Diet

now browsing by category

 
Posted by: | Posted on: December 6, 2019

How trace minerals help to heal the body

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/trace-minerals-heal-3210.html
by: Natalie Robins, staff writer

sea salt(NaturalHealth365) Even if you try to eat a healthy, organic diet – you could be at risk for nutritional deficiencies without realizing it.  In fact, the National Institutes of Health concluded that “the vast majority of people in both affluent and emerging industrialized countries do not reach even 75 percent of the RDAs for numerous trace minerals.”The importance of nutrient status (and deficiencies) cannot be overstated. For example, magnesium deficiency is widespread among Americans. One study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, shows that 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient and, some experts like Carolyn Dean, MD have been warning the public for years.

Editor’s note: Sea salt is an excellent way to get trace minerals into your diet.  But, beware, most brands of sea salt are contaminated with microplastics.  Click here to discover our top pick for sea salt.

What is the importance of trace minerals?

Some minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, are more common in food and in your body. Trace minerals, on the other hand, are essential minerals that you only need in trace amounts.

The following is a condensed look at certain minerals and their purpose in the body:

  • Chromium is necessary for proper regulation of blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Cobalt is present in vitamin B12 and it is necessary for generating healthy, red blood cells.
  • Zinc allows for proper immune response, growth, antioxidant function and wound healing.
  • Selenium is necessary for proper antioxidant function and liver detoxification. It is also essential for healthy muscles and hair.
  • Iodine is necessary for your body to make thyroid hormone – which is involved in almost every process in your body including energy metabolism and temperature regulation.

Bottom line, trace minerals are essential to protect against common health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. Without enough trace minerals, you’re also susceptible to contamination from heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Why modern farming techniques MUST change to help save humanity

Why aren’t Americans getting enough trace minerals from their food supply?  Obviously, we should be looking at soil content.  Over the past century, the quality of our soil has been depleted by 85 percent – mainly due to modern methods of farming.

The agricultural sector is driven by crop yield, using every possible method to increase the number of pounds harvested. Intensive farming, combined with soil erosion, has resulted in soil with a lower mineral content. To make matters worse, chemical fertilizers are insufficient to replace the minerals needed for optimal health and poison the environment.

The singular focus on agricultural yield comes at the expense of nutritious food products and the nutritional status and health of Americans. Fruits and vegetables are now grown in soil with a lower nutrient content than in the past. A study in Canada found that tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce have on average one-eighth the mineral content today than they did at the beginning of the 20th century.

The ocean provides a natural way to correct mineral deficiencies

If you just can’t depend on the produce section of your supermarket, how can you give your body the nutrients it needs to heal your body? The answer may lie in the ocean, which is rich in minerals.

They’re in their complete, non-denatured form, which is the form most beneficial (and recognizable) to the human body.

If you have the time and space, you can grow your own fruits and vegetables using ocean trace minerals to fertilize them. Another option is to eat seaweed, either as a food or as a supplement. Sea vegetable capsules are another source of minerals, and sea vegetables also contain health-promoting compounds such as fucoidan – which can help lower your risk for disease.

Of course, like with any other food, it’s important to know the source – to minimize the risk of consuming toxic chemicals in the food supply.

Editor’s note:  If you want to avoid mineral deficiencies – I encourage you to investigate the health benefits of QuintEssential Optimum Mineralization 3.3.  This super clean product is now available, in limited supply, at the NaturalHealth365 Store.  And, yes, I’ve personally been using this high-quality product for over 4 years!

Sources for this article:

Personalhealthfacts.com
Healthy-Vegetable-Gardening.com

Posted by: | Posted on: December 3, 2019

An Avocado a Day Boosts Your Brain

© 27th 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/avocado-day-boosts-your-brain

LeanMachine Note: Lutein with Zeaxanthin is available as a supplement.
Posted by: | Posted on: December 1, 2019

Why Vegetable Oils Are Carcinogenic


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/25/effects-of-vegetable-oil-on-our-health.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Replacing dangerous vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil and canola oil with healthy fats such as lard, butter or coconut oil is a simple way to boost your health and reduce your risk of chronic disease, including cancer
  • Vegetable oils are a concentrated source of omega-6 linoleic acid, which has led to a severe imbalance between the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in most people’s diets. This imbalance appears to be why vegetable oils promote cancer
  • Consumption of saturated animal fats such as butter, lard and beef tallow fell by 27% between 1970 and 2014, while consumption of vegetable oils rose by 87%
  • Historically, mankind consumed omega-3 and omega-6 at a ratio of 1-to-1. Today, most get 25 times more omega-6 than omega-3, and this imbalance has been linked to heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases, inflammatory conditions and cancer, especially neuroblastoma, breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer
  • Your body metabolizes omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs into eicosanoids (hormone-like substances), and as a general rule, omega-3 eicosanoids are anti-inflammatory while omega-6 eicosanoids have proinflammatory effects. Part of the benefits of omega-3 fats is that they block the proinflammatory effects of omega-6 eicosanoids

Dietary fats are a crucial component of a healthy diet, but the devil’s in the details, and the type of fats you choose can make a world of difference. Replacing dangerous oils with healthy fats is one simple way to boost your health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Sadly, the fats that promote ill health are the very ones we’ve been told are the healthiest, and vice versa. Among the absolute worst types of fat you can eat are vegetable oils, such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower and canola oil, found in most processed foods and restaurant meals.

According to the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture report,1 “U.S. Trends in Food Availability,” consumption of saturated animal fats such as butter, lard and beef tallow fell by 27% between 1970 and 2014, while consumption of vegetable oils rose by 87%. Intake of salad and cooking oils specifically rose by a remarkable 248%.

In my view, processed vegetable oils, rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), are the most dangerous dietary factor of them all, taking a greater toll on human health than high fructose corn syrup even.

