2015 shows that 952,000 Californians cross into Mexico every year for lower-priced health care, including prescription drugs.37 From the northern border, a random survey of Americans showed that 8% of respondents or someone they knew had imported their medications from Canada.

In numbers, that adds up to 19 million individuals — with estimates that the numbers are probably much higher — crossing into Canada just to be able to afford medications they may very well not be able to live without.38 But is this legal? And if it is, how do you do it? And if you’re not near the southern or northern U.S. borders, is there anywhere else to go? According to the FDA:

“In most circumstances it is illegal for individuals to import drugs or devices into the U.S. for personal use because … [they] have not been approved for use or sale in the U.S. … The FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of medicine purchased over the internet from foreign sources, storefront businesses that offer to buy foreign medicine for you, or during trips outside the U.S.”

The FDA does make exceptions for certain medications under specific situations, but even so, the amounts can’t be for more than a three-month supply. That said, Kaiser Health Network39 reports that personal use purchases for drugs not considered a risk by the FDA — such as insulin — in 90-day supplies are not being prosecuted.

And just how much are Americans saving by crossing the border? Kaiser Health gave an example of a woman vacationing in Canada who visited a local pharmacy for an emergency insulin refill for her daughter: The pack of insulin pens, which cost $700 in the U.S., was a mere $65.

The same box costs $73 in Germany; $57 in Israel; $51 in Greece; $61 in Rome and $40 in Taiwan. It’s no wonder millions of Americans are getting prescriptions by mail order overseas! Yet, even though they’re not prosecuting people for it, the FDA is clamping down on mail orders by going after them at international mail facilities.

According to online journalism group Tarbell,40 the FDA intercepted 10,731 prescription drug packages in 2017; by May 2018, they’d confiscated 19,318. Their goal is to intercept 100,000 a year.

So, what can you as a consumer do, if you can’t afford the outrageous — bordering on criminal — pricing and you’re not brave enough to test the system and try to take a vacation out of the country or order by mail? One way to begin could be to study the FDA’s personal importation guidelines to see if there is some way you can qualify for an exception so you can get your insulin from out of the country legally.

Guidelines for Insulin-Dependent Diabetics

Also remember that your lifestyle will have an impact on your blood sugar control. Ways to help manage your glucose levels include the following. Just be sure to consult your physician before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle habits and dietary plan, to avoid wild blood sugar fluctuations.

  • Limiting your net carb intake (total carbs minus fiber) — When you eat high-carb foods, your body converts the starches and sugars into glucose, which will enter your bloodstream and increase your blood glucose levels. Make sure you monitor your carbohydrate intake to avoid hyperglycemia.
  • Timing your meals appropriately — Meal timing is crucial to the treatment and management of Type 1 diabetes, since it may affect the efficiency of your insulin intake. The best time to eat your meal depends on the type of insulin that you’re taking. For example, regular insulin should be taken 30 minutes before a meal.41
  • Eating only nutritious foods — Avoid eating foods that contain sugar, preservatives, trans fat, refined flour and other unhealthy ingredients. Rather, fill your plate with wholesome foods rich in vitamins and minerals. You should also consume foods that are high in healthy fats and probiotics, since these may help you gain better control of your blood glucose levels.
  • Exercising regularly — Following an active lifestyle will help regulate your blood sugar levels, as it allows your body to use insulin more efficiently, and can help you avoid long-term complications associated with Type 1 diabetes, such as heart disease.42
– Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 22, 2019

8 Juicy Reasons to Eat More Strawberries

© 30th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/8-juicy-reasons-eat-more-strawberries

Posted on: Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 11:00 am

Who doesn’t love strawberries? And you don’t need any reason other than the pleasure of their sweetness to eat them every day. But according to researchers from Oklahoma State University, there’s lots more to strawberries than the flavor.[i]

Their study was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition with funding from the NIH and the California Strawberry Commission. In it the researchers review over 130 studies attesting to the strawberry’s status as a “functional food.”

There is no regulated meaning for the term “functional food.” But it usually refers to a food that provides some benefit in addition to calories that may reduce disease risk or promote general health. That can be said of every fresh, organic whole food. But functional food is also a term that has become a marketing tool for food manufacturers who “enrich” their processed foods with vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements.

But strawberries don’t need any enriching. They consistently rank among the top fruits and vegetables for health benefits. They are full of powerful natural compounds that include:

  • Antioxidants – Strawberries were found to have higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) activity than black raspberries, blackberries or red raspberries.[ii] One study even found strawberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL fruits and vegetables commonly available in the UK as measured by the trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay.[iii]
  • Polyphenols – Strawberries have been listed among the 100 richest sources of dietary polyphenols.[iv] They contain flavonoids like catechin, epicatechin, quercetinkaempferol, cyanidins, naringenin, hesperadin, pelargonidin, ellagic acid and ellagitannins. Flavonoids are free radical scavengers, and have anti-inflammatory effects. They also dilate blood vessels and slow tumor growth.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Strawberries are high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, carotenoids and potassium.
  • Anthocyanins – These are water-soluble compounds responsible for the deep colors of berries and are among the principal bioactives in strawberries.
  • Phytosterols – These plant-derived sterols have structures and functions similar to cholesterol.

All of those natural components translate to a broad range of health benefits. Animal and cell culture studies show strawberries may be effective in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease including obesity, hyperglycemiahyperlipidemiahypertension, and oxidative stress.

Here are eight scientifically proven reasons to eat more strawberries:

1. Strawberries Lower Heart Attack Risk

In an analysis of data from over 93,000 subjects in the famous Nurses’ Health Study I and the Nurses’ Health Study II, researchers looked at the effects of eating strawberries and blueberries on cardiovascular health. They found that over a 14-year period, women eating just three servings weekly of blueberries or strawberries reduced their risk of heart attack by 33% compared to those eating berries once monthly or less.[v]

In addition, in an analysis of data from over 34,489 postmenopausal women in the Iowa Women’s Health Study, eating strawberries was associated with a significant reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease over a 16-year follow-up period.[vi]

2. Strawberries Reduce Hypertension

Researchers again used the data from the two Nurses Studies as well as data from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study to measure cardiovascular health benefits of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins. They found that higher intakes of strawberry and blueberry anthocyanins (16-22 mg/day) were associated with a significant 8% reduction in the risk of hypertension. That was compared to those consuming only 5-7 mg/day of berry anthocyanins.[vii]

3. Strawberries Lower Inflammation and C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

In a study of 38,176 female US health professionals enrolled in the Women’s Health Study participants were asked whether they ate fresh, frozen, or canned strawberries “never,” or “less than one serving per month,” or up to “6+ servings per day.” Over an 11-year follow-up period, cardiovascular disease was lower among those consuming more strawberries.

CRP levels were significantly reduced among women consuming just two or more servings of strawberries per week.[viii]Elevated CRP is strongly associated with inflammation and is a high-risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

4. Strawberries Reduce Cancer Risk

In a prospective five-year cohort study in an elderly population, higher consumption of fresh strawberries and other fruits and vegetables was associated with significantly reduced cancer mortality. The authors attribute these observations to the carotenoid content of fruits and vegetables known to exert anti-carcinogenic effects.[ix]

In another larger five-year prospective cohort study, eating more foods from the Rosaceae botanical subgroup, including strawberries, was associated with a protective effect against esophageal squamous cell carcinoma compared to eating less of this fruit group.[x] The same cohort also reported reduced rates of head and neck cancer among those consuming more servings of the Rosaceae botanical subgroup including strawberries.[xi]

Other studies show that strawberries can even reverse early stage esophageal cancer.

5. Strawberries Reduce Oxidized Cholesterol

Studies show strawberries increase plasma antioxidant capacity helping to reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol. In human trials fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried strawberries were shown to reduce oxidative stress associated with metabolic syndrome or eating high-fat meals.[xii]

6. Strawberries Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol

The fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenols in strawberries have been shown to lower serum total and LDL cholesterol.[xiii] It’s also been shown to raise serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol.[xiv]

7. Strawberries Help Control Blood Glucose Levels

Polypenols in a berry mixture that included strawberries produced a lower glucose response after eating a meal.[xv]

8. Strawberries May Help Reverse Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

In an animal study researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts found that strawberry extracts significantly reversed signs of age-related neuronal deficits.[xvi]

And animals eating a diet including 2% strawberries for two months showed significant protection from radiation damage to neurons.[xvii] Researchers suggest that strawberries and other berries may have a role in reversing Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.[xviii]

Are Fresh or Frozen Strawberries Better?

Studies show benefits to all forms of strawberries whether fresh, frozen, dried, pureed, or made into juices or jams. But the more they’re processed the more strawberries can lose some of their active compounds.

Frozen strawberries have significantly higher vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and polyphenols than freeze-dried or air-dried.[xix] Processing strawberries into juices and purees also results in a loss of ascorbic acid, polyphenols, and antioxidant capacity.[xx] And canning strawberries or making them into jams can significantly reduce the levels of anthocyanins and total phenolic compounds.[xxi]

Fresh or frozen are the best choices for health benefits when it comes to strawberries. But processed strawberry products still have some benefits and are a good choice when the real things aren’t in season.

