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Vigorous Exercise Leads to Lower Mortality for Women


Reproduced from original article:
https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2020/01/10/vigorous-exercise-benefits.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
January 10, 2020

health benefits of vigorous exercise

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Heart disease and cancer are the two top reasons people die in the U.S.; data show women who can exercise vigorously have a reduced risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other causes
  • Women who have high cardiovascular fitness also enjoy a reduced risk of dementia, which may be related to higher levels of a protein responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Combining intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet plan may boost the health benefits and improve mitochondrial health. This includes not eating within three hours of going to bed to reduce free radical damage
  • Lack of exercise is globally responsible for nearly 5 million deaths each year; the more you move and exercise the lower the potential rate of death. Aim to sit as little as possible during the day

Heart disease and cancer are the top two reasons people die in the U.S. The term heart disease is used to identify several types of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease and heart attack. While many think of this as a man’s disease, the CDC1 reports almost as many women will die each year from it.

The most common type, coronary heart disease, affects 6.2% of women 20 and older. Many women report having no symptoms before experiencing a heart attack, but others may have symptoms of angina, nausea or fatigue. Diabetesobesity, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are all lifestyle choices that increase your risk for heart disease.

Each of these same factors increase your risk of cancer. Some of the types of cancer that more frequently affect women include breast, cervical, lung, colorectal and skin.2 Most cancers strike women after menopause, but gynecological cancers may happen at any time.

Every year 90,000 women are diagnosed with one form of gynecological cancer and 242,000 with breast cancer. The signs of gynecological cancers may be vague and mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, constant fatigue, loss of appetite or feeling full, pain in the pelvis or a change in bowel habits.

Fitness Protects Women Against Risk of Premature Death

New data recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology3 strongly suggest that women who can exercise vigorously experience a significantly lower risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other causes. Although there have been multiple studies using male participants or mixed groups, the researchers proposed that information specific to women was scarce.

The study used data from 4,714 adult females who had undergone echocardiograms for known or suspected coronary artery disease. Treadmill stress tests were used with increasing intensity to measure fitness, which the researchers defined as a maximum workload of 10 metabolic equivalents (METs).

Women who were able to achieve 10 METs or more were compared to those who achieved less. A measurement of 10 METs is equivalent to walking up four flights of stairs fast without stopping or going up three flights quickly.

The researchers followed the participants for a median 4.6 years and found there were 345 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 164 from cancer and 203 from other causes. After adjusting for influencing factors, the findings revealed that women in the higher MET group had a lower risk of death from all measured causes.

By comparison, women in the lower fitness group experienced an annual rate of death nearly four times higher and the annual cancer death rate doubled. One researcher, Dr. Jesus Peteiro, noted the average age of participants was 64 years and 80% were from 50 to 75 years. He went on to comment:4

“Good exercise capacity predicted lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. Looking at both examinations together, women whose heart works normally during exercise are unlikely to have a cardiovascular event.

But if their exercise capacity is poor, they are still at risk of death from cancer or other causes. The best situation is to have normal heart performance during exercise and good exercise capacity.”

The women underwent imaging of their heart during the treadmill test to assess function. Those with poor function during the test were more likely to succumb to cardiovascular disease during the follow-up period, but it was not predictive of death from other causes.5 Peteiro said: “The results were the same for women over 60 and less than 60, although the group under 50 was small.”

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Cardiovascular Fitness Also Reduces Risk of Dementia

Staying fit is key to reducing your potential risk for many chronic diseases, including those affecting the central nervous system. Across the world there are 47 million who are living with dementia, and this is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030. You may be able to significantly slash this risk by taking simple steps to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden showed women with the highest cardiovascular fitness had an 88% reduced risk of dementia as compared to those with moderate fitness. Even maintaining some fitness proved to have benefit as those with the lowest level experienced a 41% greater risk of dementia than those with average fitness.

The researchers did not assess how much exercise the participants engaged in but used an ergometer cycling test during which additional resistance was added as the women continued to cycle until they were exhausted. The authors wrote:

“These results suggest that cardiovascular fitness is associated with the sparing of brain tissue in aging humans. Furthermore, these results suggest a strong biological basis for the role of aerobic fitness in maintaining and enhancing central nervous system health and cognitive functioning in older adults.”

A second way fitness may protect neurological health is by increasing levels of PGC-1alpha responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis. Data reveal that those with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brain. Cells containing more produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Participants diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s were enrolled in a four-month supervised exercise program. The results demonstrated they had fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms from the disease than the control group who did not exercise.

A progressive walking program in those with early Alzheimer’s disease led to improvements in cardiovascular fitness and functional ability. This in turn led to improved memory and increases in the size of the brain’s hippocampus.

Mitochondrial Function Linked to Reducing Risk of Disease

Your mitochondria are minute powerhouses in your cells producing a majority of the energy your body generates, as well as coordinating apoptosis, or programmed cell death, important in the prevention of malfunctioning cells that may turn into cancer.

Your brain is the most energy-dependent organ and therefore is particularly susceptible to impaired energy production. This process may then make the brain more susceptible to age-related disease.

As you age, the genes controlling mitochondrial energy generation may be turned down, and mitochondria are noted to be less dense and more fragmented. With insufficient energy and dysfunctional mitochondria, defective cells can survive and multiply.

There are several ways your mitochondria may be damaged, but much of it may result from superoxide free radicals. Although the production of superoxide is part of a normal process, when produced at higher than normal levels it damages the DNA in your mitochondria. This damage increases when you are not metabolically flexible.

That means you burn a higher percentage of carbohydrates for fuel than you do fat. The process of burning carbs leaks more electrons that combine with oxygen to form superoxide. High-carbohydrate processed foods prevent you from burning fat efficiently, which produces less oxidative stress than carbs. Your nutrition is also foundational to protecting your mitochondrial health.