Not only have vegetable oils been linked to heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel disorder, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, they’ve also been linked to cancer, especially neuroblastoma, breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer. 2

Vegetable Oils — A Hidden Cause of Cancer

In a November 8, 2019, Medium article,3 Maria Cross, a nutritionist with a master of science degree, discusses the science behind vegetable oils and what makes them carcinogenic. She explains:

“There are two classes of PUFA: omega-6 and omega-3. Although functionally distinct and non-interchangeable, these two classes are perpetually engaged in a metabolic balancing act, pushing and pulling as they compete for absorption in the body.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with omega-6 PUFAs: we need them … If omega-6 fat is essential to health, it makes no sense that it can also cause cancer …

That’s why scientists believe that it is not omega-6 per se that is to blame; it’s the balance between the two groups of PUFA that is out of kilter and wreaking havoc on our bodies. We evolved on, and are genetically adapted to, a diet that provides more or less equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-64 …

With the industrialization of our diets, and the vast quantities of vegetable cooking oils that go into them, the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 has shifted enormously and we consume up to 25 times5 more omega-6 than omega-3 …

There can only be consequences, and indeed there are: experimental data6 supports the theory that it is this skewed balance between the two PUFAs that influences the development of a tumor.”

How Lopsided PUFA Ratios Promote Cancer

The cancer connection is also reviewed in a 2016 paper,7 “Role of Diets Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 in the Development of Cancer,” which points out that “Omega-6 and omega-3 PUFAs often compete with one another for metabolism and act in an opposing manner.”

Your body metabolizes omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs into eicosanoids, which are hormone-like substances, and as a general rule, omega-3 eicosanoids are anti-inflammatory while omega-6 eicosanoids have proinflammatory effects.8 Part of the benefits of omega-3 fats is that they block the proinflammatory effects of omega-6 eicosanoids.

As noted in the 2016 paper9 cited above, “several studies have demonstrated that omega-6 PUFAs induce progression in certain types of cancer,” while “omega-3 PUFAs possess a therapeutic role against certain types of cancer.”

Table 1 in that paper lists eight known mechanisms by which omega-3 lowers your risk of cancer. For example, omega-3 has been shown to inhibit insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and down-regulate growth factor receptors involved in cancer.

Omega-3 fats also reduce angiogenesis and cell-to-cell adhesion, improve the structure and function of cells, combat inflammation (which is a hallmark of cancer10) and induce cancer cell apoptosis (cell death).11 Table 2 in that same paper lists the pro-tumor mechanisms of omega-6 fats, which include:12

  • Creation of reactive species that damage DNA
  • 17-beta-estradiol epoxidation, which in turn generates a carcinogenic compound
  • Enhancing the genotoxic effects of other compounds

As explained in my book, “Superfuel,” co-written with James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D., omega-6 also inhibits cardiolipin, an important component of the inner membrane of your mitochondria that needs to be saturated in DHA in order for it to function properly.13

Cardiolipin can be likened to a cellular alarm system that triggers apoptosis (cell death) by signaling caspase-3 when something goes wrong with the cell. If the cardiolipin is not saturated with DHA, it cannot signal caspase-3, and hence apoptosis does not occur. As a result, dysfunctional cells are allowed to continue to grow, which can turn into a cancerous cell.

Advertisement

Get Up to 50% Off on Select Create Your Own Protein Powder Packs


Vegetable Oils Promote Virtually All Chronic Disease

Cancer is by far not the only health risk associated with vegetable oils. As mentioned, they promote virtually all chronic disease by throwing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio off kilter. But they also influence your disease risk in other ways.

Importantly, vegetable oils degrade when heated, forming extremely toxic oxidation products, including cyclic aldehydes.14 Cyclic aldehydes cause oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) associated with heart disease. They also crosslink tau protein and create neurofibrillary tangles, thereby contributing to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

As explained by Dr. Cate Shanahan in her book, “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food,”15 in order to understand how dietary fats affect your health you need to understand how fats oxidize.

The omega-6 PUFAs found in vegetable oils have highly perishable bonds that react with oxygen, creating a free radical cascade that turns normal fatty acids in your body into dangerous high-energy molecules that zip around, wreaking havoc in a way similar to that of radiation.

What’s more, many of the vegetable oils produced today — especially corn and soy oil — are genetically engineered and a significant source of glyphosate exposure, and glyphosate has also been linked to gut damage and other health problems.

Shanahan’s book also expounds on the hazards of 4-hydroxynonenal (4HNE), which forms during the processing of most vegetable oils. 4HNE is highly toxic, especially to your gut bacteria, and consumption of 4HNE has been correlated with having an obesogenic balance of gut flora.

4HNE causes cytotoxicity and DNA damage, and instigates free radical cascades that damage the mitochondrial membrane. As noted by Shanahan in our 2017 interview, featured in “Dietary Fats — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”:

“You can’t design a better delivery vehicle for a toxin that’s going to destroy your health slowly over the course of maybe 10, 20 years, depending on the genetics of your antioxidant system capacity.”

Shanahan also notes that organic vegetable oil is not the answer, as 4HNE occurs even if the oil is obtained from organic crops. It’s an intrinsic byproduct of the refining and processing of the oil, no matter how healthy the oil initially was.

The omega-6 found in vegetable oils also damages the endothelium (the cells lining your blood vessels), allowing LDL and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles to penetrate into the subendothelium.

In other words, these oils get integrated into your cell and mitochondrial membranes, and once these membranes are impaired, it sets the stage for all sorts of health problems.

They also make cell membranes less fluid, which impacts hormone transporters in the cell membrane and slows your metabolic rate, and inhibit the removal of senescent cells — aged, damaged or crippled cells that have lost the ability to reproduce and produce inflammatory cytokines that rapidly accelerate disease and aging.

Vegetable oils also strip your liver of glutathione (which produces antioxidant enzymes), thereby lowering your antioxidant defenses,16 and inhibit delta-6 desaturase (delta-6), an enzyme involved in the conversion of short-chained omega-3s to longer chained omega-3s in your liver.17

Address Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio to Protect Your Health

Marine-based omega-3 is one of the most important fats in the human diet, as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are actually key structural elements of cells, including your brain cells, and not just simple fuel. If you don’t have enough DHA and EPA, your body’s ability to repair and maintain healthy cell structures is seriously impaired.

