Nutrition

now browsing by category

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates.
Doctors should be taught this in medical school, as well as “First, do no harm”.

 

Ditch Pharmaceuticals, Get Aspirin From Your Food


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/01/06/aspirin-health-effects.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
aspirin health effects

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Recommendations for once-a-day aspirin were pulled by the FDA when the risks of major bleeding far outweighed the benefits of preventing a heart attack. Salicylic acid, the active ingredient, is found in high concentrations in cumin
  • Eating one teaspoon of cumin in well-spiced foods spikes blood levels of salicylic acid as if you took a baby aspirin. Data show those eating foods high in salicylic acid may help lower their risk of developing certain cancers
  • Consider stimulating the vagus nerve, or 10th cranial nerve, to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and protect your heart
  • Nattokinase and lumbrokinase are two aspirin alternatives without high side effect profiles, which demonstrate the ability to improve circulation and reduce the risk of serious clotting

Aspirin has a long history, dating back nearly 4,000 years when Sumerians wrote of using willow bark for pain relief.1 The ancient Egyptians used willow bark to reduce body temperature and inflammation, and the Greek physician Hippocrates used it to help relieve pain and fever. By the early 1800s Europeans were researching the effects of salicylic acid and how to determine a correct dosage of it.2

In 1899, Bayer begin distributing the powder, and it was sold as tablets over the counter in 1915. Doctors gave aspirin to Alexi Nicholaevich Romanov of Russia, who had hemophilia. The aspirin likely made the bleeding worse. When the family’s mystic Grigori Rasputin advised the family to stop modern treatments and rely on spiritual healing, the bleeding improved.

In an article published in 2010 in CNN, one physician from Harvard Medical School recommended reducing the risk of stomach bleeding associated with aspirin by taking a second medication — Prilosec.

By 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reversed their recommendation, concluding data did not support aspirin as a preventive medication for those who had not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems.3 In this population, not only had benefit not been established, but “dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach” was a significant risk.

Salicylates Found Naturally in Some Foods

In the same year the FDA withdrew their recommendation for daily aspirin intake to reduce cardiovascular risk, one meta-analysis was published showing a reduction and cancer mortality in those taking daily low-dose aspirin.4 The researchers hypothesized the effect was the result of inhibition “of cox-2 in preneoplastic lesions.”

Their results were supported by a second meta-analysis5 published in the same year finding a reduction in nonvascular deaths and cancer with low dose aspirin. In another study published in 2018,6 researchers found data suggesting aspirin is associated with a lower risk of developing several types of cancer, including colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, ovarian and endometrial.

As New York Times best seller author and nutrition expert Dr. Michael Greger writes,7 animal products made up 5% or less of their diet before Japanese citizens began adopting a Western diet.8 During the same period, there was a vast difference in cancer deaths between the U.S. and Japan.

The age-adjusted death rates for colon, breast, ovary and prostate were five to 10 times lower in Japan, and leukemia, lymphoma and pancreatic cancer death rates were three to four times lower. In part, this protection may have been the result of phytonutrients found in the plant-based diet, including salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin.

The highest concentrations in plants is found in herbs and spices with the greatest amount in cumin. Researchers have found eating a teaspoon of cumin will spike your blood levels of salicylic acid to the same degree that taking a baby aspirin does. Greger9 quotes one study describing the lower incidence of colorectal cancer in areas where people eat diets rich in salicylic acid:10

“The population of rural India, with an incidence of colorectal cancer which is one of the lowest in the world, has a diet that could be extremely rich in salicylic acid. It contains substantial amounts of fruits, vegetables, and cereals flavored with large quantities of herbs and spices.”

In another analysis11 comparing organic versus nonorganic vegetables, scientists found soup made with organic vegetables contained more salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is produced by plants in response to stress, such as when they’re being bitten by bugs. Plants treated with pesticides do not undergo this type of stress, and studies show they contain six times less salicylic acid than those grown organically.