Combining Nutritional Plan With Fitness Boosts Benefits

When you combine a strong nutritional plan to boost metabolic flexibility with cardiovascular fitness you build on the health benefits of both. For many years the standard dietary recommendations were three square meals a day with small snacks in between.

The most obvious risk of this eating plan is the potential of overeating. But, the less obvious risk is metabolic dysfunction, raising your risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia.

For a number of years, I have strongly advised against eating within three hours of going to bed. The authors of one study found that eating an early dinner, or skipping it entirely, changes the way the body metabolizes fat and carbohydrates. This improves fat burning and reduces hunger. The key in the study was eating the last meal of the day by the middle of the afternoon.

The only changes made to the participants’ meals was timing. The total number and types of calories remained the same. Results showed the participants were less hungry and experienced increased fat burning during the evening hours, along with improved metabolic flexibility. It appears that late night eating will boost free radical damage, negatively impacting mitochondrial function.

By taking advantage of your circadian rhythm you optimize your metabolism. During sleep your body requires less energy. Thus, if you eat right before bed, mitochondria produce excessive amounts of free radicals. In one study of 1,800 people with prostate and breast cancer, researchers found that meal timing reduced the risk of cancer.

They also found that those who awakened early had a higher risk of cancer when they ate dinner late in the evening compared to those who were more energetic at night. A very effective option is to combine intermittent fasting, extend the amount of time you go without food and follow a ketogenic diet.

Fasting upregulates autophagy and mitochondrial health, activating stem cells and stimulating mitochondrial biosynthesis. What many don’t realize is that many of these benefits happen during the refeeding phase, making what you eat foods that are essential to your optimal health.

In one study participants lost 3% of their body weight while practicing time restricted eating even though they didn’t change their nutritional choices. While they lost weight, they did not improve important disease parameters, including visceral fat, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting glucose or fasting insulin.

When intermittent fasting is combined with a ketogenic diet it provides many of the same benefits of fasting, in addition to improvements in health such as increased muscle mass, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, reduced risk of cancer and increased longevity.

Lack of Exercise May Be Worse Than Smoking

Exercise and nutrition are two of the best preventive strategies against many common health conditions. In one study scientists found that the lack of physical activity came with a global price tag of $67.5 billion in 2013 and that it causes more than 5 million deaths each year, while smoking kills 6 million.

Another group of researchers analyzed data on more than 120,000 people and found that cardiovascular fitness had a greater impact on risk of death than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. However, as important as cardiovascular fitness is, you’ll find you can’t out-exercise the number of hours you sit down.

The average U.S. adult will sit nine to 12 hours each day. While sitting is not inherently dangerous, the cumulative effects on your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system can seriously impact your health and shorten your life.

In a four-year evaluation of 8,000 Americans over the age of 45, researchers found that those who moved more were healthier. There was also a correlation between death rate and the number of hours the participants spent sitting each day. The bare minimum of movement is 10 minutes for every hour of sitting. However, it is wiser to strive to sit as little as possible.

Sitting correctly requires greater muscle activation and will reduce your potential risk of lower back pain and strain. For specific instructions on how to sit right and for a list of some of the negative side effects of sitting for long periods, see “The Importance of Standing More, Sitting Less.”

Sources and References

Excess Body Fat Can Age Your Brain Faster Than Muscle


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/01/09/obesity-and-brain-health.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
January 09, 2020

excess body fat and brain health

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Increasing research shows that maintaining healthy levels of body fat and greater muscle mass has an effect on your brain health and may slow your rate of cognitive aging
  • People with higher amounts of abdominal fat had worse fluid intelligence with age, while those with greater muscle mass were more protected against such declines
  • Women who had greater muscle mass tended to have better scores in fluid intelligence during the study period
  • Past research has linked midlife obesity with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment, changes in short-term memory and executive functioning and dementia
  • In addition to regular exercise to increase muscle mass, eating a ketogenic diet to maintain a healthy body weight and avoid obesity may support your brain health as you age

Staying fit as you age is about far more than aesthetics. Increasing research shows that maintaining healthy levels of body fat and greater muscle mass has an effect on your brain health and even your rate of cognitive aging. It’s known, for instance, that being obese in midlife and early late-life is associated with worse cognitive aging.1

What’s more, the amount of muscle and fat you have may be a more important factor in how your level of fluid intelligence decreases over time than your chronological age. Your chronological age, i.e., your age in years, is just a numerical measurement, but your real age is your biological age as dictated by your choices and habits, as well as your modifiable risk factors like levels of muscle and fat.

While many people tend to gain fat and lose muscle mass as they age, this can be largely combated by staying active and eating right — lifestyle choices that will influence your cognitive function significantly.

More Muscle, Less Fat Protects Your Brain

In a study by Iowa State researchers, data from 4,431 adults were examined to compare levels of lean muscle mass, abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat with changes in fluid intelligence — the ability to solve problems in new situations — over a six-year period.2,3

Those with higher amounts of abdominal fat had worse fluid intelligence with age, while those with greater muscle mass were more protected against such declines. In fact, women who had greater muscle mass tended to have better scores in fluid intelligence during the study period.