The key that many overlook is the importance of getting the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 right. Simply adding in more omega-3 might not be sufficient if you’re not also taking steps to significantly lower your omega-6 intake, and vegetable oils are a primary source.

As noted in the 2002 paper,18 “The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids”:

“Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects.

In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect.

The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2–3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences.

These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. This is consistent with the fact that chronic diseases are multigenic and multifactorial.

Therefore, it is quite possible that the therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids will depend on the degree of severity of disease resulting from the genetic predisposition. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies …”

Since most processed foods and restaurant foods contain these oils, ridding your diet of them means ditching processed fare and restaurant meals, and cooking from scratch using healthier cooking fats. While you do need omega-6, it should be in its unprocessed form, not industrial vegetable oils. Good sources are whole, raw plant seeds and tree nuts.

Healthiest Fats for Cooking

While the devil’s in the details, and the details may be complicated, the simplest way to understand what a healthy diet consists of is to think back 100 years or so and consider what food was back then, and how it was prepared.

What you’re aiming for is real food — whole food that is as close to its natural state as possible. This may be particularly important when it comes to fats. Again, ditching vegetable oils and any food cooked with it can go a long way toward lowering inflammation and mitochondrial and cellular damage, which will protect you from a variety of common killers, including cancer. As for what to replace the vegetable oils with, the following are among your healthiest options:

Organic pastured pork lard — A 2015 analysis19 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 100.20 Valuable nutrients found in lard include vitamin D,21 omega-3 fats,22 monounsaturated fats23 (the same fats found in avocados and olive oil24), saturated fats25 and choline.26

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

Olive oil — Authentic olive oil contains healthy fatty acids that can help lower your risk of heart disease. While the standard recommendation has been to avoid using olive oil for cooking and to only use it cold, recent research27 in which 10 popular cooking oils were compared contradicts this advice, showing extra-virgin olive oil actually scored best for both oxidative stability and lack of harmful compounds produced when heated.

A word of caution is warranted, however. Fake olive oil abounds,28 so it’s important to take the time to investigate your sources. Many are adulterated with cheap vegetable oils or nonhuman grade olive oils,29 which are harmful to health in a number of ways. For more information, see “Is Your Olive Oil Fake?” where I cover this topic in-depth.

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.

Organic 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.

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.
healthiest cooking oil

– Sources and References
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.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

“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.”

Advertisement

Get 38% Off on Liver Support 90-Day Supply


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 18, 2019

The Damaging Effects of Oxalates on the Human Body


Reproduced from original article:
articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/10/oxalic-toxicity.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked – November 10, 2019

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Oxalic acid or oxalates are very tiny molecules that bind minerals like calcium and form crystals. It is found in a variety of seeds, nuts and many vegetables. It’s only two carbons and four oxygen molecules. It’s a highly reactive compound that is attracted to positively charged minerals
  • Oxalates not only can cause kidney stones (calcium oxalate kidney stones) but also may be responsible for a wide variety of other health problems related to inflammation, auto-immunity, mitochondrial dysfunction, mineral balance, connective tissue integrity, urinary tract issues and poor gut function
  • Oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of the tissues of excretion, particularly the kidneys and bladder
  • Having a damaged gut lining will increase your absorption of oxalates. An inflamed or damaged gut lining is a very common problem, thanks to frequent antibiotic use and the presence of a number of chemicals in our food supply, including glyphosate. Other plant compounds such as phytates and lectins (such as gluten) can worsen gut health and exacerbate the impact of oxalates
  • Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates

Sally Norton,1 who has studied nutrition and has a graduate degree in public health, is one of the leading experts on oxalate poisoning — a topic you don’t hear much about. Chances are you may never have heard about oxalates, or have any idea why they might matter.

As is often the case with experts in any health field, her expertise is an outgrowth of her personal struggles with health problems that didn’t respond to more conventional treatments, including healthy living (Norton was a vegetarian for 16 years).

“Like so many other people who are now discovering this, I was the kind of person who, no matter what I did, I could not create the vibrant robust health that I felt that I wanted, that I felt was intended for me to have.

It was just perpetual frustration, which is kind of amazing because the more you try to be healthy, the less it works — even when you’ve got a degree in nutrition from Cornell University and a degree in public health.

I worked in integrative medicine and knew all the holistic and complementary healing modalities … Here I was, the health expert who was not healthy …

The Vulvar Pain (VP) Foundation started educating people 25 years ago and making a big effort to get foods properly tested to know about oxalates in food because the story here is that we’re eating foods that are full of a toxin called oxalate …

We’re not paying attention to how this chemical’s affecting our physiology … [Oxalate] is a natural chemical that plants make, and we even make oxalate in our own metabolism.”

Chances are, if you have heard of oxalates, you’ve heard of them in relation to calcium oxalate kidney stones. A vast majority of the scientific information available on oxalate refers to this. However, while it certainly contributes to kidney stones, it can also have other detrimental health effects.

Interestingly, from the 1850s through the early 1900s, oxalate poisoning was well-recognized. Back then, it was referred to as oxalic acid diathesis. It was known to be a seasonal problem that got worse in the spring and summer, when fresh greens were available, when people’s oxalate consumption would go up.

Unfortunately, it has since gotten lost and left out of clinical science. As noted by Norton, there’s scientific evidence showing oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of excretion routes, particularly the kidneys.

Oxalate 101


Oxalic acid or oxalates are tiny molecules found in a variety of seeds, nuts and vegetables. It’s only two carbons and four oxygen molecules. It’s a highly reactive compound that is attracted to positively charged minerals. Norton explains:

“Calcium has a particular love of oxalate, and vice versa. The two of them seek each other out quite easily. We often see very abundantly the calcium oxalate form of oxalate. We see it in the plants. The plants form crystals and have the smaller individual ions and nanocrystals.

But they do form these bigger constructions, these kinds of plant pyramids, rocks and sticks and diamonds and things that the plants make, probably deliberately for many … plants are making use of oxalate for self-defense.