Advertisement

Get my FREE 20 health resolutions for 2020 here


Is Aspirin Overrated?

Evidence supports the assertion that a plant-rich diet offers protection against certain cancers. Aspirin used to be recommended to reduce clotting time and the risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke, triggered by a clot to the brain. However, long-term use of aspirin has been associated with harmful effects, including hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain when a clot doesn’t form.

In addition to aspirin side effects, results from a trio of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated daily low-dose aspirin had no measurably significant health benefits for healthy older adults. Instead, the data demonstrated it did not prolong disability-free survival and contributed to the risk of major bleeding.

In one study the authors found those with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection who used low dose aspirin had a higher risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding then those who took aspirin without the infection.

In another study12 researchers found those who used aspirin regularly, which they defined as at least once a week for one year, experienced an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Results from a separate study13 also point to a connection between frequent aspirin use and AMD, linking increasing frequency of use to higher risk.

Nattokinase: Aspirin Alternative Without the Side-Effects

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death14 in people of most racial and ethnic groups in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one person dies every 37 seconds from heart disease and cardiovascular deaths account for 25% of all deaths reported.

Using aspirin to reduce the risk of clot formation comes with significant risk. A better alternative is nattokinase, produced by the bacteria bacillus subtilis when soybeans are being fermented to produce natto. This is a fermented soybean product that has been a traditional food in Japan for thousands of years.

Without using conventional drugs, nattokinase has demonstrated the ability to reduce chronic rhinosinusitis and dissolve excess fibrin in blood vessels, which improves circulation and reduces the risk of serious clotting. Another benefit is the ability to decrease blood viscosity and improve flow, which consequently lowers blood pressure.

Data also showed consuming nattokinase decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure and demonstrated effectiveness in reducing deep vein thrombosis in those who were on long-haul flights or vehicle travel. Studies have demonstrated administration of a single-dose can enhance clot breakdown and anticoagulation.

Each of these factors affects your long-term cardiovascular health and risk for heart disease. In one study,15 researchers wrote nattokinase is a “unique natural compound that possesses several key cardiovascular beneficial effects for patients with CVD and is therefore an ideal drug candidate for the prevention and treatment of CVD.”

Could Earthworms Hold One Key to Heart Health?

One of the drawbacks of pharmaceutical interventions, including thrombolytics, antiplatelets and anticoagulants, is that they interfere with the anticoagulation system and carry a risk of major bleeding.16 Lumbrokinase is a secondary option that works as a fibrinolytic enzyme, activating the plasminogen system and direct fibrinolysis.

The compound also indirectly achieves anticoagulation through inhibition of platelet function. Additionally, lumbrokinase has an enzyme opposing the coagulation system. Research has demonstrated it promotes fibrinolysis but also fibrinogenesis, meaning it may have a built-in balance system that contributes to the safety record.

Interestingly, this complex enzyme is extracted from earthworms and is sometimes referred to as earthworm powder enzymes. Eastern medicine has used earthworms for thousands of years, and Chinese medicine practitioners believe they possess properties to “invigorate blood, resolve stasis and unblock the body’s meridians and channels.”

They are commonly found in a traditional herbal formula used to treat ischemic or thromboembolic conditions. To date, those producing lumbrokinase cannot make any therapeutic claims. Available studies have demonstrated safety and effectiveness in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke and impressive results in the treatment of coronary arterial disease including those with unstable angina.

Lumbrokinase has also been evaluated as an antimetastatic and antitumor agent, with evidence demonstrating a potential use in anticoagulation to limit cancer growth and metastasis. The authors of two review papers found adverse rates to be 0.7% to 3% with most symptoms being a mild headache, nausea, dizziness and constipation, which resolved when the enzyme was discontinued.