Study co-author Auriel Willette, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, said in a news release, “Chronological age doesn’t seem to be a factor in fluid intelligence decreasing over time. It appears to be biological age, which here is the amount of fat and muscle.”4

What’s more, the study revealed a link between the immune system and how changes in fat levels affect cognition. Previous research suggests a higher body mass index (BMI) leads to greater immune system activity in the blood, which in turn activates the immune system in the brain, with a negative outcome on cognitive function.5

The featured study also found that changes in white blood cells called lymphocytes and eosinophils explained the link between abdominal fat and worsening fluid intelligence in women. In men, basophils, another type of white blood cell, were linked to about half of the link between fat levels and fluid intelligence, the study found.6

“Lymphocytes, eosinophils, and basophils may link adiposity to cognitive outcomes,” the researchers explained.7 Similar research has revealed that overweight and obese individual have greater brain atrophy in middle-age, corresponding with an increase in brain age of 10 years.8

How Obesity Affects Your Brain

Obesity has multiple effects on the brain, including anatomically speaking. Obese individuals may have reduced gray matter in brain regions such as the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and other subcortical regions. Atrophy in the hippocampus, in turn, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.9

Gray matter is the outer layer of the brain associated with high-level brain functions such as problem-solving, language, memory, personality, planning and judgment. Even in elderly people who are otherwise cognitively normal, obesity is associated with measureable deficits in brain volume in the frontal lobes, anterior cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, and thalamus compared to individuals with a normal weight.10

Further research published in Radiology found that obesity may lead to alterations in brain structure, shrinking certain regions.11 Among men, higher total body fat percentage was linked to lower brain gray matter volume. Specifically, 5.5% greater total body fat percentage was associated with 3,162 mm3 lower gray matter volume.

Among men, 5.5% greater total body fat was also associated with 27 mm3 smaller globus pallidus volume, an association also seen in women. In women, 6.6% greater total body fat percentage was associated with 11.2 mm3 smaller globus pallidus volume.

The globus pallidus is a brain region that plays a role in supporting a range of functions, including motivation, cognition and action.12 Obesity was also associated with changes in white matter microstructure, which may be related to cognitive function.13

Cognitively speaking, there’s also a strong link between obesity and deterioration in cognitive function, as well as to other brain disorders such as dementia, anxiety and depression. Further, past research has linked midlife obesity with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment, changes in short-term memory and executive functioning and dementia.14

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Obesity-Associated Health Problems Also Harm Your Brain

Obesity’s effects on brain health are also due to its associated health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and atherosclerosis, each of which can have its own deleterious effects on your brain. For instance, as noted in Frontiers in Neuroscience:15

“Obesity-derived vascular problems, such as atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis, which are systemic diseases, are known to affect the steady blood flow of vessels that feed the brain, thus contributing to cognitive impairment or even stroke, where large areas of the brain die due to the stop in the blood flow of a major brain artery caused by a blood clot.”

In terms of diabetes, of which obesity is a key risk factor, having this condition in midlife is associated with a 19% greater cognitive decline over 20 years compared with not having the condition.16 Even those with prediabetes had significantly greater cognitive decline than those without.

Indeed, “Epidemiological studies have linked type-2 diabetes mellitus with cognitive impairment and dementia, with insulin resistance and hyperglycemia as the probable mechanistic links,” researchers noted.17

Coming full circle, eating a highly processed, junk food diet not only increases obesity risk but also can lead to normal but elevated blood sugar levels that, in turn, can lead to impaired glucose metabolism and Type 2 diabetes. Both diabetes and higher fasting glucose levels are linked with lower total brain volume.18

Impaired glucose metabolism is then associated with neurodegeneration that impairs cognitive function. This connection begins not in old age but much earlier, such that following a healthy lifestyle in young adulthood may be protective against cognitive decline later.19

The Inflammation Connection

Obesity can trigger chronic inflammation in your body, and chronic inflammation in your brain (neuroinflammation) is known to impair neurogenesis, your brain’s ability to adapt and grow new brain cells. It’s also linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and it’s been suggested that “Obesity may serve as an amplifier or initiator of the chronic inflammation observed in AD patients.”20

Further, higher levels of inflammatory markers have also been associated with lower brain volume, including “greater atrophy than expected for age.”21 Excess body fat, particularly visceral fat, is also related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, affecting how your body breaks down sugars and fats.

According to a study in the Annals of Neurology, “[A]dipose-tissue derived hormones, such as adiponectin, leptin, resistin or ghrelin, could also play a role in the relation between adipose tissue and brain atrophy.”22 Further, obesity may also be associated with lower volume in brain regions that regulate food-reward circuitry,23 possibly influencing overeating.

Strength Training Is Good for Your Brain

While obesity takes a toll on your brain, increased muscle mass protects it, which is likely one reason why strength training has been found to be beneficial for your brain. In other words, your body’s physical strength may serve as a marker of your brain power.

In fact, strength training is known to trigger beneficial neurobiological processes,24 leading to positive functional brain changes, including in the frontal lobe, with corresponding improvements in executive functions. One systematic review even found that strength training led to less white matter atrophy in the brain, with researchers noting:25

“Taken together, during aging processes, a substantial decline in muscular strength, especially in lower limb muscles, occurs, and accumulating evidence suggests that lower muscular strengths are linked to poorer cognitive performance.

Hence, resistance (strength) exercises (a single bout of resistance exercise, also referred to as acute exercise) and resistance (strength) training (more than one resistance exercise session, also referred to as chronic exercise … ) seem to be promising activities to ensure the preservation of physical functioning and cognitive functions with aging.”

Regular strength training, in addition to other forms of exercise and daily activity, is an important strategy for keeping your brain sharp and may help to offset some of the cognitive decline that occurs with age.

Avoid Obesity and Protect Your Brain With a Ketogenic Diet

While obesity may accelerate neurodegeneration, regular exercise to increase your muscle mass will be protective. Further, eating a ketogenic diet will help protect your brain from free radical damage and will supply the cells with preferred fuel while also helping you to lose weight and avoid obesity.

A ketogenic diet is high in healthy fats and low in net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber), prompting your body to start burning fat as its primary fuel, rather than sugar. This produces ketones, which not only burn efficiently but are also a superior fuel for your brain. Ketones also generate fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and less free-radical damage.