Just remember to buy organic berries. Most conventionally grown strawberries are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

For more studies visit GreenMedInfo’s page on strawberries.

Originally published: 2014-10-07

Article updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Arpita Basu , Angel Nguyen , Nancy M. Betts & Timothy J. Lyons “Strawberry As a Functional Food: An Evidence-Based Review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, (2014) 54:6, 790-806.

[ii] Wang, S. Y., and Lin, H. S. (2000). “Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 48:140-146.

[iii] Proteggente, A. R., Pannala, A. S., Paganga, G., Van Buren, L., Wagner, E., Wiseman, S., Van De Put, F., Dacombe, C., and Rice-Evans, C. A. (2002). The antioxidant activity of regularly consumed fruit and vegetables reflects their phenolic and vitamin c compositionFree Radic. Res. 36:217-233.

[iv] P’erez-Jim’enez, J., Neveu, V., Vos, F., and Scalbert, A. (2010). “Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: An application of the phenolexplorer database.” Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 64:S112-S120.

[v] Aedín Cassidy, Kenneth J Mukamal, Lydia Liu, Mary Franz, A Heather Eliassen, Eric B Rimm. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women. Circulation. 2013 Jan 15 ;127(2):188-96.

[vi] Mink, P. J., Scrafford, C. G., Barraj, L. M.,Harnack, L., Hong, C. P.,Nettleton, J. A., and Jacobs, D. R., Jr. (2007). Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: A prospective study in postmenopausal womenAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 85:895-909.

[vii] Cassidy, A., O’Reilly, E. J., Kay, C., Sampson, L., Franz, M., Forman, J. P., Curhan, G., and Rimm, E. B. (2010). Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 93:338-347.

[viii] Sesso, H. D., Gaziano, J. M., Jenkins, D. J., and Buring, J. E. (2007). Strawberry intake, lipids, c-reactive protein, and the risk of cardiovascular disease in womenJ. Am. Coll. Nutr. 26:303-310.

[ix] Colditz, G. A., Branch, L. G., Lipnick, R. J.,Willett,W. C., Rosner, B., Posner, B. M., and Hennekens, C. H. (1985). Increased green and yellow vegetable intake and lowered cancer deaths in an elderly populationAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 41:32-36.

[x] Freedman, N. D., Park, Y., Subar, A. F., Hollenbeck, A. R., Leitzmann, M. F., Schatzkin, A., and Abnet, C. C. (2007). Fruit and vegetable intake and esophageal cancer in a large prospective cohort studyInt. J. Cancer. 121:2753-2760.

[xi] Freedman, N. D., Park, Y., Subar, A. F., Hollenbeck, A. R., Leitzmann, M. F., Schatzkin, A., and Abnet, C. C. (2008). Fruit and vegetable intake and head and neck cancer risk in a large United States prospective cohort studyInt. J.Cancer. 122:2330-2336.

[xii] Paiva, S. A., Yeum, K. J., Cao, G., Prior, R. L., and Russell, R. M. (1998). Postprandial plasma carotenoid responses following consumption of strawberries, red wine, vitamin c or spinach by elderly womenJ. Nutr. 128:2391-2394.

[xiii] Basu, A., Fu, D. X., Wilkinson, M., Simmons, B., Wu, M., Betts, N. M., Du, M., and Lyons, T. J. (2010). Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndromeNutr. Res. 30:462-469.

[xiv] Erlund, I., Koli, R., Alfthan, G., Marniemi, J., Puukka, P., Mustonen, P.,Mattila, P., and Jula, A. (2008). Favorable effects of berry consumption on platelet function, blood pressure, and hdl cholesterolAm. J. Clin. Nutr. 87:323-331.

[xv] T¨orr¨onen, R., Sarkkinen, E., Tapola, N., Hautaniemi, E.,Kilpi, K., andNiskanen, L. (2010). Berries modify the postprandial plasma glucose response to sucrose in healthy subjectsBr. J. Nutr. 103:1094-1097

[xvi] Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., Denisova, N. A., Prior, R. L., Cao, G., Martin, A., Taglialatela, G., and Bickford, P. C. (1998). Long-term dietary strawberry, spinach, or vitamin e supplementation retards the onset of age-related neuronal signal-transduction and cognitive behavioral deficitsJ. Neurosci. 18:8047-8055.

[xvii] Rabin, B. M., Joseph, J. A., and Shukitt-Hale, B. (2005). Effects of age and diet on the heavy particle-induced disruption of operant responding produced by a ground-based model for exposure to cosmic raysBrain Res. 1036:122-129.

[xviii] Joseph, J. A., Shukitt-Hale, B., and Willis, L. M. (2009). Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behaviorJ. Nutr. 139:1813S-1817S.

[xix] Asami, D. K., Hong,Y. J.,Barrett, D. M., and Mitchell, A. E. (2003).Comparison of the total phenolic and ascorbic acid content of freeze-dried and air-dried marionberry, strawberry, and corn grown using conventional, organic, and sustainable agricultural practicesJ. Agric. Food Chem. 51:1237-1241.

[xx] Klopotek,Y., Otto, K., and B¨ohm,V. (2005). Processing strawberries to different products alters contents of vitamin c, total phenolics, total anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacityJ. Agric. Food Chem. 53:5640-5646.

[xxi] Ngo, T., Wrolstad, R. E., and Zhao, Y. (2007). Color quality of Oregon strawberries-impact of genotype, composition, and processingJ. Food Sci. 72:C025-C032.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
LeanMachine Note: Strawberries may also be sprayed, so organic is best, and wash before eating.
Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

Effectively lower blood sugar levels with a natural plant extract

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/lower-blood-sugar-levels-3178.html

help-blood-sugar-levels

(NaturalHealth365) According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 30 million Americans – almost one in ten – have type 2 diabetes. And, an alarming 84 million people have prediabetes – elevated blood sugar levels that can progress to diabetes (with possible complications including kidney disease, heart disease and stroke).

In light of this growing epidemic – and amid the pressing need for effective, non-toxic interventions – a just-published study offers hope by showcasing the ability of clove extracts to safely lower elevated blood glucose levels.

Cloves, a common cooking spice, have been utilized in Ayurvedic and Asian healing systems for centuries to treat digestive disorders, influenza and tooth pain.  To learn how these potent little dried flower buds can help normalize and regulate blood sugar – and help to ward off diabetes – keep reading.

Alert: Prediabetes affects over half of all those over 65

What is prediabetes, exactly, and why is it dangerous?  Prediabetes exists when glucose (blood sugar) levels are elevated (over 100 mg/dL), but fall short of 125 mg/dL – the conventional medical threshold for diabetes.

The condition can often be reversed with weight loss and increased physical activity – but experts point out that roughly 30 percent of people with untreated prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes within three to five years.

And, although prediabetes doesn’t meet the medical standard for diabetes, it can still feature dangerous after-meal blood sugar elevations, or “spikes.” These spikes are associated with harmful effects such as neuropathy (nerve damage to feet), vision loss, kidney damage and heart disease.

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In people over 65, post-meal blood sugar spikes appear to impede cognitive function, as well.  Not particularly good news for those who may already be coping with varying degrees of age-related mild cognitive impairment!

It’s official: Cloves promote better blood sugar control

In a new study published in May 2019 in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers evaluated the effects of clove extracts on adult volunteers.  The participants were divided into two groups: those with normal fasting glucose and those with prediabetic fasting glucose levels.

Fasting glucose levels are measured eight hours after ingesting food.  And, participants were then given 250 mg of clove extract after a meal for 30 days.

The team found that the clove extract lowered fasting glucose levels of the prediabetic participants – but did not alter the desirable fasting levels of those with normal glucose.  In fact, the clove extract reduced after-meal glucose by 21.5 percent in the “normal” group – and by a substantial 27.2 percent in the prediabetic group.

The team concluded that cloves can be used to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, particularly in those with less-than-optimal glucose control.  It should be noted: that if cloves help to keep prediabetes in check, that’s highly significant – as prediabetes can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, even when it doesn’t develop into type 2 diabetes.

New study confirms earlier research on the blood sugar-lowering effect of cloves

Researchers have long suspected that cloves could be useful in addressing diabetes.

Past studies have shown that cloves increase the secretion of insulin, the hormone that ferries sugar from the blood to the muscles. Previous research has also shown that clove extracts benefit liver function – essential in blood sugar control – as well as antioxidant status.

And, in 2006, Pakistani researchers found that clove extracts improved the function of insulin and lowered glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.  Cloves were also found to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol – but did not reduce levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.

By the way, the amount used in the Pakistani study was modest: the equivalent of one to two cloves a day.

Cloves reduce blood sugar with three different mechanisms

Cloves, scientifically known as Syzgium aromaticum, are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and strongly antioxidant.  In fact, researchers have reported that cloves contain 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries, often considered the “gold standard” of antioxidant foods.

Along with gallic and ellagic acids, catechin and quercetin, cloves are particularly rich in eugenol, a compound with antibacterial and analgesic effects.  However, some scientists credit a compound called nigericin in cloves with increasing the uptake of sugar and promoting the secretion of insulin.