Neither of the reviews found the enzyme triggered bleeding or adverse effects in the kidney or liver. Both nattokinase and lumbrokinase have a lower side effect profile than aspirin and provide much of the same benefits to the cardiovascular system. While aspirin is no longer universally recommended, consider speaking with your physician to include nattokinase or lumbrokinase in your heart health regimen.

Alzheimer’s Prevention

Written by Brenton Wight, researcher and LeanMachine

Copyright © Brenton Wight, LeanMachine

Doctors say there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, in spite of over 80 billion dollars in research over the last few decades.
This is partly true, as there is no drug, no “magic bullet” to slow or stop this dreadful condition.
Hundreds of studies with new drugs have shown most of the time that those on a placebo did BETTER than those on the drug!
In rare cases, those on the drug did very slightly better, but any improvement was not enough to justify bringing the drug to market.
However, we CAN identify risk factors, and we CAN in most cases prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, and we CAN in most cases reverse the disease, or at least ease the symptoms to give the patient and the carers a better quality of life.
If the intervention is soon enough, it CAN be CURED in some, but not all cases.
There is no miracle one-shot treatment, but a combination of many factors.
The time to start treatment is not when we are 60 and forget where the keys are, but from birth!
The lifetime changes we need to prevent Alzheimer’s will also prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other diseases, and give our lives vitality.

How many people are at risk?

In the USA, over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and around 14% of the population will eventually get Alzheimer’s, or around 45 million people.
Results in Australia are similar. Over 10% of the population over 65 have Alzheimer’s, and 30% of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s. In the decade from 2010 to 2020, deaths from Alzheimer’s has risen 20% and looks set to replace Cardiovascular disease as the Number 1 cause of death.
Many people now suffer from Early Onset Alzheimer’s, showing signs as young as 30 years of age.
In the USA, it is now the third leading cause of death, but these figures are understated. People do not actually die from Alzheimer’s – they die because the parts of the brain that control bodily functions shut down, so they die when their organs shut down.
The patient may die from pneumonia because the lungs now cannot function or some other organ fails to work and the Doctor or Coroner has to determine which organ failed.
This is a problem in every country, but some countries have very much reduced rates of Alzheimer’s, mainly due to better diets and reduced toxins.

Diagnosis

Originally, there was no firm diagnosis without examining the brains of patients after death.
Researchers found that most patients had Amyloid Plaques in the brain, and also high levels of aluminium.
PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography) are used with a radioactive tracer (which binds to amyloid plaques) to determine the amount and location of amyloid plaques in the brain.
However, this diagnosis is still not conclusive, as many people have amyloid plaques, but no sign of any dementia even into old age, although these people have a higher risk. Often symptoms do not appear for decades after the start of amyloid plaque deposits. Other patients have no sign of Amyloid plaques but still have Alzheimer’s, so drugs developed to reduce Amyloid plaques have proven unsuccessful in prevention and treatment.
Standard blood tests for glucose level, triglycerides, kidney and liver function can help determine the risk. However, those with less than optimum blood results may die of Cardiovascular, Cancer or some other disease before Alzheimer’s sets in.
So the PET scan is used with other tests for cognitive performance to arrive at a diagnosis.

Who is at risk?

Genetics plays an important part, and so does diet, exercise, lifestyle and supplements.
Here are some risk factors, in no particular order:

  • Age is the greatest risk factor. Dementia can affect about 10% of those over the age of 65, but 33% of those over 80
  • Gender – Women represent over 60% of Alzheimer’s patients, but part of this may be due to their longer lifespans
  • Gluten – Celiacs often have “Wheat Brain” causing disturbances, anxiety, depression and Alzheimer’s. Many dementia patients recover fully on a gluten free diet
  • Prescription medications such as many sedatives, hypnotics, blood pressure, hay fever, insomnia, depression and arthritis medications are linked to higher risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Anaesthetics are linked to Alzheimer’s. The more operations people have, the higher the risk
  • High Blood Pressure (systolic over 140 in mid-life) doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s and increases vascular dementia by 600%, but blood pressure medications can be just as bad, so reduce it naturally without medication
  • Sleep Apnea starves the brain of vital oxygen and increases risk of Alzheimer’s
  • B-12 deficiency increases Alzheimer’s risk. Gastric Bypass Surgery, Celiac disease, vegan/vegetarian diets, antacids (like Nexium) and many medications all reduce availability and/or absorption of B-12
  • Diabetes doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s (often called “Diabetes of the Brain” or “Type 3 Diabetes”)
  • Vision problems increase Alzheimer’s risk. Opthalmologists can detect abnormal widths of blood vessels in the retina which can indicate early Alzheimer’s
  • Tobacco – Smokers have double the risk for Alzheimer’s. Family and others breathing second-hand smoke also have higher risk
  • Living alone after a partner’s death means we have six times the risk of Alzheimer’s, and those who divorce and live alone have three times the risk.
  • Isolation is a significant risk factor for depression and dementia. Find a friend!
  • Obesity is a risk. The lower the BMI (Body Mass Index) the lower the risk. Obesity raises risk by around 75%
  • Family history increases the risk. See the Genetics section below, but environmental factors, diet and lifestyle choices can be passed on to children
  • Education improves outcome, and lack of education increases Alzheimer’s risk. Studies suggest higher education increases “cognitive reserve” which may offset dementia symptoms
  • Concussion or head trauma increases Alzheimer’s risk exponentially with the number and severity of head injuries
  • Quality sleep is essential for the ability of the body to repair itself by flushing toxins from the brain
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholic dementia and higher risk of Alzheimer’s as well as many other health risks
  • Mental activities improves the brain, physically and psychologically. Learn new things strengthens and develops new nerve cells
  • Sedentary lifestyles are a large risk for the brain as well as the body. Exercise is a must for the brain and the body
  • Chronic bladder disease increases risk
  • Chronic Candida infections increase risk

Overcoming risk factors:

  • Change the diet – see below
  • Get regular, uninterrupted sleep
  • Socialising, visiting friends, joining a group
  • Crosswords, puzzles, new experiences, learning a musical instrument or another language
  • Exercise helps control blood glucose levels, keeps excess weight down, increases oxygen and circulation, and joining a gym can also help with socialisation
  • Use the many supplements available

Genetics

There is a strong genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s, but also there is a strong contribution of environment, diet and lifestyle.
Rates of Alzheimer’s disease have increased much faster than any genetic changes could have occurred.
This means that much is under our control, because even with a genetic predisposition, we can reduce risk with epigenetic (non-genetic influences on gene expression) changes.
Example: The most important genetic risk factor is the ApoE epsilon 4 allele (ApoE4), and 14% to 18% of the population has this gene.
Everyone carries two copies of the APOE gene, which makes the protein ApoE (apolipoprotein E).
There are three different types (alleles) of the APOE gene: E2, E3 and E4, and because we all have two copies of the gene, the combination determines our APOE “genotype” which can be any combination of the 2 copies: E2/E2, E2/E3, E2/E4, E3/E3, E3/E4, or E4/E4.
The majority of people have two E3 alleles (E3/E3) so this is defined as the “average risk”.
The E2 allele is the least common form, and if we have two E2 alleles (E2/E2) or one E2 and one E3 (E2/E3) we have about 40% REDUCED risk of Alzheimer’s.
The E4 allele, present in 14% to 20% of the population, increases the risk for Alzheimer’s, especially late-onset Alzheimer’s, but this does NOT mean that we will get Alzheimer’s disease if we have one or two copies of E4, as about one third of Alzheimer’s patients do not have even a single E4.
All it means is that our risk is increased, also increased is the risk of potential Alzheimer’s at a younger age.
To quantify the risk:
If we have no copies of E4, we still have around 9% risk of Alzheimer’s.
If we have a single copy of E4, our risk increases to around 30%.
If we have two copies of E4, risk is between 50% to 90% but in all cases, we CAN REDUCE the risk.
Many people are horrified to learn that they have up to a 90% risk of Alzheimer’s, but they need not be.
With some dietary, lifestyle and supplement changes, those at greatest risk can easily fall into the 10% who do NOT get Alzheimer’s.