One of the simple strategies you can implement is to take ketone precursors like refined MCT oils of caprylic acid (C-8). The eight-chain carbon fats are readily converted to ketones. I personally use up to 5 ounces of our Ketone Energy when I have maxed out my protein and carb intake and need a source of healthy clean fat. This keeps my ketone level around 1 to 2.0 mmol/l. Just recognize that you have to build up to a high dose of MCT oil slowly or you will have problems with loose stools.

Recent studies have also demonstrated the benefits of nutritional ketosis for brain health. In one, researchers found a ketogenic diet improved neurovascular function, in part by improving your gut microbiome.26

In a second study, the researchers concluded a ketogenic diet acted as a veritable “fountain of youth” in their animal study by significantly improving neurovascular and metabolic functions, compared to the animals eating an unrestricted diet.27 Releasing ketones into your bloodstream helps preserve brain function and protects against cognitive impairment and other neurodegenerative diseases.28

KetoFasting, the program I developed and detail in my book, “KetoFast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Timing Your Ketogenic Meals,” combines a cyclical ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting with cyclical partial fasting to optimize health and longevity.

Not only can KetoFasting help you to lose weight, but your cognition typically improves thanks to the biological cleansing and regeneration that occurs throughout your body, including your brain.

Sources and References

TMG Benefits

TMG (Trimethylglycine) is a powerful nutrient, much like a vitamin, functioning as methyl donor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, energy booster, toxin remover, immune booster and more.
Also called betaine (first isolated from sugar beets) but different from Betaine Hydrochloride.

TMG the Methyl Donor

The TMG molecule comprises three methyl groups (CH3) joined to one molecule of glycine (C2H5NO2). The benefit of TMG is that it releases easily one, two, or all three of the methyl groups.
Releasing one methyl group then leaves behind DMG (Dimethylglycine) which is just TMG with only two methyl groups. Releasing all methyl groups leaves just Glycine, which is the smallest molecule of all of the amino acids, which allows it to go almost anywhere in the body, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMG is considered a B-complex vitamin, shown to help:

  • Behaviour and speech in autistic children and adults
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Neurological function
  • Reducing seizures
  • Stress tolerance
  • Oxygen utilisation
  • Liver activity
  • Athletic performance
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial
  • Immune boosting
  • Shrinking tumours
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Alcoholism, drug addiction.
  • Cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose

Although DMG has all of these benefits, and is available as a supplement, LeanMachine recommends that people supplement with TMG as we then receive all of the benefits of DMG plus the benefit of 50% better methylation.

Methyl groups (CH3) are essential for millions of biochemical reactions every second in the body, these are a few examples:

  • Lowering homocysteine, an amino acid, which inflames arteries when levels rise, leading to “hardening of the arteries”. Homocysteine levels are a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. High homocysteine is commonly caused by insufficient methyl groups. The body gets methyl groups from TMGActive FolateActive Vitamin B-12, SAM-eDMAEMethionineTaurine, Cysteine and Vitamin B-6.
    Other causes are mercury and copper toxicity. High homocysteine also causes methionine deficiency, in turn causing SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) deficiency which can lead to depression. Methionine is required for protein synthesis
  • Excess homocysteine also leads to osteoporosis, birth defects, cancer, ageing and free radicals, all helped by TMG
  • Methyl groups are required for the Phase 2, P450 liver detoxification pathway, a critical biochemical sequence of events. Fat-soluble toxins are joined to a methyl group, enabling a greater water solubility, then allowing the liver to remove them from the body. For toxins unable to be removed, methylation helps render them less toxic
  • TMG increases production of SAM-e, helping to reduce depression
  • TMG reduces risk of diabetes, as insulin release and insulin activity rely on methyl group donation
  • TMG donates methyl groups for protein synthesis (biosynthesis), the copying of genetic code from DNA to RNA (genetic transcription), then to the synthesis (formation) of every chemical in the body
  • TMG insufficiency causes biosynthesis slowing, telomeres shortening, and genetic errors (transcription errors) raises cancer risk from DNA mutations

The Methylation Process

This is a vital and most common chemical process in hundreds of essential chemical reactions, including:

  • Methylation is essential for manufacture of all the chemicals for the body
  • Stops certain viruses that could damage DNA
  • Stops the production of trophoblast (fast-growing cells that may lead to cancer)
  • Suppresses replication of DNA in areas where the body does not want it replicated
  • Important for neurological chemicals and blood chemicals
  • Corrects timing problems of the X chromosome in cell replication
  • Causea a genetic trait to come from only one parent, and not both
  • Prevents some genetic diseases
  • Helps prevent shortening of gene telomeres
  • Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system
  • Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble, less soluble or fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to allow excretion. Larger molecules are eliminated through the bile, smaller ones are excreted in the urine
  • Methylation is required for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, improving mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity
  • Methylation helps with liver detoxification
  • Methylation is required for conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which converts to other amino acids by various pathways
  • Methylation helps balance hormones such as estrogens, reducing risk of estrogen-related cancers
  • Reduces inflammation by removing toxins, balancing hormones, synthesising neurotransmitters and other methods
  • Methylation protects the mitochondria and adaptive energy production to stop us from becoming very tired
  • Restores SAM-e in spinal fluid, working as a methyl donor when restored by methyl groups
  • Methylation is required for the body to make CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), vital for heart health and energy production in the mitochondria
  • Methylation increases muscle mass, important in cancer and other wasting diseases, and for general health
  • Methylation may improve libido in some people

Who needs TMG?

Almost everyone needs supplemental TMG, even healthy people with a healthy diet, to provide enough methylation for modern life. Those subject to stress, toxins, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion or almost any other medical condition, almost certainly need extra TMG.