Specifically, cloves reduce blood sugar by enhancing the uptake of glucose into muscle cells, by inhibiting digestive enzymes from releasing the glucose from refined sugars and starches, and by inhibiting the production of glucose in the liver.

This three-pronged response makes cloves uniquely helpful for decreasing insulin resistance and managing blood sugar.

Reverse prediabetes with healthy lifestyle choices

Experts say that the current epidemic of diabetes and prediabetes is driven by obesity, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle.

An organic diet (high in antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits and unrefined grains and free of refined sugars, GMOs and unhealthy fats) just might be your best bet for preventing diabetes – along with maintaining a healthy weight and getting sufficient exercise.

As the latest study shows, cloves may also be helpful in managing blood sugar.

Of course, clove extracts are available in tablets and tinctures.  You can also make clove tea by boiling a teaspoon of powdered cloves for 8 to 10 minutes, straining and cooling. For an added health benefit, add cinnamon and cardamom.

Many studies used a teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves, and natural healers may recommend amounts in this range.

As always, consult with your integrative physician before supplementing with cloves – especially if you are already taking medications to control blood sugar.  Note: of course, don’t stop taking prescribed medications unless specifically advised to do so by your physician.

As the scientists noted in the groundbreaking new clove study, type 2 diabetes is a “tremendous public health issue.”  And, spicy, aromatic clove buds just may hold the secret to better blood sugar control – thereby striking a blow against this dangerous disease.

Sources for this article include:

CDC.gov
LifeExtension.com
NIH.gov
Healthline.com

Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

Low Magnesium Linked to Diabetes and High Blood Pressure


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/18/low-magnesium-diabetes.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – November 18, 2019
low magnesium diabetes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Magnesium is involved in more than 600 different biochemical reactions in your body, and deficiency can contribute to significant health problems. Two common pathologies associated with magnesium deficiency are Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Low magnesium levels have been linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, as it impairs your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which is important for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes
  • Recent research links low magnesium levels with diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease
  • Magnesium has been shown to improve Type 2 diabetes. Diabetics who took 250 milligrams of magnesium per day for three months improved their insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%
  • The best way to ascertain your magnesium status is to do an RBC magnesium test, which measures the amount of magnesium in your red blood cells, along with tracking any signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Magnesium1 is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body,2,3 and deficiency can contribute to significant health problems. Two common pathologies associated with magnesium deficiency are Type 2 diabetes4,5 and heart disease.

According to one scientific review,6 low magnesium may actually be the greatest predictor of heart disease, and other recent research7 published in Open Heart journal suggests even subclinical magnesium deficiency can compromise your cardiovascular health.

As noted in a 2018 scientific review8,9 published in Open Heart journal, a “vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency” due to “chronic diseases, medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and the availability of refined and processed foods.”

According to this review, most fail to meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium; 48% of Americans do not get sufficient magnesium from their diet. Among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, the rate of magnesium deficiency is 84%.10

Type 2 diabetics also tend to be more prone to magnesium deficiency, and magnesium depletion has been found in 75% of patients with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes, the review states.11

Magnesium Protects Your Heart Health

Low magnesium has been linked to a higher risk for high blood pressure,12 stroke13 and sudden cardiac death.14 According to the Open Heart study authors,15 “most people need an additional 300 mg of magnesium per day in order to lower their risk of developing numerous chronic diseases,” and this includes heart disease and diabetes. Magnesium supports healthy heart function and helps prevent heart disease by:16

  • Combating inflammation, thereby helping prevent hardening of your arteries
  • Normalizing blood pressure
  • Improving blood flow by relaxing your arteries and preventing your blood from thickening, allowing it to flow more smoothly

Magnesium Status Impacts Diabetes and Blood Pressure

Magnesium also plays an important role in diabetes, and this is not nearly as recognized as it needs to be. Low magnesium levels have been linked to a higher risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes,17 as it impairs your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, which is important for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.18,19,20,21

In one study,22 prediabetics with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71%, compared to those with the lowest intake. High levels of insulin in the blood, common with insulin resistance, also lead to further loss of magnesium.23

Most recently, a study24 published in October 2019 in the online issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice again linked low magnesium levels with both diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. As reported by the authors:25

“Across the quartiles of serum magnesium from high to low, the prevalence ratios for diabetes were 1.00, 1.35, 1.88, and 2.70, respectively. The presence of hypertension significantly increased the probability of diabetes along a wide range of low serum magnesium. A low intake of MRDP [magnesium related dietary pattern] was also positively associated with diabetes and high HbA1c.”

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Other Studies Linking Magnesium Status to Diabetes Risk

An earlier meta-analysis,26 published in 2007, also found that magnesium intake was inversely associated with Type 2 diabetes incidence. This analysis included seven cohort studies looking at magnesium from either food or diet and supplements combined. According to the authors:

“All but one study found an inverse relation between magnesium intake and risk of Type 2 diabetes, and in four studies the association was statistically significant.

The overall relative risk for a 100 mg day increase in magnesium intake was 0.85. Results were similar for intake of dietary magnesium and total magnesium. There was no evidence of publication bias.”

Magnesium supplementation not only can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, but also has been shown to improve your condition if you already have full-blown diabetes. This was demonstrated in a 2018 study27 in the journal Nutrients.

Type 2 diabetics who took 250 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day for three months saw a significant improvement in insulin levels and HbA1C (hemoglobin A1c, which is a marker of long-term glucose control) compared to controls.

As noted by the authors,28 “The results of this study matched previous studies that concluded that daily oral Mg supplementation substantially improved insulin sensitivity by 10% and reduced blood sugar by 37%.”

Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

The best way to ascertain your magnesium status is to do an RBC magnesium test, which measures the amount of magnesium in your red blood cells, along with tracking any signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as:29,30

Seizures; muscle spasms, especially “charley horses” or spasms in your calf muscle that happen when you stretch your leg, and/or eye twitches
Numbness or tingling in your extremities
Insulin resistance
High blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and/or coronary spasms
Increased number of headaches and/or migraines
Low energy, fatigue and/or loss of appetite
The Trousseau sign31 — To check for this sign, a blood pressure cuff is inflated around your arm. The pressure should be greater than your systolic blood pressure and maintained for three minutes.

By occluding the brachial artery in your arm, spasms in your hand and forearm muscles are induced. If you are magnesium deficient, the lack of blood flow will cause your wrist and metacarpophalangeal joint to flex and your fingers to adduct (illustrated in the video below).

A more exhaustive list can be found in Dr. Carolyn Dean’s blog post, “Gauging Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms,”32 which will give you a checklist to go through every few weeks. This will also help you gauge how much magnesium you need to resolve your deficiency symptoms.

Get Tested Today

GrassrootsHealth, which is conducting consumer-sponsored research into vitamin D and omega-3, has now added magnesium to its nutrient research.

Their Vitamin D, Magnesium and Omega 3 PLUS Elements test kit is an excellent and cost-effective way to check the status of several vital nutrients, along with the essential minerals selenium, zinc and copper and the harmful heavy metals cadmium, lead and mercury.

Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth.

Your participation in this research project will enable GrassrootsHealth researchers to provide accurate data about the magnesium status in the population, the level at which disease prevention is actually obtained, and guidance on dosing to achieve optimal levels.

All of this is crucial information that can go a long way toward improving public health. As explained by GrassrootsHealth, questions about magnesium that this particular project aims to provide answers for include:33

  • What specific health outcomes are associated with this nutrient for me, for the total group?
  • How can I figure out how much to take? What’s the dose-response relationship for all? For me?
  • Does it matter if I’m also taking vitamin D? Omega-3?
  • Does it matter what compound of this nutrient I take? What time of day? How often?
  • What are the demonstrated health outcomes used to create this nutrient’s recommended range?

Your test results will be emailed to you in about 10 to 20 days after your samples are received. Your health data are used anonymously. Please note that 100% of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge anything extra as a distributor of these test kits.

check magnesium levels

Why Most People Need More Magnesium

One of the reasons why magnesium insufficiency or deficiency is so common, both among adults34 and teens,35 is in part due to the fact that most people don’t eat enough plant foods. Magnesium is actually part of the chlorophyll molecule responsible for the plant’s green color.

If you frequently eat processed foods, your risk of deficiency is magnified. That said, even if you eat plenty of greens you might still need to take a supplement, as most foods are grown in mineral-depleted soils and are thus much lower in magnesium than they have been historically.

Magnesium absorption is also dependent on having sufficient amounts of selenium, parathyroid hormone and vitamins B6 and D, and is hindered by excess ethanol, salt, coffee and phosphoric acid in soda.