SAD (Standard American Diet)

Genetic statistics above apply only to average people, typically Caucasians living in the Western World and consuming a typical Western diet of processed food, sugar, MSG, hydrogenated oils, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides and other toxic substances.
These statistics do NOT apply to those with a healthy diet of natural, organic food living in a low-toxin environment.
In fact, many people already down the cognitive decline have recovered on a healthy diet and sustained the improvement for several years, according to Dr Dale Bredesen who has been running a program for years now.
Dr Bredesen does not know how many more years it will be, but does know that patients on the program have removed the biochemical drivers which can be measured in blood tests, so so is very optimistic about their future health for many years to come.

Should we get genetic testing?

This is up to the individual. Some people would prefer not to know. Others want to know.
My father died from Alzheimer’s at about age 72 after many years in a Nursing Home, existing but without knowing who his family members were. So did my Grandmother on my Mother’s side, so I assume I may well have inherited a high genetic risk. I am now 73 as I revise this article. For me, testing is irrelevant, because I changed to a Paleo-style diet at age 63, which turned my life around.
From obese to lean, from grey hair to brown, from allergies to everything to allergies to nothing, from high blood pressure and triglycerides to normal, from poor physical strength to strong, fit and full of energy, from frequent headaches to none, from always getting sick to never getting sick.
If I had the genetic test and it was the worst result, I would only continue to do what I am doing now, using dietary and lifestyle modifications.
Have I halted Alzheimers? I hope so, but I often cannot remember some of the thousands of medical terms I have come across in my 10 years of research.  Come back here in 27 years as I approach 100 and I will let you know how I have done.

Amyloid Plaques vs Tangles

Amyloid is a protein, normally found throughout the body. In Alzheimer’s, this protein divides improperly, creating beta amyloid which is toxic to brain neurons.
Amyloid is actually antimicrobial and has benefits for the body, but some people, especially those with the E4/E4 alleles cannot naturally break down these plaques, but there are dietary methods which can.
Not all Alzheimer’s patients have beta Amyloid plaques. About 10% of patients have neurofibrillary tangles which cause similar symptoms, but are also inclined to have more aggressive behavior.

Three Kinds of Alzheimer’s

Humans liberate amyloid as a protective response in the body to three different fundamental metabolic and toxic perturbations:

  • Type 1: Characterized by systemic inflammation. Blood tests typically reveal high hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein), low albumin:globulin ratio,
    and high cytokine levels such as interleukin-1 and interleukin-6. Imaging reveals temporoparietal reductions in glucose utilization.
    Those at risk include people with chronic infections or inflammation from other causes, and the normal antimicrobial protective response liberates amyloids
  • Type 2: Characterized by normal inflammation, but an atrophic (wasting away) profile, with reduced support from estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, and vitamin D, often with high homocysteine and insulin resistance. Imaging reveals temporoparietal reductions in glucose utilization. As NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) diminishes, amyloid production increases.
    Type 2 in particular can be CAUSED by LOW cholesterol, resulting in atrophy (brain shrinkage), reduced hormone production, poor health and eventually Alzheimer’s.
    All because we are taking statins that lower cholesterol, or we are not eating enough healthy fats.
    We prevent our cells from doing what they are supposed to do, so we end up with a shrunken brain without the lipid (fat) content we need. A fat-free diet means atrophy of the brain.
    See the Cholesterol Fraud and the Big Fat Lie sections below.
  • Type 3: Different from types 1 and 2. Still β-amyloid positive and phospho-tau positive), but a younger onset (late 40s to early 60s).
    Genotype ApoE is usually E3/E3 instead of E4/E4 or E3/E4 with little or no family history.
    Onset usually follows a period of stress, depression, sleep loss, anesthesia, or menopause/andropause.
    Memory loss is not a main symptom, instead there are cortical issues: dyscalculia (trouble with arithmetic), aphasia (trouble speaking or understanding speech – damage to the left side of the brain),
    executive dysfunction (emotional or behavioural problems from frontal lobe issues).
    Imaging studies often reveal extra-hippocampal disease, greater general cerebral atrophy and frontal-temporal-parietal abnormalities.
    Lab results often reveal hypozincemia (low zinc) and/or a high copper:zinc ratio, and can indictate adrenal fatigue
    (low pregnenolone, DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate), and/or AM cortisol. Chronic infections like mycotoxins, Lyme, viral infections, HSV-1 (a herpes simplex virus) are all risk factors