Other benefits of TMG

The Parasympathetic System

TMG can improve the parasympathetic system, helping balance the autonomic nervous system. Hair mineral analyses show about half the population has an autonomic nervous system imbalance (sympathetic dominance), where the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system is “switched on” too often and too long, usually due to stress, causing many chronic health conditions. TMG may help reverse any imbalance, contributing to healing. Some doctors use “sympathetic dominance” in a different context such as “a sympathetic state of body chemistry” which is different from “sympathetic dominance” used here.

The MTHFR Defect

Almost half the people on Earth have the abnormal MTHFR gene expression, where the biosynthesis of folate is reduced, sometimes marginally, sometimes largely.
Often incorrectly called a “genetic defect” when it is actually a transcription error, polymorphism or abnormal gene expression where errors occur in copying the DNA code rather than a problem with the actual DNA code.
This is why Active Folate has benefits, as it is already in the (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form required by the body, while regular folate must be converted in the body to this form.
TMG can help supply the methyl groups where insufficent folate cannot. Active folate can be up to 700% more useful in the body, compared to regular folic acid. Note that folic acid is a cheap folate substitute used in many foods claiming to be “folate enriched” but folic acid may prevent absorption of real folate in foods or active folate supplements, and LeanMachine advises total avoidance of foods or supplements containing folic acid.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

There are not many reports on these properties, but they do exist, possibly as a result of methyl group donation

Effects on the Brain

TMG has a positive effect on the brain, likely due to methylation and SAM-e production. Recommended for those at high risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headache, ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder), MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other brain conditions.

SAM-e Benefits

1. Heart Disease

SAM-e is used for heart disease, also for fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, ageing, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), improving mental performance, liver disease, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, to break down bilirubin or porphyrin (or precursors).

2. PMS

SAM-e is often taken for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and a more severe form PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).

IV use of SAM-e

IV (Intravenous) use of SAM-e is used for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous system disorders, fibromyalgia, liver disease, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver disorder in pregnant women)

SAM-e Injections

SAM-e is often injected for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Effects on Digestion

TMG aids digestion, again likely because of positive methylation throughout the body.

Glycine

Glycine is the component left over when all three methyl groups have been donated from TMG.
Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and very important for collagen formation and many other functions. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used for connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, arteries, veins, etc. Without collagen, we could not stand up, our body would be a pile of mush on the floor!
Glycine, in large doses (up to 3000 mg daily), has been found helpful for sleep and alertness. Although not recommended as a first-line supplement for sleep, it may help if other supplements like Valerian fail to work. This may explain why TMG helps induce restful sleep in some individuals.

Natural sources of TMG

TMG is normally made in the body, but not enough when there are toxins present or the diet is poor or absorption of nutrients is a problem.
TMG can come from the diet. Foods high in TMG include broccoli, quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. A vegetarian or vegan diet tends to be very low in TMG. Foods high in TMG are usually also high in folate, and both are methyl donors.
However, most people do not eat enough of these foods, and even eating large amounts will not provide enough TMG for optimum health.

Risk factors for low TMG

Generally, the body cannot make enough, the modern diet is poor in TMG, and the number of pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal contamination uses up all TMG available.

  • Mercury is a poison that lowers TMG production in the body, and at the same time increases the need for TMG in the body. Almost everyone is mercury toxic now, as mercury is everywhere in the environment, especially in seafood and in dental amalgam fillings
  • Copper toxicity also interferes with TMG, and most people today are toxic from copper pipes, tapware, cookware even if blood or urine tests are negative. While copper is essential for the body to build hemoglobin in blood, we need Chelated Copper from food or supplements, not metallic copper from copper pipes and cookware. Zinc deficiencies cause accumulation of copper in the body, and women have a higher risk than men. Causes headaches, female organ problems, depression, anxiety, skin conditions. Too much zinc (and/or magnesium) competes with copper for absorption, often leading to a copper deficiency.

Supplements

Supplementary TMG is helpful for most people because of low body production, low in the diet, and higher requirements in our toxic world.
TMG 1000mg 100 tablets (most popular, best value).

Stress

Stress, inflammation, inflammation and some diseases increase our need for more TMG.

Dosage of TMG

  • Women: Up to 1000 mg daily
  • Men: Up to 3000 mg daily
  • Children: Less than adults, in proportion to body weight

There are no reliable guides or tests to determine TMG dosage, but the figures above should be a good starting point.
If the sodium/potassium ratio is low, extra TMG may help.
Do not overdose, as too much TMG may lead to over-methylation, causing fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or other symptoms.
Most people have no side effects from TMG apart from feeling better, getting better sleep and having more energy.
Cautions:
Do not continue a high dose for extended periods.
Children need proportionately less TMG than adults, depending on their size and weight, but babies generally do not need TMG. Older children may need about 250 to 500 mg daily.
TMG is available as tablets, liquid capsules or crystals. Some children and the elderly may have problems with swallowing tablets. TMG has a sweet taste, so TMG crystals can be simply added to food.
Some people have problems tolerating TMG, so they may need a smaller dose. Try reducing the dose until any symptoms disappear.
People who have unresolved resentments seem to have more problems taking TMG, as an enzyme is activated which can cause anger, fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. These symptoms disappear if the dose is reduced or eliminated, but if one can tolerate the symptoms, TMG may help the person resolve their issues of conflict.
Some reports suggest that too much TMG may cause diarrhea and nausea, and may raise cholesterol levels, so those with high cholesterol should keep the level monitored.