In the body, you’re going to see these other forms … A molecule that has less strong a bond — potassium oxalate, sodium oxalate and so on — those are the soluble forms. When you see oxalate in nature, you see the big calcium oxalate crystals — that’s the same thing that the kidney stone is made of. The major ingredient of the classic kidney stone is oxalate.

Unfortunately, in our parlance in medicine, we think of it as calcium … We just generalize to calcium because there are multiple types of calcium stones. But in the case of oxalate stones and oxalates causing calcification in the body, the oxalate part gets sort of dropped.

Medicine is not taught that you need the substrate to make a kidney stone. You need to provide enough oxalic acid or oxalate, soluble oxalate, the potassium oxalate, the sodium oxalates and so on. You can provide enough of that to perform this calcification in the kidneys and elsewhere in the body.

The plants that we’re eating have these oxalate crystals. The big ones just cause abrasion … They’re very small, but at the cellular level they’re quite big and abrasive. They just cause mechanical damage …

These soluble oxalates are the ones that easily — because they’re so tiny — pass through in between cells. Just with passive transport, we end up absorbing oxalates. The amount we absorb depends on a lot of factors, especially the health of our digestive tract.

Those of us with any inflammation in the digestive tract are more prone … to absorbing more of that soluble oxalate and even nanocrystals of calcium oxalate. At least 1% of calcium oxalate from food is also absorbed, in addition to the soluble oxalate.

But you see, soluble oxalate is not content being potassium oxalate. It would much rather be calcium oxalate, iron oxalate or magnesium oxalate. Right away, it starts grabbing minerals. It starts messing with mineral metabolism. It even can create bouts of acidosis.”

Advertisement

Get Up to 40% Off on Select Complete Probiotics


Conditions That Can Worsen Oxalates’ Impact

As mentioned, having a damaged gut lining will increase your absorption of oxalates. Most people, in fact, have damaged gut lining, thanks to a number of assaulting compounds and chemicals.

The presence of glyphosate in our food supply is one of these problematic compounds. If you’re not eating mostly organic food, you’re bound to be consuming glyphosate, which can wreak havoc on your gut function, as described in “Glyphosate: Pathways to Modern Diseases.”

Other gut-destroying exposures include frequent antibiotic use, which can lead to various forms of microbiome imbalance, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Some processed foods contain mucus-destroying emulsifiers. Even a number of naturally occurring plant compounds such as phytates and lectins (such as gluten) as well as the sharp oxalate microcrystals are trouble for gut health. These and other compounds found in foods can worsen gut inflammation and exacerbate the impact of oxalates by allowing oxalates easy entry into the blood stream.

Many of the foods that have become popularized in the modern diet are also high-oxalate foods, which means exposure is higher in general.

High-Oxalate Foods

Examples of high-oxalate foods include potatoes, peanuts, nuts, spinachbeets, beet greens, chocolate, blackberrieskiwifigs, black beans, buckwheat, quinoa and whole grains. Norton ate a lot of beans, soy, Swiss chard, and sweet potatoes when she was a vegetarian; these are all high oxalate foods. When she cut wheat and soy from her diet, sweet potatoes became a daily staple in her diet.

Eventually, she discovered the healing value of animal foods such as bone broth, but it took many years of painful disease before she made the connection between her arthritis and her favorite plant foods.

Nuts and seeds tend to contain high amounts of oxalates, so any seed is suspect if you’re sensitive. Pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, sunflower and flax are among the safest, as they contain lower amounts. Oils and fats, even when extracted from plants, are all low in oxalates.

“When you extract an oil or fat, you do not take with you the oxalates. It could have been from a peanut. The oil’s still low. Olives are pretty high, but olive oil’s low. It’s really simple. It’s not in the animal foods, and it’s not in the oils and fats. But it’s in most things that are seeds,” Norton says.

“It’s also in several green vegetables, mainly spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens. Those are really the bad ones. There are a couple of kales that are not so good.

Collards are kind of medium bad. The mixed greens that people like now … those baby mixes are loaded with little beet green leaves, little Swiss chard leaves, which are high [in] oxalates …

Certain fruits are really high: kiwi … clementine … Anjou pears, guava, figs, elderberries, apricots, blackberries, unripe avocados … Starfruit is so high it’s really dangerous.”

Signs and Symptoms of Oxalate Poisoning

Tissue destruction, fibromyalgia and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are all issues that can be related to oxalates because oxalate in tissues trigger the inflammasome reactions of the body’s innate immune system.

“This reactive compound kind of trashes your basic building blocks of connective tissue,” Norton says. Oxalates also cause inflammation and interfere with your body’s natural healing and repair mechanisms that usually happen overnight while you sleep.

Needless to say, this can worsen a wide variety of ailments, and trigger just as many. Norton tells the story of her own health problems, and how she finally identified oxalates as the culprit causing them all.

“Glycoproteins are where the oxalates get stuck on cells. We tend to see oxalates keeping old injuries in place where you don’t fully recover all the way. That’s one symptom. You’ve got things that don’t completely clear up. For me, it was my feet … I was forced to leave school and go get these feet dealt with. I just could not function anymore.

I had surgery. I stayed out of school for four years because I wasn’t getting better … I was getting weird vulvar symptoms, arthritis, fatigue, difficulty focusing and cognitive problems. There are a lot of neurological neurotoxicity [effects from oxalate] that interfere with cognitive function and sleep.

Fast forward years later to 2009 when I learned about the Vulvar Pain Foundation and connected the bout of vulvar pain that I had to my diet. But it took me years more of flipping around with complete disability. I could no longer work … I basically was sofa-bound.

I had to have a hysterectomy … There was endometriosis in there. The ovaries were trashed … and I didn’t recover well from that. My endocrinologist sent me off to this sleep lab because he said, ‘You’re eating great. You look awesome by way of blood tests. But, obviously, you can’t read, function or exercise.’

I was surprised to see that my nervous system was so toxic that my brain was waking up 29 times an hour … I developed irritable bowel syndrome, and then eventually it turned into chronic constipation, which is very common amongst us oxalate-poisoned people.