Sweating, stress, lack of sleep, excessive menstruation, certain drugs (especially diuretics and proton-pump inhibitors) also deplete your body of magnesium.36 For these reasons, most people probably need to take supplemental magnesium. Taking a magnesium supplement is particularly advisable if you:37

Experience symptoms of insufficiency or deficiency38
Have high blood pressure
Engage in strenuous exercise on a regular basis — Research39 shows just six to 12 weeks of strenuous physical activity can result in magnesium deficiency, likely due to increased magnesium demand in your skeletal muscle
Are taking diuretics or medication for high blood pressure, especially thiazides, which have been shown to induce undetectable magnesium deficiency40 (while patients may have normal or even high serum magnesium, their bodies are actually depleted of magnesium)
Have had or are planning heart transplant or open heart surgery
Are at risk for or have had a heart attack, or if you experience ventricular arrhythmia
Have congestive heart failure
Are insulin resistant or diabetic (as this increases magnesium depletion)

Eat More Magnesium-Rich Foods

The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is around 310 to 420 mg per day depending on your age and sex,41 but many experts believe you may need 600 to 900 mg per day.42

Personally, I believe many may benefit from amounts as high as 1 to 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 mg) of elemental magnesium per day, as most of us have electromagnetic field exposures that simply cannot be mitigated, and the extra magnesium may help lower the damage from that exposure.

If your veggie consumption is low to begin with, consider including more magnesium-rich vegetables in your daily diet. Dark-green leafy vegetables lead the pack when it comes to magnesium content, and juicing your greens is an excellent way to boost your intake.

Other foods that are particularly rich in magnesium include natto, raw cacao nibs, unsweetened cocoa powder, avocados, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and herbs like chives and basil.43 One way to check your daily magnesium intake from foods is to use a free online nutritional tracker such as Cronometer.

Other Ways to Boost Your Magnesium Level

If your magnesium intake from food is found lacking, it would certainly be wise to supplement, either orally or topically. For oral supplementation, my personal preference is magnesium threonate, as it appears to be the most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria and blood-brain barrier.

As a general rule, I recommend starting out on a dose of 200 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day, gradually increasing your dose until you develop slightly loose stools. To use this method, you need to use magnesium citrate, as it’s known for having a laxative effect. Once you know your cutoff, you can switch to other forms if you like. Other effective ways to boost your magnesium level include:

Taking Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths, as the magnesium will effectively absorb through your skin.

Using a topical solution — I prepare a supersaturated solution of Epsom salt by dissolving 7 tablespoons of the salt into 6 ounces of water and heating it until all the salt has dissolved. I pour it into a dropper bottle and then apply it to my skin and rub fresh aloe leaves over it to dissolve it.

This is an easy and inexpensive way to increase your magnesium and will allow you to get higher dosages into your body without having to deal with its laxative effects.

Magnesium can be taken with or without food. If you’re also taking calcium, take them together. If you exercise regularly, consider taking your calcium and magnesium in a ratio of one part calcium to two parts magnesium with your pre-workout meal.

While the ideal ratio of magnesium to calcium is thought to be 1-to-1, most people get far more calcium than magnesium from their diet; hence, your need for supplemental magnesium may be two to three times greater than calcium.

Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 17, 2019

The Little Known Miracle of Life: Fulvic acid

© 7th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/little-known-miracle-life-fulvic-acid

Posted on: Thursday, November 7th 2019 at 12:30 pm

In the beginning, the earth was blessed with rich, fertile soil and lush vegetation. The soil was teaming with microbes — bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, to name a few. In the perfect cycle of life, microbes in the soil break down dead plant material and create substances and nutrients that nourish plants. When humans eat these plants, we enjoy the nutrients that they provide

The microbes in the soil make the hidden treasure called fulvic acid, the miracle of life. Fulvic acid is not a vitamin or a mineral and science cannot synthesize this substance in a laboratory. Our bodies require it for optimal health, but, we no longer get fulvic acid in adequate amounts from our food.

While the scientific research is growing in support of fulvic acid, there are less than 1,750 studies on PubMed.gov. One needs to dig around to find fulvic studies related to human benefits, but information and clinical evidence exists. This is not “just another supplement” but a powerful, life-giving substance that is quietly disappearing from our food and this is taking a toll on human health.

Fulvic acid has been reported to rejuvenate health and bring a multitude of benefits that are unmatched by any other natural substance.

Fulvic acid (FA) has been used for 3,000 years as Shilajit in Indian medicine.

Carrasco-Gallardo stated, “It is likely that the curative properties attributable to shilajit are provided by the significant levels of fulvic acids that shilajit contains, considering that fulvic acid is known by its strong antioxidant actions.” [v]

Historically, it was believed that fulvic acid/Shilajit had immune-modulating, antioxidant, diuretic, antihypertensive, and hypoglycemic benefits. [Winker][Trivadi] FA was used in diabetes, and to support the urinary, immune, digestive, cardiac, and nervous systems. [xxiv][i][ii][viii]

In Ayurveda literature it is called “rasayana” or rejuvenator, enhancing the quality of life. [xxxviii][xv]

Benefits

Fulvic acids can be found in compost or peat, lignite (brown coal which gives inferior fulvic acid) or ancient humic deposits that come from deep within the earth. Unlike other deposits formed over time deep below the earth’s surface, like coal, oil and natural gas, humic deposits are safe, providing powerful compounds that provide an impressive number of benefits for plants, humans and animals.

  • enhances the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals [xxxix]
  • anti-inflammatory effects [iv][x][xiv][xxxvii][xxxiii]
  • anti-allergy [xl]
  • improves many aspects of eczema [xiv]
  • speeds skin healing [xxix][xiv][xxxvii]
  • enhances healing of wounds infected with drug-resistant pathogens [xliv][xlii]
  • protects against free radical damage as an antioxidant [iv][xxxiv][xxv]
  • anti-aging benefits [v]
  • improves gut flora and gut health [xxxix]
  • anti-diarrheal effects in animals and humans [xxvi]
  • improves energy levels [xxiv]
  • reduces oxidative stress [xxxix]
  • useful in treatment of osteoarthritis patients [xix]
  • shows antiviral activity, interfering with a virus’ ability to attach to a host cell, penetrate the host cell, and reproduce itself [xxii][xxviii]
  • displays antimicrobial activity [xxxvi]
  • displays antifungal activity [xiii][xxxii]
  • effective for the management of oral biofilm infections [xxxiii]
  • anti-aging effect on the skin, increasing fibroblast viability and reducing collagen degradation [xxi]
  • neuroprotective, improves memory and brain function [v][ix][xvi]
  • supports the immune system [xxxix]
  • stimulates metabolism [vi]
  • cleanses toxins and heavy metals from the body [xviii][vii][xxiii]
  • shows immunomodulatory activity [xxxi]
  • modulates homocysteine and pro-inflammatory mediators linked to atherosclerosis [xii]
  • promotes ulcer healing [xv][xxxi][xli]

Science cannot create fulvic acid

Fulvic acid offers a seemingly endless spectrum of benefits for human and animal health that would make any pharmaceutical company nervous. Fulvic acid cannot be made by man because it involves photosynthesis and humification. The process that creates fulvic acid requires nature’s recyclers, microorganisms, working in fertile, rich soil over a long period of time. Microbes decompose organic material (manure, compost, decaying plant material), in the soil to create nutrients for the plant including trace minerals, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Microbes make the minerals in the soil into a useful form for plants and over time the microbes help create an amazing substance called humus (hyoo-muh s).

“Essentially, All Life Depends Upon The Soil … There Can Be No Life Without Soil And No Soil Without Life”

~ Charles E. Kellogg, head of the Soil Survey in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 37 years (1934-1971)

We never had to worry about getting enough fulvic acid, it simply existed in our soil and in our food, since time began. Fertile soil, and the microbial life within it, is a highly valuable natural resource that is critical for food security and for human health. Fertile soil is teaming with microbial life (it is interesting to note that there are more bacteria in two spoonfuls of rich, fertile soil than there are humans on planet earth). Sustainable farming practices that add compost and organic compounds to the soil help create a robust microbial community. Microbes are required for the cycle of life. They work to break down plant and animal matter, and over hundreds and thousands of years, fulvic acid is one of the end products of decomposition.

Common agricultural practices cause the loss of fulvic acid in food and the progressive deterioration of human health

Over the past 50 to 100 years, farming practices that sustained humans for thousands of years have drastically changed. Chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides were created to increase crop yield, kill insects and control weeds. Modern agricultural practices increase the amount of food produced but the toll this has taken on soil microbes, plant nutrients and human and animal health is underappreciated.

While attempting to kill the pests and weeds and bolster plant production, the chemicals used in agriculture have inadvertently attacked friendly troops in the soil jungle.

The price of growing food this way is dramatically altering the natural recycling process required in nature, and the downstream effects on human health are mounting.

Fulvic acid may seem like “just another nutrient” that is declining in food, but it is actually the most important health-building compound because it is nature’s intended vehicle for transporting minerals and other nutrients into living cells.