Poor Methylation

Several factors affect poor methylation, such as:

  • Raw vegetables are considered healthy, but cooked vegetables provide more dietary methyl groups
  • Sugars in any form appear to harm correct methylation, and are bad for our health anyway
  • Fermented foods are healthy, but are problem for methylation because:
    • Some contain aldehydes (toxic to the liver), including kombucha tea, kimchi, and most fermented grains
    • They contain ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts

    Safer fermented foods, eaten in moderation, include yogurt, kefir, miso and most good quality cheeses

  • Too much animal protein in the diet can cause high methionine and reduce methylation
  • Fighting inflammation or infections consumes methyl groups, requiring more methylation
  • Heavy metal toxicity, especially copper and mercury, interfere with methyl group formation
  • High-dose niacin or niacinamide cause the body to use up methyl groups to detoxify and excrete niacin through the liver. Doses less than 50 mg daily are generally tolerated well
  • Any liver toxins will reduce formation of methyl donors, also liver detoxification pathways require methyl groups, using up more methyl groups
  • Methyl donor production seems to decrease with age, so seniors need more TMG
  • Women of child-bearing age have much better methylation than men. Men always need more TMG than women

Methylation and Cancer

Cancer increases the need for methylating agents like TMG. People often die with cancer because they cannot eliminate their toxic metals and chemicals because of poor liver methylation, so toxins accumulate until death occurs.

Hair Mineral Analysis

More TMG may be required if a hair mineral test reveals:

  • High zinc level, which may indicate presence of hidden toxic metals
  • “Four lows pattern” meaning all four electrolyte minerals low: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Indicates impaired methylation
  • High mercury, becoming more common
  • High copper
  • High levels of the other toxic metals

These results indicate long-term toxic metal exposure.

LeanMachine online supplemments

Disclaimer

LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.

Updated 9th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601287

Does Vitamin D Supplementation Prevent Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/17/vitamin-d-supplements-disease-prevention.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
vitamin d supplements disease prevention

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Recent research claims “high dose” vitamin D supplementation did not result in a lower incidence of cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo
  • The “high dose” given in this trial was a mere 2,000 international units (IUs) a day, which is still only a quarter or less of what many need to raise their blood level into a protective range
  • The study did not test and track participants’ vitamin D blood levels, which is the only way to ensure sufficiency and adherence to the protocol
  • Cancer is a slow-growing disease and effects of nutritional intervention typically only become evident after several years. When the first two years of follow-up data were excluded, people who took 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day had a 25 percent lower risk of cancer in the years following (years three through five)
  • Many need upward of 10,000 IUs a day in order to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) or higher, which is the bottom cutoff for health and disease prevention. Ideally, you’ll want a level between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 and 200 nmol/L)

The effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation has again been questioned with negative headlines1,2 trumpeting its failure to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. What most researchers and journalists fail to address, however, is the fact that:

  • The “high dose” given in this trial was a mere 2,000 international units (IUs) a day, which is still only a quarter or less of what many need to raise their blood level into a protective range
  • They did not test and track participants’ vitamin D blood levels, which is the only way to ensure sufficiency

Based on those two factors alone, a negative result is precisely what one would predict. Still, despite such limitations, the study actually found some rather remarkable benefits that were simply glossed over.

In fact, had it been a drug trial, vitamin D would likely have been declared a miracle drug against both cancer and cardiovascular disease, based on the findings. This is the kind of perversion of science and selective reporting that shackles public health.

VITAL Study Conclusions

The study3,4 in question, which was in part funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published in the January 2019 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). (A second study5 compared omega-3 supplementation against placebo for the same endpoints.) As detailed in the vitamin D paper, the study was:

“[A] nationwide, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, with a two-by-two factorial design, of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) at a dose of 2000 IU per day6 and marine n−3 (also called omega-3) fatty acids at a dose of 1 gram per day7 for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease among men 50 years of age or older and women 55 years of age or older in the United States.

Primary end points were invasive cancer of any type and major cardiovascular events (a composite of myocardial infarction, stroke or death from cardiovascular causes). Secondary end points included site-specific cancers, death from cancer and additional cardiovascular events.”

In conclusion, the authors determined that “Supplementation with vitamin D did not result in a lower incidence of invasive cancer or cardiovascular events than placebo.”

What the VITAL Data Actually Reveals

However, as noted by GrassrootsHealth,8 a nonprofit public health research organization dedicated to moving public health messages regarding vitamin D and omega-3 from research into practice, “when the separate types of heart disease or death from cancer were analyzed, there were 30 different very significant results,” summarized in the graph9 below.

risk reduction vitamin d omega-3

Importantly, when the researchers excluded data from the first two years of supplementation, cancer mortality “was significantly lower with vitamin D than with placebo.”10 The reason this is important is because cancer is a slow-growing disease and effects of nutritional intervention typically only become evident after several years. It’s unreasonable to think you can take a supplement and within weeks or months see a drastic difference in health outcomes. The paper states that clearly, and adds:

“Supplemental vitamin D also did not reduce the occurrence of breast, prostate or colorectal cancers. However, there was a suggestive 17 percent reduction in cancer deaths, which became a 25 percent reduction in analyses that excluded the first two years of follow-up.”

Let me repeat those two points for clarity:

  1. While incidence of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers were unaffected, those who took a non-ideal dose of vitamin D3 supplements still had a 17 percent lower risk of actually dying from those cancers
  2. When the first two years of follow-up data were excluded, people who took a mere 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day had a 25 percent lower risk of cancer in the years following (years three through five)

How is this not good news? Again, let’s remember that 2,000 IUs is really insufficient for most people, yet even at this insufficient dosage, the risk of cancer was cut by 25 percent.

For Most, 2,000 IUs a Day Is Suboptimal for Cancer Prevention

In years past, it was widely believed that 4,000 IUs was the upper safe limit, above which you risked vitamin D toxicity, but studies have since refuted this, showing there’s no risk of toxicity until you hit 30,000 IUs a day, or a blood level of 200 ng/ml (500 nmol/L).11 Still, the misconception persists.