Part of what’s going on there is those nerves and muscles are almost paralyzed. They’ve lost their control. Their sphincters aren’t working well. The muscle tone in the colon is not functioning well because of this constant stream of oxalates coming …

It looks like you have SIBO, or you probably do, because of all the antibiotics. Of course, … emulsifiers in our [processed] foods are eroding away the mucous layer. The mucous layer is another layer of protection that we’ve lost and increases our absorption of oxalates.”

Eventually, you may develop signs and symptoms that look very much like an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Norton realized she needed to get her gut healthy. The question was how. She’d already tried everything she could think of.

An experiment with a kiwi diet in 2013 finally made the oxalate issue hit home. Her arthritis flared up and she couldn’t sleep from the pain. At that point, it dawned on her that the kiwi — a high-oxalate fruit — and the arthritis were connected.

In about 10 days on an oxalate-free diet, all of her symptoms improved. Six months after that, her feet, which had never properly healed after her surgery, were completely fine.

Lectins and Oxalates Are a Problematic Mix

On a related note, lectins — another plant chemical — can also wreak havoc on your health, and Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in ‘Healthy’ Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain,” strongly believes lectins are at play in many autoimmune diseases. Norton warns that together, lectins and oxalates can “gang up on you.”

“Plants have many other chemicals too. In my research, it looks like the main target of plant chemicals that are aggressive and harmful to us is the gut … Lectins are going to create that leaky damage and make you vulnerable to infection and absorbing oxalates.

Basically, these [oxalate] nanocrystals and ions are the most toxic forms. The bigger ones that later on you can see in … kidney stones, they’re actually less toxic than the little ones.

Nanocrystals are known to interfere with the charge on cells. They depolarize cell membranes and start disabling the functions of membranes, which means your mitochondria are not working. The oxalate slows down the mitochondrial ability to produce energy.

The nanocrystals of asbestos and oxalates have basically the same level of harm. It’s just that we don’t eat asbestos three times a day and call it health food.”

How Oxalates Contribute to Heart Failure

Oxalates can also contribute to heart arrhythmia, heart failure, endothelial disorders or generalized endothelial distress. Endothelial cells are the cells that line everything, including your vascular system. Oxalates floating around your vascular system can do considerable damage, causing irritation and injury to endothelial cells.

“You set up the conditions for vascular problems,” Norton says. “Oxalates are grabbing minerals. It’s taking calcium out of the blood … and probably other minerals as well. It also has the potential to take the place of the normal chelator that would hold iron in your transferrin …

What we see in people who are post-keto, where they’ve been doing the almond bread and spinach smoothies a lot (these are the kind of people who come to me — ex-vegans and ex-keto dieters), they are getting attacks of heart rates of 130, 150. They’re getting attacks of arrhythmia … A few of them get hospitalized and they’re seeing T-wave inversions … In this case, people have stopped eating the almond bread and the spinach smoothies …

Now the body is so ready to be done with the oxalate that’s gotten stuck in all these tissues that it starts removing too much at one time. Then you get localized acidosis. You get effects in the blood. You get effects in the heart rate.

We see this electrolyte disturbance, which involves continued wasting of potassium and other minerals. We have to keep re-adding these minerals. Also, it’s almost like tissue dehydration. I really like to push salt, potassium, calcium and magnesium to help manage this sort of flushing …

Diaphragm hiccups, by the way, are a bad sign … hiccups are a neurotoxicity symptom; the vagus nerve and the whole diaphragm is getting flipped up by being poisoned … The literature … shows that one of the last symptoms before the rats die or the humans die from oxalic acid poisoning is hiccups …”

Dental tartar and even dental caries are other signs of excessive oxalates. I struggled with chronic tartar buildup myself, until I learned it was related to oxalates. When clearing out oxalates you may also experience sinus pain. Your sinuses, eyes, teeth, jaw and salivary glands are all prone to oxalate buildup, as are your fingers, toes, feet and joints in general.

Do You Need to Ditch High-Oxalate Foods From Your Diet?

If you’re eating a lot of high-oxalate foods and are struggling with any kind of chronic health issue that doesn’t seem to respond to other sensible lifestyle changes and treatments, you’d be wise to give a low- or no-oxalate diet a try.

In my own case, I was eating a lot of sweet potatoes because they’re a good source of “healthy” carbs, but they are also loaded with oxalates. All potatoes are. There is no potato that’s not high in oxalates, so get rid of the potatoes. Norton offers the following advice:

“Turning this around, you have to make a decision that you’re willing to walk away from group think because everybody around you thinks that plants are so great and you need the spinach smoothies … If you’re willing to get some facts that are science-based, then I’ve got a lot of free information on my website.

The way I understand one of the major mechanisms is this something called a trigger-maintenance theory of the oxalate accumulation in the body. The body is really smart. It’s holding onto oxalates because it’s trying to protect you from that heart arrhythmia and all that vascular damage.

The nonvascular system … the body is willing to sacrifice in order to keep the vascular system well … If you’ve got too much oxalate in your blood, the other cells will deliberately hold on to it as a temporary deal …

The body’s holding on to oxalate is meant to be temporary. Every tissue that’s holding oxalate so wants it to be gone. You give it that opportunity when you stop eating oxalates. But there can be so much already onboard. If that stuff starts moving at the same time, you could release oxalate from tissues at a [toxic] level … We’ve got to be careful about how quickly and how we go about moving [oxalate out] …

There are simple things you can do to start lowering your oxalate. Pick the foods that you don’t need in your life and then eventually get down to the chocolate and cut that too …

On my website you can get a beginner’s guide2 that explains the basics and has a graphic that shows that your spinach smoothie is 20 times what your level of oxalate should be on a whole day’s intake. It has a list of the safe bet foods and the worst offender foods that you’ve got to start cutting back on and then eventually eliminating altogether …

The two main causes of disease are toxicity and nutrient deficiency. Oxalate is causing both … You’re losing both B-vitamins and minerals. It’s very toxic. It is a poison. It’s fundamentally messing with the basics of metabolism that allows tissue recovery, repair, [that] allows growth and flourishing.”