Some patients have “Alzheimer’s type 1.5” where a combination of symptoms of both type 1 and 2 Alzheimer’s occurs.
Glycotoxicity (too much sugar in the brain) causes an insulin resistant brain. Combine this with AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products), and we have both inflammation from AGEs, plus atrophic withdrawal response because we are now resistant to insulin.
So we have a double condition of type 1 and type 2.

Type 3 patients often have MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic-Resistant Coagulase-Negative Staph), a colonisation of antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus in the nasal cavity.
Also high blood levels of TGF-beta-1 (Transforming Growth Factor beta-1), high C4A (a protein that in humans is encoded by the C4A gene), and low MSH (Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone) is very common, typically with HLA-DR/DQ haplotypes shown by Dr Ritchie Shoemaker to be associated with CIRS.

Alzheimer’s from nose infections?

We have known for years that our healthy gut bacteria is essential to prevent almost every disease, and now research is looking at the rhinosinal microbiome, the healthy bacteria in our nose.
This is now becoming known as Inhalational Alzheimer’s.
The nose is the most direct route to the brain, and bad bacteria in the mucous lining of the airways can damage the brain.
Pathologists now believe there are unknown pathogens in the rhinencephalon, the “nose-smell” (olfacation) system.
Many Alzheimer’s patients start losing their sense of smell as one of the early signs of the disease, and this is probably why.
I am confident that my nasal bacteria is back to normal after having very bad allergies and taking antihistamines from when I was about 16 to when I was 63.
Allergies stopped when the bad diet stopped.

Dr. Susan Lynch at UCSF has found that the nose problem is not so much an unknown pathogen, but a lack of microbial diversity.
Beneficial microorganisms in the nose protect against many pathogens, and one of the best seems to be Lactobacillus sakei, used to make sake and kimchi.
This could explain why Japanese people have comparatively low rates of Alzheimer’s, although rates are rising in Japan because of the Western influence, with meat and dairy replacing rice as a staple food.
When Japanese people migrate to Western countries and adopt a Western diet, they have the same risk as anyone else.
So for the Japanese, it is not a genetic problem, but a diet problem, and this applies to everyone.

AGEs – Advanced Glycation End products

AGEs are formed when food cooked at high temperatures (over 120 degrees C) combines with sugar. AGEs are very damaging to the body, accelerating the ageing process and chronic disease.
AGEs worsen diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, inflammation, atherosclerosis (stiffening of the arteries), cardiovascular disease and stroke.
AGEs cause glycation of LDL cholesterol, promoting oxidation, and oxidized LDL is a major factor in atherosclerosis.
AGEs form photosensitizers in the eye lens, leading to cataract development.

To reduce AGEs, never cook at high temperatures (steaming is best, always at 100 degrees C), eat plenty of raw food (salads, and small amounts of fruit), and eliminate all sugar and processed foods.