A significant body of research shows many need upward of 10,000 IUs a day in order to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) or higher, which is the bottom cutoff for health and disease prevention. Ideally, you’ll want a level between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 and 200 nmol/L). This is where the majority of health benefits become really apparent.

As noted in a 2009 study12 on athletic performance and vitamin D, “At levels below 40 to 50 ng/mL the body diverts most or all of the ingested or sun-derived vitamin D to immediate metabolic needs, signifying chronic substrate starvation (deficiency).”

As noted earlier, the VITAL study did not use vitamin D blood levels as the marker for deficiency or sufficiency, and this is perhaps the most significant problem with this study. Blood levels were only measured in a subgroup of 1,644 participants (out of 25,871) after the first year of daily supplementation.

In this group, the mean vitamin D blood level increased from 29.8 ng/mL (74 nmol/L) at baseline to 41.8 ng/mL (104 nmol/L). In other words, most of those taking vitamin D supplements had barely adequate vitamin D levels, and were still significantly short of having ideal blood levels — levels at which research shows the risk of cancer is cut up to 80 percent.

Why You Cannot Trust Studies That Base Results on Dosage Rather Than Blood Measurement

This certainly is not the first time studies have claimed vitamin D supplementation is useless. Last year, a meta-analysis13 concluded once-a-month high-dose vitamin D supplementation had no impact on cancer risk. Here, participants received an initial bolus dose of 200,000 IUs of vitamin D, followed by a monthly dose of 100,000 IUs (so-called pulsed or pulsatile dosing) for a median of three years.

While the media played this up as a finding contradicting recommendations to optimize your vitamin D to lower your cancer risk, it really only made a case against once-a-month mega-dosing. As noted by GrassrootsHealth scientists, for optimal results, you need to supplement frequently (ideally daily) and focus on the achieved serum level, not the dosage.

What’s more, 100,000 IUs per month actually only comes out to about 3,000 IUs per day, which again is far below what most adults need to raise their vitamin D serum level into the protective range of 60 to 80 ng/mL, with 40 ng/mL being the low-end cutoff for sufficiency.

Indeed, this analysis noted the mean baseline vitamin D concentration was just over 26 ng/mL, and the mean follow-up level was just 20 ng/mL higher in the supplement group than the placebo group that received no vitamin D.

As in the current NEJM study, participants’ vitamin D levels were also not measured regularly throughout the study, and the association with cancer was not analyzed by serum level but by daily dosage.

This point really cannot be stressed enough: The key factor is not how much vitamin D you take but whether or not your blood level of vitamin D is within the “Goldilocks’ zone” of 60 to 80 ng/mL, and the only way to ascertain that is through blood testing.

How to Assess Study Quality

GrassrootsHealth scientists have also argued that pulsatile dosing at intervals greater than two weeks may actually cause a form of vitamin D deficiency at the cellular level.

According to GrassrootsHealth, to accurately ascertain the benefit of vitamin D in any given trial, researchers must track not only the baseline and final vitamin D serum level plus the dose given, but also the form (vitamin D2 versus D3) and the dosing interval.

Adherence to protocol is also measured by blood level. If a participant’s blood level doesn’t change, you know that individual was probably not taking the supplement as instructed, rendering their result null and void.

All of these factors can influence the results, and it’s important to get them all right. Identifying the ideal parameters are all part of what GrassrootsHealth is doing. Another study, published in 2017, claimed it found “no case” for vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.14

In reality, it found seven positive outcomes,15 including increased birth weight, a 40 percent reduction in gestational diabetes, an 18 percent reduction in preeclampsia and a 17 percent reduction in gestational hypertension.

What this study failed to find was a reduction in preterm birth, and this was ultimately translated into headlines that made it appear as though pregnant women have no need for vitamin D supplementation! In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.16,17

So, in summary, when evaluating vitamin D research, the following parameters are what you’re looking for in a high-quality study, as without these, the results are likely to be significantly flawed and likely negative:

Supplementation should be frequent, ideally daily — Bolus doses given at intervals greater than two weeks are likely to be ineffective. According to Carole Baggerly, director and founder of GrassrootsHealth, pulsatile dosing at intervals greater than two weeks may actually cause a form of vitamin D deficiency at the cellular level.

Dosage, baseline and final vitamin D serum level must all be tracked — Most studies fail in this regard, as most only track dosage and not serum level, which is the most crucial parameter of all.

In short, it doesn’t matter how large or small the dose is, as long as it gets the participants into a specific blood level range, as the individual response to any given dose varies widely, depending on several different factors, including intake of other nutrients (such as magnesium), age, ethnicity, body weight and amount of sun exposure.

The form of vitamin D must be identified — Are they using vitamin D2 or D3? And are they tracking sun exposure, which is the primary way your body produces vitamin D?

There’s Strong Evidence Vitamin D Lowers Your Chronic Disease Risk

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, is vital for the prevention of many chronic diseases, including but not limited to:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness)
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Well over a dozen different types of cancer, including skin cancer — the very cause of concern that has led so many to avoid the sun exposure necessary for vitamin D production

In the case of heart disease, vitamin D plays a vital role in protecting and repairing damage to your endothelium.18 It also helps trigger production of nitric oxide — which improves blood flow and prevents blood clot formation — and significantly reduces oxidative stress in your vascular system, all of which are important to help prevent the development and/or progression of cardiovascular disease.

Just last year, a Norwegian study19 published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found “a normal intake of vitamin D” significantly reduces your risk of death if you have cardiovascular disease.20

According to vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick, vitamin D deficiency — defined as a level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) — can also raise your risk of heart attack by 50 percent, and if you have a heart attack while vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying is nearly guaranteed.