The Carnivore Elimination Diet

Norton has for several months now been doing the carnivore diet as described in “Health Effects of the Carnivore Diet,” which features my interview with Dr. Paul Saladino. Norton discusses her transition:

“I kept seeing allergy, intolerance and colon intolerance to a lot of plant foods. I had already worked my way down to eating lemon juice because citric acid … helps weaken in bonds of the [oxalate] crystals and make them quite easy to come apart.

Citric acid protects your kidneys and is a great way to dissolve kidney stones. A half a cup of lemon juice a day and a low-oxalate diet will help your kidneys release all this oxalate painlessly. You just start peeing out all your kidney problems without pain.

I was using a lot of lemon juice, four or so lemons a day, and eating coconut products and coconut water, often from fresh young coconuts, sometimes bottled or dried coconut, and very little else for like a year. It really does help the colon repair and recover. It’s such a nice elimination diet.

April 1, 2019, I dropped the lemons and a few more supplements I was taking, like vitamin E, and dropped the coconut products … I went full carnivore.

I, myself, think that the mitochondrial and metabolic damage that’s happening from the oxalates is also being promoted by PUFAs, the polyunsaturated fatty acids, which I did not have a lot in my diet.

But some of us still need some sugars in the diet to keep the mitochondria happy. I’m back to using some maple syrup and some mangoes and a little bit of carbs to keep my legs from cramping up with low muscle glycogen.

I still love a high-fat diet. I eat a lot of beef fat and pork fat. I really enjoy a meat-centered diet. I think it’s a fabulous elimination diet that can help us. Then figure out how to bring back into the diet, as much as you wish to, low-oxalate foods like lettuce, apples and coconut stuff and some rice, some blueberries … things that you may want in your diet.

There’s a whole lot of vegetables in the cabbage family that are low in oxalate, if your digestive tract likes them, [that] … have resistant starch in them and can be useful … Transitioning from a high-oxalate diet to a low-oxalate diet, maybe even all the way down to the carnivore-style elimination diet, needs to be gradual.

Because if you create a big microbiome die-off, you’re just going to feel sick from that as well. When the oxalates start coming out, that makes you feel sick. That’s another reason why we need supplements.”

Recommended Supplements for Oxalate Poisoning

Supplements recommended by Norton for those struggling with oxalate poisoning include calcium citrate, potassium citrate, magnesium citrate and potassium bicarbonate. These are all simple mineral salts that you can easily buy in bulk powders, which I recommend doing as readymade capsules contain amounts that are so low you’ll have to swallow a whole handful of pills to get the dosage you need.

If you dislike the taste of potassium bicarbonate (which has a flavor reminiscent of baking soda), you can purchase large empty capsules and make your own. Natural unprocessed salt (such as Himalayan salt) is another important “supplement.”

“Some people go through these waves of feeling ill again as their body starts pushing out oxalates because, when you stop eating oxalate, that doesn’t fix your oxalate problem in the short run, because you’re still full of oxalates …

It’s just that the acute phases that were occurring post-meal aren’t there anymore. But you’re going to have some other phases that are often circadian in nature where you have waves of not feeling good.

We want to be aware that some of what’s going on there is a form of acidosis … The combination of lemon juice and bicarbs — about a quarter cup of lemon juice and about one-eighth teaspoon of sodium bicarb and one-eighth teaspoon of potassium bicarb — makes a lovely Alka-Seltzer Gold, made with natural citric acid …”

Again, any changes you make, whether removing food items high in oxalate or adding supplements, make sure you do it slowly and incrementally. If you have a lot of oxalate in your body, too-rapid a change can shock your already fragile system, causing you to get worse rather than better.

Over time, work your way up to 1,200 milligrams of calcium citrate, about 400 to 500 mg of magnesium and 2,500 – 4,000 mg of potassium per day. The purpose of the calcium citrate is to help release oxalates from your tissues, so when looking for calcium citrate, make sure it does not have vitamin D in it, as the vitamin D encourages absorption of oxalates.

“The bicarb is wonderful because it’s not citric acid [which, for some, can irritate the gut]. It is also alkalizing, as is the citric acid and the minerals. All of this helps with alkalization. You’re replacing the minerals. You’re also providing it citric acid, which protects your kidneys and other tissues from oxalate accumulation and damage.

They’re really helpful. You want to take as much as you can tolerate, because the more the merrier when it comes to the minerals. I think general liquid mineral for a broad spectrum is really good, [and] taking [natural unprocessed] salt to help pull hydration and pull potassium back into the bones and the muscles.

A lot of us, if you get any muscle numbness, like fibromyalgia pains, that’s the potassium deficiency showing up in the muscles, where they end up in chronic rigor and you get hypoxia from the poor circulation going on there.

Once you’ve got enough potassium that will disappear completely in about five or six weeks … I have salt and potassium bicarb, potassium citrate always in my drinking water … I drink it all day long, all the time …”

If you don’t want to drink it throughout your day, Norton recommends taking a third of your daily dose at bedtime, as this is when your body is repairing and recovering and needs these nutrients most. Take another dose in the morning, and a third dose with a meal. An additional dose can be taken if you’re having an episode you think might be related to oxalate release.

More Information

Norton currently has a book in the works. Until then, the best place to find more information is her website, SallyKNorton.com. There you can find symptom lists, guidance on oxalate-elimination, low-oxalate recipes, free articles and additional interviews and talks,3 along with more details on the science behind oxalates’ devastating health effects.

For a quick look at your own intake of high oxalate foods and the signs of oxalate-related health issues, check out Sally’s Symptom and Exposure Inventory, HERE.

“If you work your way through the various tabs on my site, you will get a huge education there,” Norton says. “And then work your way … through my blog … There’s enough reading there. You’ll be busy for a while. That will really help a lot.”

 

 

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.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

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.”