Fulvic acid is nature’s answer to depleted food and too many toxins

Fulvic acid and humic acid are the key substances found in humus, the end result of the humification process where microbes in the soil break down once living matter, usually plants. It is believed that most of the health benefits attributed to Shilajit and humic substances are primarily due to the presence of fulvic acid. [v]

Fulvic acid is a very small molecule of low molecular weight. It is smaller than humic acid and penetrates the cell membrane and even the mitochondria. [v] Because fulvic acid bonds easily to nutrients like vitamins and minerals, it efficiently delivers nutrients where they are needed. Without fulvic acid our bodies’ ability to absorb nutrients (from food or supplementation) is diminished. [xxiv]

Fulvic acid’s small molecular weight coupled with the fact that it is water soluble at all pH levels, makes it superior for working in the body to:

  • deliver nutrients
  • bring antioxidant benefits
  • remove cellular waste products and toxins [xliii]

“You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”

~Dr. Linus Pauling, awarded two Nobel Prizes

It is well known that minerals are required for a range of biochemical processes, but mineral deficiencies are epidemic. Our food lacks the vitamin and mineral content that it should have and most supplements do not absorb well enough to correct mineral deficiencies. The fulvic acid complex contains bioavailable minerals and trace elements that are desperately needed to combat widespread mineral deficiency in humans.

Fulvic acid is nature’s answer to the problem that man has created with over-farming and the production of processed foods.

Fulvic acid is a magical vehicle with 60 seats

The main components of fulvic acid are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. These molecules in fulvic acid easily bond to other molecules and transport them through the body. It can possess over 70 trace elements, electrolytes, polyphenols, flavonoids, and essential amino acids.

Naturopathic physician, Dr. Daniel Nuzum, has been studying fulvic acid since 1998. He has used fulvic acid supplements with thousands of patients, and he researches and teaches extensively about fulvic acid. Very few doctors can make this claim, and have little to no experience with fulvic acid. Dr. Nuzum is an expert and he is able to communicate a difficult concept in a way that is easy to understand. “Fulvic acts like the FedEx truck and the garbage truck,” Dr. Nuzum explained. “It delivers nutrition into the cell and carries the trash (toxins & waste) out too!”

Fulvic acid has 60 receptor sites and because it is a carbon-based compound, it bonds easily to nutrients. Dr. Nuzum likens fulvic acid to a 60-passenger bus carrying nutrients in each of the 60 seats. The fulvic acid bus travels along to cells needing a nutrient package delivered. When it drops off the nutrient package, a seat is empty on the fulvic acid bus, so it picks up cellular waste and toxins, like the garbage man, and removes them from your system.

The missing puzzle piece

Many people are feeling the effects of low nutrient absorption, even in the presence of a good diet with regular intake of supplemental vitamins and minerals. This information about fulvic acid is the missing puzzle piece for many people seeking health. Whether you are fighting an infection, rebuilding health, or desire anti-aging strategies, add fulvic acid daily to help your body absorb and use needed nutrients. Take advantage of this powerful electrolyte and antioxidant.

Increase cellular voltage to increase health and energy

Fulvic acid has highly active carbon, hydrogen, molecular oxygen (available oxygen) and enables better electrolyte balance. It recharges cells allowing them to carry an electrical charge longer than normal and survive longer as a cell.

Your body must get enough electrons to keep cells at a healthy, healing voltage. While proper nutrition is a critical piece, it is not enough without voltage. This is where fulvic acid comes in to help. Fulvic acid brings molecular oxygen into the body, increasing the oxygen concentration.

CareyLyn Carter, biochemist and researcher said in an interview, “Fulvic acid molecules act like mini-batteries, going around and charging everything that it comes in contact with. It raises the voltage. When our cell’s membranes are fully charged, nutrients can get inside the cell more easily. When nutrients are inside cells they are available for biochemical processes that support our wellness.”

A closer look at fulvic acid for skin conditions, cancer and brain health

Fulvic acid improves skin conditions

Fulvic acid has anti-inflammatory properties.

A randomized, double blind, controlled study showed that fulvic acid significantly improves inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema with topical use, twice daily. It has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for skin infections, and would be useful for humans and animals. [xiv]

It was found that fulvic acid reduces the pH of the skin, relieves the itch and improves the appearance of the skin rash. [xiv] FA relieves inflammatory skin conditions. [xxxvii]

Fulvic acid has antimicrobial properties and is a safe and effective topical treatment for skin infections. [xxxvi] Previously studies were cited supporting the use of fulvic acid and humic substances for wounds, rashes and fungal infections.

Fulvic acid has anti-cancer actions

Fulvic acid and the humic compounds are potential cancer chemopreventive agents [xxvii] and have been shown to induce cancer cell apoptosis. [xx]

Fulvic acid and humic substances have actions that combat certain cancer risk factors:

  • free radicals (fulvic acid acts as an antioxidant) [v][xliii][xxx]
  • toxins and heavy metals (fulvic acid bonds to and removes toxins and heavy metals) [xviii][vii][xxiii]
  • UV Radiation (fulvic acid is a photoprotective agent) [xxiv]
  • diabetes (humic substances showed hypoglycemic effects in animal studies) [xxxv]
  • inflammation (Winkler and Ghosh stated in a 2018 review study “there is substantial evidence to pursue FvA (fulvic acid) research in preventing chronic inflammatory diseases, including diabetes.”) [xxxix]

Huang showed that fulvic acid suppresses resistin. High levels of serum resistin are associated with several types of cancer and is thought to play a role in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) by initiating the adhesion of colorectal cancer cells to the endothelium. FA inhibits the adhesion of CRC activated by resistin.[xvii]

Fulvic acid is neuroprotective and gives brain benefits

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, published a study in 2011 that concluded, fulvic acid “has several nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairment.” Researchers showed evidence that fulvic acid inhibited the formation of intracellular tangles of tau protein, seen in Alzheimer’s disease. [ix]

How to supplement with fulvic acid

Natural sources of fulvic acid

As discussed, conventional food production methods are destroying microbes in the soil, therefore it is imperative to eat the highest quality, organically grown food possible to increase the fulvic acid content and nutrient content of the food.

Organic vegetables

It is possible to get fulvic acid from plants, provided that they have been grown organically, in fertile soil, rich in humic substances. As you know from the earlier discussion on current agricultural practices, this is very difficult to find these days so most people benefit from taking fulvic acid as a supplement.

The best organic vegetables, in terms of fulvic acid, are the root vegetables like radishes, carrots and beets, but there is no way to know for sure that you are getting adequate fulvic acid from your diet.

Organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses from sugar cane

Another source of fulvic acid is organic unsulphured blackstrap molasses from sugar cane. This sweetener provides a good source of minerals and fulvic acid to aid in mineral absorption.

Fulvic acid supplementation

If you are taking any medication, please consult with your healthcare provider for contraindications. While fulvic acid is safe, there just are not enough studies on using fulvic acid with medication.

Take fulvic acid daily as part of your health rejuvenation regimen.

As fulvic acid supplements are being added to the market in a variety of forms, the consumer must be aware that not all fulvic acid supplements are equally safe. Fulvic acid is available in liquid preparations or powder supplements and capsules. It is believed that liquid forms are more bioavailable.

Here are a few things to consider when looking for a fulvic acid supplement:

  • Source. It is important to know that the fulvic acid was not obtained from brown coal (lignite) or deposits from a source contaminated with heavy metals like aluminumleadmercury and arsenic. Look for a product sourced from high quality humic shale.
  • Extraction. Look for fulvic acid extracted with pure, distilled water (not tap water) and no harsh solvents.
  • Water. Tap water containing chlorine and fluoride must never mix with fulvic acid or any of nature’s nutrients as harmful compounds can form. Find out if your fulvic acid provider uses tap water in their supplement preparation.
  • Potency. Will the supplier provide lab-verified data about their potency.
  • Preservative-free, ideally.
  • Glass packaging. Using any type of plastic in the extraction or bottling of fulvic acid is dangerous because the fulvic acid breaks plastic down. Plastic is a petroleum-based substance and will contaminate fulvic acid solutions.

Fulvic acid is a natural, water soluble substance that can be combined with liquids for oral consumption and it can be used topically. Follow directions from the manufacturer of the product you choose, and consider different options for use:

  • Combine fulvic acid with other plant compounds, like spirulina in water, to enhance the benefits.
  • Add fulvic acid to a smoothie or antioxidant superfood supplement drink.
  • Take fulvic acid with herbs, medicinal mushrooms or essential oils suitable for internal consumption.
  • Topically, use fulvic acid in a natural healing salve recipe including plant extracts known to support the skin’s healing.

Should you add fulvic acid to your daily health regimen?

The choice is yours. I believe that we need to supplement with fulvic acid now in order to harness the ability to get more nutrient absorption, increased detoxification, and increased electrical potential.

This may be the missing puzzle piece and help explain the dramatic increase in chronic disease that people of all ages are experiencing. The information on fulvic acid resonated with me the first time I began hearing about it. When that happens, I cannot keep silent – for who knows whether you and I have come to this information for such a time as this.

Originally published: 2019-11-06

Article updated: 2019-11-07

Posted by: | Posted on: November 16, 2019

Coca-Cola’s Plastic Secrets


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/16/coca-cola-plastic-pollution-documentary.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
November 16, 2019

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • “The Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke,” a documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, reveals Coca-Cola’s untruths about what it is doing about plastic pollution
  • Coca-Cola sells 120 billion plastic bottles a year
  • Coca-Cola partnered with Keep America Beautiful to appear to be environmentally conscientious
  • Coca-Cola changed from returnable glass bottles to single-use plastic bottles to boost its profits
  • While feigning concern about plastic pollution, Coca-Cola lobbyists secretly fight recycling laws

What do the soft drink brands Sprite, Fanta and Dasani all have in common? They are all owned by The Coca-Cola Co., the soft drink monolith that makes 500 different brands amounting to nearly 4,000 drink choices.1

Coca-Cola’s top brands, including Coke and Diet Coke, generate more than $1 billion a year in sales. But as those of us who are environmentally conscious know, they also generate much of the world’s plastic pollution.