Vitamin D also has powerful infection-fighting abilities, making it a useful aid in the treatment of tuberculosis, pneumoniacolds and flu, while maintaining a healthy vitamin D level will typically prevent such infections from taking root in the first place. Studies have also linked higher vitamin D levels with lowered mortality from all causes.21,22,23

A Majority of Breast Cancer Cases Could Be Avoided by Raising Vitamin D Levels Among the General Public

Importantly, the ongoing research by GrassrootsHealth has firmly established that 20 ng/mL, which is conventionally considered the cutoff for sufficiency, is nowhere near sufficient for optimal health and disease prevention.

As mentioned, 40 ng/mL (100 nm/L) appears to be at the low end of optimal, and most participants in the featured NEJM study were likely hovering right around this low-end blood level (based on measurements from a very limited subgroup).

Still, recall the risk of cancer in Years 3 through 5 among those who supplemented with 2,000 IUs a day (thereby reaching a mean blood level of just under 42 ng/mL) went down by 25 percent. GrassrootsHealth research shows the ideal protective range is between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 to 200 nm/L), and the higher the better within this range.

Research has actually demonstrated that most cancers occur in people with a vitamin D blood level between 10 and 40 ng/mL.24,25 Meanwhile, research shows women with vitamin D levels above 60 ng/mL have an 83 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with levels below 20 ng/mL.26 Data from GrassrootsHealth ongoing D*Action study actually suggests 80 percent of breast cancer incidences could be prevented simply by optimizing vitamin D and nothing else!

breast cancer rates vitamin d level

The key, however, is to achieve the proper blood level, which has nothing to do with dosage. And the reason this correlation has never been elucidated before is because no one was using high-enough dosage to actually get participants vitamin D levels above 60 ng/mL, which is where you really start seeing these dramatic reductions in disease.

Optimizing Your Vitamin D Is a Key Disease Prevention Strategy

The evidence in support of vitamin D optimization is overwhelming, and becomes all the more compelling when the blood level is the primary parameter being measured and tracked. The key take-home message here is that 2,000 IUs is insufficient for most people, although it may still cut the risk of cancer by about 25 percent.

Overall, research supports the idea that higher levels offer greater cancer protection, and even levels as high as 100 ng/mL appear safe and beneficial. Importantly, having a serum vitamin D level of 60 ng/mL has been shown to positively impact anyone with breast cancer or Type 1 diabetes, as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers.

It’s a shame that so many researchers still have not grasped the importance of measuring blood levels rather than simply going by dosage, and relatively low dosages at that. In reality, what this NEJM study (and others like it) show is that insufficient vitamin D dosage fails to achieve optimal results. It’s not that vitamin D itself is useless. GrassrootsHealth D*Action study is clearly leading the pack here, revealing what’s required.

It’s an ongoing study that relies on public participation, and you can join at any time. To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress.

You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you “it’s time for your next test and health survey.” By participating in this project, you help move vitamin D research forward so that, hopefully, one day we can end this nonsensical debate about whether vitamin D optimization is worth pursuing or not.

– Sources and References

Choose Avocados to Help Reduce Risk for Obesity and Diabetes


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

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola  — Fact Checked
avocado diabetes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avocados at Breakfast May Reduce Hunger Through the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Fat Found Only in Avocado Associated With Glycemic Control

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certain Lifestyle Choices May Increase Risk of Diabetes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intermittent Fasting Helps You Achieve Metabolic Flexibility

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

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

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

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

What Is Intermittent Fasting and How Do You Practice It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The importance of early screening for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

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

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

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

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

Sources for this article include:

BMJ.com
TheClinics.com
FattyLiverFoundation.org

The connection between artificial sweeteners and diabetes

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

by:  

artificial-sweeteners-news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How artificial sweeteners cause glucose intolerance

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

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

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

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

Artificial sweeteners proven to do more harm than good

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

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

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

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

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

Sources for this article include:

Clinical.Diabetesjournals.org
Nature.com

Skyrocketing Charges for Insulin Should Be a Crime


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

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

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

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

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

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

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

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

Skyrocketing Costs Force Type 1 Diabetics to Risk Their Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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Price Gouging Insulin Should Be a Crime

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

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

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

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

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

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

Price Hikes Threaten Insulin-Dependent Americans’ Lives

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of Competition, Payment Incentives Drive Prices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Rationing Your Insulin Is a Dangerous Gamble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Insulin Makers Sued

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biohackers Make Their Own Insulin

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Open Insulin Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Millions of Americans Get Their Medications Outside the US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guidelines for Insulin-Dependent Diabetics

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

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

8 Juicy Reasons to Eat More Strawberries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are eight scientifically proven reasons to eat more strawberries:

1. Strawberries Lower Heart Attack Risk

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

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

2. Strawberries Reduce Hypertension

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

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

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

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

4. Strawberries Reduce Cancer Risk

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

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

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

5. Strawberries Reduce Oxidized Cholesterol

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

6. Strawberries Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol

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

7. Strawberries Help Control Blood Glucose Levels

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

8. Strawberries May Help Reverse Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disorders

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

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

Are Fresh or Frozen Strawberries Better?

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

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

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

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

For more studies visit GreenMedInfo’s page on strawberries.

Originally published: 2014-10-07

Article updated: 2019-10-30


References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Effectively lower blood sugar levels with a natural plant extract

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

help-blood-sugar-levels

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

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

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

Alert: Prediabetes affects over half of all those over 65

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

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

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

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

It’s official: Cloves promote better blood sugar control

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloves reduce blood sugar with three different mechanisms

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

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

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

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

Reverse prediabetes with healthy lifestyle choices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources for this article include:

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