Advertisement

Get Up to 40% Off on Select Ketogenic Packs


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: October 14, 2019

Health Benefits of MSM — A Powerful Sulfur Donor


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/10/14/msm-health-benefits.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola – Medically reviewed by Dr. Stephanie Seneff
Fact Checked – October 14, 2019
msm health benefits

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in many bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification
  • Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins. Sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes
  • Sulfur is crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. A derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism is found even in mild forms of liver disease
  • Excellent sources of sulfur include homemade bone broth, organic pastured eggs, grass fed meats, seafood, cruciferous vegetables and alliums like onions and garlic. Sulfur can also be obtained through supplementation with MSM and/or by taking Epsom salt baths
  • MSM is widely used in the treatment of pain, especially pain associated with arthritic conditions. Research has shown it can significantly decrease pain and improve physical function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee

Sulfur is a somewhat “forgotten” nutrient you don’t hear mentioned very often, but it’s very important for optimal body function and health. You get most of your sulfur from certain proteins in your diet, specifically the amino acids methionine, cysteine, cystine, homocysteine, homocystine and taurine.1

Of these, the two most important sources are methionine and cysteine. Methionine is an essential amino acid, which means it cannot be synthesized by your body and must be supplied through your diet. Cysteine is conditionally essential, because it can be synthesized from methionine but not from inorganic forms of sulfur.2

Neither of these primary sulfur-containing amino acids is stored in your body per se, although glutathione is a key storage form for sulfur.3 Glutathione is composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate and glycine, and is your body’s most potent antioxidant.

Glutathione also keeps many other antioxidants performing at peak levels, and cysteine availability is thought to be a rate-limiting factor for glutathione synthesis.4

While sulfur is found in many foods, sulfur deficiency may still be quite common5 — in part due to sulfur deficiency in crops,6 and in part due to low consumption of sulfur-rich foods7 such as leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, alliums8 such as garlic and onions, seafood, grass fed meats and organic pastured eggs.

Frequent use of drugs that require sulfur for excretion and/or detoxification can also contribute to an inadequate sulfur status. Acetaminophen is one such example.9 A vegan diet can also put you at increased risk for sulfur deficiency, because plant-based foods contain fewer sulfur-containing amino acids than animal-based foods.10

The Importance of Sulfur

According to Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., who has written several papers11,12,13,14 on sulfur and sulfur metabolism and its role in human disease, sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, including metabolism15 and the sulfonation of hormones,16 and deficiency appears to play a role in a wide range of health problems and diseases, including:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism17

Required in the creation of connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments, sulfur is also essential for healthy joints, and deficiency has been linked to joint pain and joint-related diseases.18 Other benefits, uses and sources are also noted in the paper “Sulfur in Human Nutrition and Applications in Medicine”:19

“Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a volatile component in the sulfur cycle, is another source of sulfur found in the human diet … Organic sulfur, as SAAs [sulfur-containing amino acids], can be used to increase synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), glutathione (GSH), taurine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

MSM may be effective for the treatment of allergy, pain syndromes, athletic injuries, and bladder disorders.

Other sulfur compounds such as SAMe … taurine, glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate, and reduced glutathione may also have clinical applications in the treatment of a number of conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, interstitial cystitis, athletic injuries, congestive heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.”

Advertisement

Get Over 40% Off on Select Items Daily


Sulfur 101

As explained by the featured study above, sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body, based on percentage of total body weight.20 Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins.

For example, hair and nails consist of a tough protein called keratin, which is high in sulfur, whereas connective tissue and cartilage contain proteins with flexible sulfur bonds, giving the structure its flexibility.

With age, the flexible tissues in your body tend to lose their elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkling of skin, stiff muscles and painful joints. A shortage of sulfur likely contributes to these age-related problems.

In addition to bonding proteins, sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, enzymes cannot function properly.

A cascade of health problems may thus ensue, since your metabolic processes rely on biologically active enzymes. You can learn more about this in “Enzyme Fundamentals.” Sulfur also plays an important role in:

Your body’s electron transport system, as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells21
Synthesizing important metabolic intermediates, such as glutathione — one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces — SAMe, taurine and NAC22
Detoxification23 — Without sulfur, glutathione (your body’s built-in detoxifier) is rendered ineffective
Thiamine (vitamin B1) and biotin (B7) conversion, which in turn are essential for converting carbohydrates into energy
Proper insulin function24 — The insulin molecule consists of two amino acid chains connected to each other by sulfur bridges, without which the insulin cannot perform its biological activity25
Glucose metabolism — One hypothesis26 is that if a sufficient amount of sulfur is available, it will act as a decoy to glucose, effectively diverting it to reduce the sulfur rather than glycating and causing damage. This would have the beneficial effect of reducing chronic inflammation, as sugar (glucose) is highly inflammatory and wreaks havoc in your body

Sulfur for Liver Health

Sulfur is also crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. As noted in one study,27 “a derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism, possibly located at various steps along the trans-sulfuration pathway” is found even in mild forms of liver disease.

Part of its influence on your liver has to do with its influence over glutathione. As noted in the 2015 paper,28 “Metabolism of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids in the Liver: A Link Between Hepatic Injury and Recovery”:

“The transsulfuration pathway is connected to the production of glutathione (GSH), which has potent antioxidant capacity in the liver. Accumulating data show that GSH depletion renders the liver vulnerable to oxidative stress and prone to progression of liver disease.”

Similarly, the journal Nutrients reports that MSM has been shown to attenuate “cytokine expression in vivo for induced colitis … and liver injury,” and that MSM has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on liver cancer.29

Another crucial nutrient for liver health and the prevention of chronic liver disease, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, is choline,30 detailed in “Choline Is Crucial for Liver Health.”

MSM for Osteoarthritic Knee Pain

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is known as a sulfur donor, being 34% elemental sulfur by weight.31 Many of the benefits of MSM supplementation are related to its ability to reduce inflammation, regulate the balance of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant enzymes,32 and modulate your immune response.33

As a supplement, MSM is widely used in the treatment of pain, especially pain associated with arthritic conditions. One clinical trial34 found that people with osteoarthritis of the knee who took 3 grams of MSM twice a day for 12 weeks experienced significantly decreased pain and improved physical function, compared to a placebo.

Another randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study35 found patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis benefited from oral glucosamine and MSM, both individually and in combination. Here, the treatment groups received 500 milligrams (mg) of glucosamine and/or 500 mg of MSM three times a day for 12 weeks. According to the authors:36

“Glucosamine, MSM and their combination produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. Combination therapy showed better efficacy in reducing pain and swelling and in improving the functional ability of joints than the individual agents.