A riveting 2019 documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke,” exposes how Coca-Cola deceives customers and environmentalists about its plastic pollution.2

Last year, James Quincey, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., announced a “World Without Waste” campaign to “collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030.”3

While the PR spin sounds believable, the DW documentary depicts Coca-Cola’s glib nonchalance about actually reaching its stated antipollution goals, the origins of its profit-oriented plastic bottle push and how its plastic pollution is a blight on poorer countries in particular.

Coca-Cola’s Cagey Switch to Plastic Bottles

Younger people may not remember but as late as the early 1980s, in some locations in the U.S., Coke was not sold in the plastic, single-use polluting bottle we see today. It was sold in glass bottles for which the customer paid a deposit and which the customer had to return.

I can personally remember seeing people washing out their used glass Coke bottles and returning them, usually in a six-bottle cardboard holder, to the store where they were bought for a new “six pack.” When you think about it, the deposit/return Coke bottles were the essence of recycling. But not for long.

By 1975, Coca-Cola was already running TV ads extolling the virtues of the single-use plastic Coke bottle which was “so light” compared with the old, soon-to-be-outdated glass bottle and presumably more pleasing to the consumer. Soon “no deposit/no return” Coke soft drinks were the norm with no thought or plan of how to deal with their mass disposal.

Plastic Bottles Made Coca-Cola More Money

Why did Coca-Cola switch to plastic? The answer should surprise no one. Returnable bottles forced Coca-Cola to “internalize their pollution costs” says Bart J. Elmore, author of Citizen Coke, who is interviewed in the documentary. Plastic bottles allowed, and continue to allow, outsourcing of the problem and the costs to consumers and taxpayers. The public pays for the plastic pollution.

Arsen Darnay, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee who was the first engineer in the world to investigate the ecological impact of Coca-Cola bottles, was also interviewed in “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke.”

Darnay was one of two principal researchers working for Midwest Research Institute, a group hired by Coca-Cola in the spring of 19704 to look at how glass bottles affected the environment, compared to metal and plastic containers.

Recounting how he discovered that “returnable glass pollutes significantly less” than plastic, Darnay said, “We put this together for them, and they didn’t publish it … They were not interested in having the public see the total picture.” Then, he said, he “watched them slowly introduce the plastic bottles.”

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Shifting the Blame for Plastic Pollution Onto Consumers

From launching the more profitable single-use plastic bottles to its call for more consumer involvement with pollution, Coca-Cola has continually and successfully shifted the problem of its plastic pollution onto consumers, says Elmore.

Back in the 1970s, when its switch to plastic bottles began, Coke partnered with Keep America Beautiful, to position itself on the side of environmentalism and subtly imply that litter, and especially plastic litter, was somehow the consumer’s fault and problem, Elmore adds. Few realize Coca-Cola was behind the Keep America Beautiful campaign.

“Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke” shows an old Keep America Beautiful TV ad that shamelessly uses a Native American man, belonging to a demographic associated with environmental purity, to plead for the public not to pollute.

Nowhere in the ad is there mention of the industrial producers like Coca-Cola that contribute to such pollution. It is all the consumers’ fault, the PR campaign and continual campaigns imply.

PR Document Exposes Coca-Cola Lobbying Hypocrisy

From a PR standpoint, Coca-Cola wants to appear conscientious and environmentally responsible. For example, this is what CEO James Quincey wrote in his 2018 op-ed titled “Why a World Without Waste Is Possible:”5

“Consumers around the world care about our planet. They want and expect companies like ours to be leaders and help make a litter-free world possible… Through our ‘World Without Waste’ vision, we are investing in our planet and in in our packaging to help make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past.”

Yet, the reporters contributing to “Plastic Tide” unearthed some embarrassing documents that show a very different side to Coca-Cola. The documents, from Coke’s lobbyist in Brussels, recommend the company strongly fight recycling legislation as well as restrictions on advertising to children and caffeine in their drinks.

When confronted with the lobbyist recommendations in the documentary, Michael Goltzman, Coca-Cola’s vice president for social impact and global policy, disavows the stated goals and says they are no longer Coke’s “strategy.”

Though the report is only 2 years old when Goltzman dismisses it, he could not name when the strategy was changed or point to any updated documents when the interviewer asked. He admits Coca-Cola is still using the same lobbyist.

Tanzania Is a Casualty of Coca-Cola’s Plastic Pollution

The African country of Tanzania is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and pristine locations in the world. But “Plastic Tide” shows how plastic pollution has impacted and seemingly altered forever the country’s economy and natural beauty. As in the U.S., Coca-Cola replaced glass bottles with single-use plastic in Tanzania.

The documentary includes an interview with a foreman at a Coca-Cola bottling warehouse who directs the distribution of what looks like millions of single-use plastic bottles to be sold. He assures the “Plastic Tide” interviewers that the bottles are what consumers want and present no problems. “It’s all good,” he says.

Then viewers see a 50-year-old woman scavenging for plastic along plastic-strewn areas in Tanzania, adding each discarded piece to a huge bag she is carrying to contain them. We are told she does this every day to feed her family and earns about 2 Euros a day for her effort.

There is little money in collecting plastic anymore, she tells the interviewer; the market for plastic has really fallen off. The impoverished woman living on pennies from plastic waste is no doubt referring to the world wide implications of China refusing, in 2017, to accept any more of the world’s plastic waste.6 Having no place to sell plastic waste for recycling has affected poor and rich countries alike.

No Recycling System in Place, Admits Coca-Cola Official

When a documentary representative shows him photos from plastic-polluted Tanzania, Goltzman again has no clear answers. “I don’t like looking at those clips,” he admits, but adds that he is not aware of any systems for addressing Coke’s plastic pollution in Tanzania. He’s not even aware of why such a system is not in place. He sounds baffled. “We don’t see a world without plastic,” he admits at the same time he tries to assure that Coke has a plan in place, but not yet implemented.

Nor was Goltzman able to answer why a commitment in a Coca-Cola document in 2008 to have all Coke bottled beverages contain 25% recycled plastic by 2015 was not met.

Further chipping away at the credibility of the soft drink giant, Helene Bourges of Greenpeace says in “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke” that despite the company’s claim that 12% of their product is made from recycled plastic, only 7% actually is. Clearly, Coca-Cola, which sells 120 billion plastic bottles a year, according to the documentary, is playing fast and loose with the truth.

Plastic Is a Threat to Life Everywhere

Plastic pollution is pervasive, infiltrating water and food supplies and adversely affecting the environment, on which humanity depends for food, water and natural resources, and the solution to this problem cannot be placed solely on consumers “doing the right thing” with the plastic products they buy. Clearly, companies like Coca-Cola need to face the facts as well — and at bare minimum live up to its own promises.

Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Researchers estimate a single plastic coffee pod may take up to 500 years, the duration of the Roman Empire.7 While the impact of plastic tends to be focused on manufacturing and/or disposal, a report by the Center for International Environmental Law, in partnership with six other environmental organizations, finds:8

“… that each of those stages interacts with others, and all of them interact with the human environment and the human body in multiple, often intersecting, ways.”

The report associates plastics with numerous forms of cancer, neurological, reproductive and developmental toxicities, as well as diabetes, organ malfunctions and a significant impact on eyes and skin. Although it appears plastic is cheap and convenient, Graham Forbes, global plastics project leader for Greenpeace, points out that the true cost is reflected in how:9

“Plastics are harming or killing animals around the globe, contributing to climate change and keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, entering our air, water, and food supplies, and seriously jeopardizing human health throughout their lifecycle.”

Recycling Is Vastly Underutilized

Only 8% of plastic is ever recycled,10 and even then, some of the items tossed in the recycling bin may never make it to the recycling center. Some end up contaminating entire loads of recyclables that would otherwise have gone on to other uses.

While it’s best to verify guidelines for your local facility, anything smaller than a Post-it note cannot be sorted properly, so unless you screw on bottle tops it’s better to throw them away. Bubble padded envelopes, wax paper and diapers are not recyclable.

Paper cups with shiny coatings or paper food bowls with plastic lining will not be accepted. For ways to become a recycling expert, see my previous article, “Top 11 Tips to Become an Expert at Recycling.”

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Use

Still, while improved recycling is part of the answer, it’s unlikely to be enough. The use of plastic needs to be reduced at the front end as well. Companies like Coca-Cola would do well to return to glass bottles, for example, rather than insisting on plastic bottles.