All the treatments were well tolerated. The onset of analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity was found to be more rapid with the combination than with glucosamine. It can be concluded that the combination of MSM with glucosamine provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis.”

Sulfur’s Role in Heart Disease

In 2011, I interviewed Seneff about the influence of sulfur on health and disease. I’ve included that interview above for your convenience. In it, Seneff discusses the crucial connections between sulfur, cholesterol and vitamin D.

Her research suggests heart disease may actually be related to cholesterol sulfate deficiency, and in the interview, she explains how elevated LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a sign of this deficiency.

To summarize, high levels of LDL cholesterol is your body’s way of compensating for cholesterol sulfate deficiency. When LDL is turned into plaque, blood platelets inside the plaque produce cholesterol sulfate, which your heart and brain need for optimal function.

Seneff also explains why lowering LDL with statins can lead to heart failure. Essentially, by elevating LDL, your body is protecting itself from the harmful effects of cholesterol sulfate deficiency. When you simply remove the LDL, you remove this “backup” mechanism aimed at keeping your heart going strong. As a result, heart failure becomes a distinct possibility.

That said, high LDL is correlated with cardiovascular disease, so the question then becomes: How can your body produce cholesterol sulfate without having to create harmful LDL?

Under normal, healthy conditions, your skin synthesizes both cholesterol sulfate and vitamin D3 sulfate when exposed to sunlight. These two sulfated sterols are water soluble and can travel freely in your bloodstream.

If you have sufficient amounts of cholesterol sulfate in circulation, your body does not need to produce more cholesterol-transporting LDL. This results in less plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart, because cholesterol sulfate is plentiful.

In essence, sensible sun exposure may be an important part of heart and cardiovascular health. In fact, studies have shown that those who live in countries with abundant sunlight have a lower risk to heart disease. Vitamin D3 supplements, on the other hand, are unsulfated. This is a significant drawback, as the unsulfated form needs LDL as a vehicle of transport.

Seneff believes that vitamin D is basically a signaling molecule that informs the tissues that there is an abundant supply of cholesterol sulfate, and cholesterol sulfate is the real beneficial product of sunlight exposure to the skin. Her suspicion is that the oral nonsulfated form of vitamin D is unlikely to provide the same benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, since it is not accompanied by cholesterol sulfate, and therefore provides a false signal.

Sulfur Intolerance May Be a Sign of Toxicity

As mentioned earlier, sulfur-rich foods37 include leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, alliums,38 seafood, grass fed meats and organic pastured eggs. Another excellent source, and perhaps the best one, is homemade bone broth made from organically raised animals.

Either drink the broth regularly, or use it for soups and stews. Connective tissues are sulfur-rich, and when you slow-cook the bones, you dissolve these nutrients out of the bone and into the water.

If you have poor tolerance for foods high in sulfur, it may be an indication of an overgrowth of sulfur-reducing bacteria in your gut. These bacteria, such as Desoulfovibrio and Bilophila wadsworthia, produce hydrogen sulfide gas from sulfur-based food sources, which can destroy the gut lining and cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

A defect in the enzyme that oxidizes sulfur to sulfate, called sulfite oxidase, will lead to an overgrowth of these sulfur-reducing bacteria, and toxic chemical exposures may disrupt sulfite oxidase.

Furthermore, these bacteria also convert mercury to a toxic organic form called methyl mercury. When sulfite oxidase is deficient, mercury cannot be converted to mercury sulfate, which is the nontoxic form of mercury that can be excreted by the body. Thus, disruption of sulfite oxidase results in impaired sulfation capacity and increased mercury toxicity.

Other food additives such as food dyes can also exacerbate problems in your phenol sulfur-transferase (PST) sulfation pathway by suppressing PST enzyme activity. Sulfation is a critical step in detoxification of toxic phenols.

To address this situation, it’s recommended you initially go on a low-sulfur diet and reduce your toxic exposure by eating organic and avoiding household toxins of all kinds.

As your toxicity level is reduced, you can start adding sulfur-rich foods back into your diet, one at a time. Next, it’s important to enhance your body’s detoxification process by supplying more sulfate, either through diet or supplementation.

How to Boost Your Sulfur Intake — Diet and Supplementation

Aside from sulfur-rich foods, sulfur can also be obtained through supplementation with MSM. You can learn more about MSM in my interview with Rod Benjamin.

Benjamin is the director of technical development for Bergstrom Nutrition, the largest producer of the highest quality MSM produced by distillation purification. In his interview, we discuss suggested dosages and how to identify a high-quality supplement.

The sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and taurine can also be used, both of which are available in supplement form. The supplement form of cysteine is NAC, the benefits of which I expounded on in “The Many Benefits of NAC — One of the Most Important Supplements You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.”

Another excellent source of sulfur is taking regular Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. While most of the benefits associated with Epsom salt baths relates to magnesium39 — such as improved sleep, stress reduction and reduced pain and muscle cramping — its sulfur content is also important for health.

Epsom salt baths are often preferable if you’re toxic, as the sulfur in Epsom salt is readily available to your body without having to be converted. As a general recommendation, use 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt to a tub of water. The warmer the water, the more of the salt will be dissolved, and the more your body will be able to absorb as the heat opens your pores.

If you experience a negative reaction, such as irritability or hyperactivity, decrease the amount used and incrementally increase the amount based on your tolerance. Alternatively, use 1 part Epsom salt to 2 parts water for a foot bath. Soak your feet for about 30 minutes.

Toxicity data shows MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at high doses. As noted in the journal Nutrients, “As a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) approved substance, MSM is well-tolerated by most individuals at dosages of up to 4 grams daily,”40 although toxicity studies have reported no observed adverse effects up to a level of 5 grams per kilo per day.41

That said, potential side effects at higher doses include intestinal discomfort, ankle swelling and skin rashes. These are likely detoxifying effects that can typically be mitigated or minimized by cutting back on the initial dosage and slowly working your way up.

 Sources and References