Even if all glass is not recycled, it’s an inert substance that is not going to poison the earth for centuries to come. Aside from urging Coke and other beverage makers to use glass bottles, and avoiding beverages sold in plastic, you can also have a positive impact on plastic pollution by:

Using reusable shopping bags for groceries and reusable produce bags for fresh produce
Taking your own leftovers container to restaurants
Bringing your own mug for coffee, and bringing drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water
Requesting no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning
Avoiding disposable utensils and straws
Opting for nondisposable razors, washable feminine hygiene products for women, cloth diapers, handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, rags in lieu of paper towels and infant toys made of wood rather than plastic
Avoiding processed foods (which are stored in plastic bags with chemicals). Buy fresh produce instead, and forgo the plastic bags
Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 7, 2019

Trans Fats Linked to Increased Risk for Alzheimer’s


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/07/trans-fats-and-alzheimers.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Three dietary components shown to promote dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are sugar (especially processed fructose), grains and trans fats
  • Research published in the October 2019 issue of Neurology found a strong link between trans fat consumption and incidence of dementia and its various subtypes, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • People in the highest quartile of trans fat levels were 74% more likely to develop dementia. Those in the second-highest quartile had a 52% higher risk
  • Diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89% increased risk for dementia while diets high in healthy fats are associated with a 44% reduced risk
  • Up to half of all Alzheimer’s cases could also be prevented by addressing other modifiable lifestyle contributors such as physical inactivity, depression, smoking, high blood pressure, midlife obesity and diabetes

As noted by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of “Grain Brain” and “Brain Maker,” your diet and other lifestyle factors have major implications for your Alzheimer’s risk.

Indeed, according to research1,2 published in the journal Lancet Neurology in 2011, up to half of all Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented by addressing modifiable lifestyle contributors such as physical inactivity, depressionsmokinghigh blood pressure, midlife obesity and diabetes.

Three dietary components shown to promote this neurological degeneration are sugar (especially processed fructose), grains and trans fats. Research3,4 from the Mayo Clinic, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012, found diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89% increased risk for dementia while diets high in healthy fats are associated with a 44% reduced risk.

As noted by the authors,5 “A dietary pattern with relatively high caloric intake from carbohydrates and low caloric intake from fat and proteins may increase the risk of MCI [mild cognitive impairment] or dementia in elderly persons.” Similarly, a 2013 study6 in the journal BioMed Research International reported that:

“Increasing epidemiological studies suggest that diet and nutrition might be important modifiable risk factors for AD [Alzheimer’s disease].

Dietary supplementation of antioxidants, B vitamins, polyphenols, and polyunsaturated fatty acids are beneficial to AD, and consumptions of fish, fruits, vegetables, coffee, and light-to-moderate alcohol reduce the risk of AD … Adherence to a healthy diet, the Japanese diet, and the Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of AD.”

Trans Fat Consumption Increases Your Dementia Risk

Most recently, research7 published in the October 2019 issue of Neurology found a strong link between trans fat consumption and incidence of dementia and its various subtypes, which includes Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The study included 1,628 Japanese seniors aged 60 and older. None had dementia at the outset of the study, which went on for 10 years. Levels of elaidic acid — a biomarker for industrial trans fat — in the participants’ blood were measured using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

Based on those levels, the hazard ratios for all-cause dementia, AD and vascular dementia were calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model. As reported by the authors:8

“Higher serum elaidic acid levels were significantly associated with greater risk of developing all-cause dementia and AD after adjustment for traditional risk factors. These associations remained significant after adjustment for dietary factors, including total energy intake and intakes of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.”

This increase in risk was not slight. As reported by CNN,9 people in the highest quartile of elaidic acid levels were 74% more likely to develop dementia. Those in the second-highest quartile had a 52% higher risk. No association between trans fat and vascular dementia was found.

Of the various processed foods found to contribute to elevated elaidic acid levels, pastries were the biggest contributors, followed by margarine, candy, caramels, croissants, nondairy creamers, ice cream and rice cakes.10

Dr. Richard Isaacson, a neurologist and director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the study, commented on the findings to CNN:11

“The study used blood marker levels of trans fats, rather than more traditionally used dietary questionnaires, which increases the scientific validity of the results. This study is important as it builds upon prior evidence that dietary intake of trans fats can increase risk of Alzheimer’s dementia.”

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What Is Trans Fat?

As explained by CNN:12

“… artificial trans fats are created by an industrialized process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid (think of semi-soft margarine and shortening).

The food industry loves trans fats because they are cheap to produce, last a long time and give foods a great taste and texture. Besides fried foods, trans fats are found in coffee creamer, cakes, pie crusts, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, biscuits and dozens of other processed foods.”

Trans fats are different from an unsaturated fat by a single hydrogen molecule on the opposite side of a carbon bond.13 This one positional change is responsible for the difference in characteristics of the fat, and the increased danger to your health.

Aside from dementia, strong evidence also links trans fats with inflammation and the development of insulin resistance and heart disease (all of which also happen to be risk factors for Alzheimer’s).

Faced with overwhelming evidence of harm, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration removed partially hydrogenated oils (a primary source of trans fat) from the list of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) list of food ingredients in 2015, and as of June 18, 2019, food manufacturers are no longer allowed to use partially hydrogenated oils in foods14 due to their health risks.

Processed foods manufactured before this date, however, are allowed to remain on the market until January 1, 2021.15 (Compliance dates vary depending on whether manufacturers had “limited use” permissions for partially hydrogenated oils, but these are the final dates where all use must cease.)

However, that doesn’t mean that trans fats have been entirely eliminated and are of no further concern. What’s more, as long as a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, food manufacturers are allowed to label it as trans fat free.

The problem with this is that many experts agree there is no safe threshold below which trans fats are safe.16 To determine whether a product might still contain trans fats, carefully read the ingredients list.

Any item containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is bound to contain trans fat, even if the label says “0 Trans Fat.” Fried food and baked goods in general are also suspect.17,18 As lead study author Dr. Toshiharu Ninomiya, a professor at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, noted in a press release:19

“In the United States, the small amounts still allowed in foods can really add up if people eat multiple servings of these foods, and trans fats are still allowed in many other countries.”

Trans Fat Has Killed Millions

The rise of trans fat can be directly attributed to the wrongful vilification of saturated fats and cholesterol. We now have decades’ worth of data showing saturated fat and dietary cholesterol have no impact on heart disease and mortality. Meanwhile, studies have revealed the switch from saturated fat to trans fat-rich partially hydrogenated vegetable oils have led to the premature death of millions.

When New York severely limited the amount of trans fat allowed to be served at restaurants, it offered a unique opportunity for researchers to study20 the effects on residents and compare rates of heart attack and stroke before and after the restriction.

Three or more years after the restrictions were imposed on specific counties in New York City, researchers found a 6.2% reduction in heart attacks and stroke in those counties compared to areas of the city where the restrictions on trans fat were not imposed.

Considering trans fat has proliferated in the American diet since the late 1950s, the unnecessary death toll attributable to trans fat likely numbers in the millions each year, nationwide. Similar findings have been reported by Danish researchers. Denmark was the first country to act on research demonstrating the dangerous health effects of trans fat.

The study,21 published in 2016, found that in the three years after trans fats were regulated, which nearly eliminated it from the Danish food supply, the annual mean death toll from cardiovascular disease was reduced by an average of 14.2 deaths per 100,000 people per year.

We’ve Known Trans Fat Takes a Toll on Cognition for Years

One can only guess how many people have lost their minds thanks to trans fat over these past decades. The 2019 Neurology study certainly wasn’t the first to demonstrate a clear link between trans fat consumption and dementia risk.

For example, in a 2012 study,22 Dr. Gene Bowman, assistant professor of neurology at Oregon Health and Science University, reported a strong correlation between trans fat and cognitive performance.

People with high levels of trans fat in their blood performed significantly worse in cognitive testing and had reduced brain volume. Bowman commented on the results to HuffPost:23

“It’s clear that trans fats are bad — both for your heart and now, we see, for your brain. So I would recommend that people stay away from all trans fats.

If you aren’t sure whether something has them, just look at the ingredients … if there’s vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated anything … just put it down. That’s the big message here.”

Similarly, a 2015 study24 led by Dr. Beatrice Golomb found trans fat intake was linked to memory impairment in people under the age of 45. Each gram of trans fat consumed per day was linked to a 0.76 word decrease in word recall.

In the highest trans fat group, participants could recall on average 11 fewer words than those with the lowest trans fat intake, who had an average word recall of 86 words. The research, while unable to establish cause and effect, suggests trans fats may act as a pro-oxidant, contributing to oxidative stress that causes cellular damage.

Oxidized Omega-6 — Another Harmful Fat to Beware Of

It is clearly important to avoid trans fat, but as you will find out next year in an interview I am doing with Dr. Chris Knobbe about his Ancestral Health Symposium presentation, it is processed oils that are the primary culprit for nearly all Western diseases. Assiduously avoiding them is the key to staying healthy.

This is largely related to the oxidized omega-6 fat found in many processed foods, which may actually be even worse than trans fat. Now, omega-6 fat (linolenic acid) in and of itself is not the problem. Linoleic acid is also found in foods such as nuts, seeds and eggs, and is important for health.

The problem is oxidized omega-6 fat, and the fact that most people eat far too much of it. Intakes of omega 6 fat more than century ago were typically below 5 to 10 grams a day, and most of us now eat FAR more than that. For years, I’ve stressed the importance of balancing your omega-3 to omega-6 intake to protect your health.

Eating too much damaged omega-6 fat (found in abundance in processed vegetable oils) and too little marine-based omega-3 sets the stage not just for Alzheimer’s but also for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and depression — and that’s the short list.

It is very easy to overeat omega-6 fats. I recently switched from macadamia nuts to pecans, which are also low in carbs and protein, but I did not realize pecans are loaded with omega-6 fats, relative to macadamia nuts. I only discovered this by using the terrific nutrient tracker Cronometer.com. I have since realized that is not wise to eat more than a handful of nuts and not every day.

I discuss some of the most significant hazards of omega-6-rich vegetable oils in “This Fat Is Actually Worse Than Trans Fat.”

The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats ranges from 1-to-1 to 1-to-5, but the typical Western diet tends to be between 1-to-20 and 1-to-50. Most people, especially Americans, are guilty of this lopsided omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and to correct it, you typically need to do two things:

1.Significantly decrease intake of damaged omega-6 by avoiding processed foods and foods cooked in vegetable oil at high temperatures. A number of studies25,26 have found that people who regularly eat deep-fried foods have a significantly increased risk of stroke and death.

Common sources of harmful omega-6 to avoid include corn oil, canola oil, soy oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, margarine and shortening.

2.Increase your intake of animal-based omega-3 fats. Ideal sources include small fatty fish such as sardines, anchovies and herring, along with wild-caught Alaskan salmon, or a supplement such as krill oil.

Examples of Healthy Fats to Eat More Of

When it comes to dietary fats, remember this simple ground rule: Natural is best. The tips that follow can help ensure you’re eating the right fats for your health:

Use organic butter (preferably made from organic grass fed raw milk) instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads — Butter is a healthy whole food that has received an unwarranted bad rap.

Ghee is even better, as you remove the milk solids that many have problems with. Ghee is pure fat with no carbs and is what I personally use. The best way to make it is to place it in a glass container in a dehydrator and don’t heat it higher than 100 degrees F. to preserve the quality.

You can suck off the milk solids with a glass baster. Once you have the ghee you don’t even need to refrigerate it as it is stable at room temperature for many weeks.

Use organic pastured pork lard for cooking and baking — A 2015 analysis27 of more than 1,000 raw foods ranked raw separated pork fat, also known as pork lard, as the eighth healthiest food on a list of 100.28 Valuable nutrients found in lard include:

Vitamin D29

Omega-3 fats30

Monounsaturated fats31 (the same fats found in avocados and olive oil32)

Saturated fats33

Choline34

Coconut oil is another excellent cooking oil that is loaded with health benefits.

To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw nuts, raw dairy products and olive oil. Also increase your animal-based omega-3 fat intake by eating more sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring or wild-caught Alaskan salmon, or take a supplement such as krill oil.

Following my nutrition plan will automatically reduce your modified fat intake, as it will teach you to focus on healthy whole foods instead of processed junk food. You can also learn more in my interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food.”

In it, she delves deep into the pros and cons of various fats. The following chart was also created by her, which gives you a quick overview of the good, the bad and the ugly.

good fats oils- versus bad

Eating Right Can Help Prevent Dementia

In closing, remember that, by and large, it is your everyday lifestyle choices that will determine whether your brain will maintain its function throughout your lifetime, or degenerate with age into a potentially deadly neurological disease like Alzheimer’s.

With regard to diet specifically, key factors that will promote lifelong brain health include the following. For a list that also includes other suggested lifestyle modifications, see “How Excess Iron Raises Your Risk for Alzheimer’s.”

Eat real food, ideally organic — Avoid processed foods of all kinds, as they contain a number of ingredients harmful to your brain, including refined sugar, processed fructose, grains (particularly gluten), vegetable oils, trans fats, genetically engineered ingredients and pesticides.

Ideally, keep your added sugar to a minimum and your total fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you already have insulin/leptin resistance or any related disorders.

Opting for organic produce will help you avoid synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Most will also benefit from a gluten-free diet, as gluten makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream where they sensitize your immune system and promote inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

Replace refined carbs with healthy fats — It’s important to realize that your brain actually does not need carbs and sugars; healthy fats such as saturated animal fats and animal-based omega-3 are far more critical for optimal brain function.

A cyclical ketogenic diet has the double advantage of both improving your insulin sensitivity and lowering your Alzheimer’s risk. When your body burns fat as its primary fuel, ketones are created, which not only burn very efficiently and are a superior fuel for your brain, but also generate fewer reactive oxygen species and less free radical damage.

Pay close attention to the kinds of fats you eat — avoid all trans fats or hydrogenated fats that have been modified in such a way to extend their shelf life. This includes margarine, vegetable oils and various butter-like spreads. For examples of healthy fats to add to your diet, see the section above.

Time-restricted eating in a six- to eight-hour window — Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool to jump-start your body into remembering how to burn fat and repair the insulin/leptin resistance that is a primary contributing factor for Alzheimer’s.
Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3 — If your insulin is high, you’re likely consuming too much sugar and need to cut back.
Optimize your omega-3 level — High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help prevent cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing its progression and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.

Ideally, get an omega-3 index test done once a year to make sure you’re in a healthy range. Your omega-3 index should be above 8% and your omega 6-to-3 ratio between 1-to-1 to 5-to-1.

Optimize your vitamin D level — Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s and, indeed, research shows people living in northern latitudes have higher rates of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s than those living in sunnier areas, suggesting vitamin D and/or sun exposure are important factors.

If you are unable to get sufficient amounts of sun exposure, take daily supplemental vitamin D3 to reach and maintain a blood level of 60 to 80 ng/mL. That said, it’s important to recognize that sun exposure is important for reasons unrelated to vitamin D.

Your brain responds to the near-infrared light in sunlight in a process called photobiomodulation. Research shows near-infrared stimulation of the brain boosts cognition and reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including more advanced stages of the disease.

Delivering near-infrared light to the compromised mitochondria synthesizes gene transcription factors that trigger cellular repair, and your brain is one of the most mitochondrial-dense organs in your body.

Optimize your magnesium levels — Preliminary research strongly suggests a decrease in Alzheimer symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Keep in mind that the only magnesium supplement that appears to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier is magnesium threonate.
Vitamin B12 — According to a 2010 study published in the journal Neurology,35,36 people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years. Very high doses of B vitamins have also been found to reduce memory loss by preventing brain shrinkage.37
Eat plenty of nitrate-rich foods — Beets and other nitrate-rich foods such as arugula provide powerful benefits for your brain and may be a powerful ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.38

Your body transforms plant-based nitrates into nitric oxide,39 which enhances oxygenation, has beneficial impacts on your circulatory and immune systems, and serves as a signaling or messenger molecule in every cell of your body.

The betanin in beets also helps prevent oxidation, particularly oxidation caused when the beta-amyloid is bound to copper, which may help prevent the misfolding and aggregation of amyloid beta.40

Previous research41 has also shown raw beet juice helps improve neuroplasticity, primarily by increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation. Nitric oxide, in its capacity as a signaling molecule, allows your brain cells to communicate with each other better. Importantly, the beets boosted oxygenation of the somatomotor cortex, a brain area that is often affected in the early stages of dementia.

Optimize your gut flora — To do this, avoid processed foods, antibiotics and antibacterial products, fluoridated and chlorinated water, and be sure to eat traditionally fermented and cultured foods, along with a high-quality probiotic if needed.

Remember that eating factory farmed meats will provide you with traces of antibiotics in each bite. Factory farmed meats are also a suspected route of prions, which are yet another culprit in Alzheimer’s. You can learn more about this in “Study Claims Alzheimer’s Disease Is a Double-Prion Disorder.”

Novel Treatments Are Being Explored

Diagnostic guidance and core treatment strategies are detailed in my interview with Dr. Dale Bredesen, featured in “ReCODE: The Reversal of Cognitive Decline.” (You can also download Bredesen’s full-text case paper,42 which details his ReCODE treatment program.)

On a side note, two promising treatment alternatives for Alzheimer’s include photobiomodulation, discussed in “Healing the Body With Photobiomodulation,” and a novel treatment developed at MIT using flickering lights and low frequency sound to stimulate gamma frequencies in the brain,43 which appears to reduce plaque formation.44

MIT neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai discussed the experiments at a recent Society for Neuroscience meeting, saying the therapy appears to improve survival and health of neurons, improving neuronal connectivity and dilating blood vessels in the brain. His team is now investigating whether it might in fact slow Alzheimer’s disease in humans.45

Over the years, as more and more drug trials have failed to find an answer to Alzheimer’s, researchers are increasingly starting to realize that to be able to address this disease with any measure of success, we have to go back to basics.

There’s a wealth of data showing diet and lifestyle factors are where it’s at when it comes to Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment, and this puts the power right into your own hands. There’s a lot you can do to minimize your risk, and cleaning up your diet is the best place to start.

– Sources and References