Conventional Drugs

Drug companies have been trying for years to get rid of Amyloid plaques, thinking they are the cause of Alzheimer’s.
However, the body needs amyloid to protect the brain, so we need to look at what is causing the plaques instead of trying to get rid of them. Latest research shows that Amyloid plaques are antimicrobial, so can be both damaging and protecting!

 

Alzheimer’s – “Diabetes Type 3”

Some researchers are now labeling Alzheimer’s as “Diabetes Type 3” because sugar causes Alzheimer’s.
Sugar also causes diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and many more diseases, mainly due to processed foods.
As with diabetes, where sugar causes insulin resistance, we have insulin resistance in the brain, causing degeneration.
When the brain becomes insulin resistant, it means that glucose cannot enter the brain cells, so those cells die.
However, all is not lost. If we switch to a Ketonegic diet, we can feed our brain with fat instead of sugar. More on this diet below.

Diagnosing the type of Alzheimer’s

Unlike cancer, where we can biopsy a tumour, we must look at historical, biochemical, genetic, imaging, and function information to determine the type of Alzheimer’s.
Of course this rarely happens except in research applications. The doctor simply says the patient has Alzheimer’s and may give a drug which in the long term will not make much difference.
This is a shame, because about half of all cases can be halted, and in some cases substantially improved, by reverting to the correct diet.
Even better would be to eat a correct diet from birth, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s to near zero, as well as preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other modern diseases.

Exercise

Physical exercise is extremely important to keep the brain and body healthy.
Researchers are not sure why, but LeanMachine says it is obvious:
Exercise burns off the high glucose levels that cause “Diabetes of the Brain” and exercise boosts oxygen levels and circulation in the brain.
Any type of exercise is beneficial, such as:

  • Walking, jogging or running
  • Calisthenics
  • Squats
  • Push-ups, chin-ups
  • Skipping
  • Gardening

Exercises have the added benefit of socialisation in a group, such as:

  • Join a gym
  • Tai-Chi or Yoga classes
  • Athletics clubs
  • Dancing classes

Exercising the Brain

The body has a disturbing property: Anything not used for a while gets broken down to be used somewhere else.
If we do not use a muscle for a week, the body starts breaking it down.
But if we exercise regularly, we stop muscles wasting, and we actually build up our muscles.
If we do not use parts of the brain, the body starts breaking it down.
But if we exercise our brain, we can hang on to the parts we use, and develop new pathways to replace parts we have lost. Exercises such as:

  • Learning a new language
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Crossword or other puzzles
  • Socialising in groups or clubs

Meditation

Meditation is not normally seen as exercise for the brain, but sitting in a quiet, dark room away from all daily distractions not only promotes a calming effect, but increases various brain-saving hormones.
Meditation, like dreaming, helps the brain sort out the junk memories and recent problems by concentrating on things that have made us feel good in the past.
We may have pleasant memories like sitting on a sandy beach listening to the waves rolling in on a beautiful sunny day. By concentrating on peaceful and pleasant memories, we forget problems with out hectic daily life.

Supplements

The modern diet is lacking in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients, mainly because of:

  • Over-farming – growing the same food in the same ground year after year, depleting these vital elements
  • Over-processing – hydrogenation, adding sugar, adding chemicals, overheating
  • Toxins from farming chemicals contaminates the environment
  • Water is contaminated by fluoride and chlorine

The supplements everyone over 50 should take are:
Organic Coconut Oil, taken several times a day, a tablespoon at a time.
LeanMachine considers this one of the best prevention and treatment methods available for Alzheimer’s.
This encourages the body to burn healthy fats instead of sugar, called the Ketogenic Diet which burns ketones, which is what our ancestors did in their natural low-carb diets. See the Ketogenic Diet below.
Coconut oil appears to break down the amyloid plaque buildup in the brain. Perhaps the plaques are no longer required when the brain is fed by healthy fats instead of glucose.
Coconut oil is also the absolute best for cooking, replacing any other fat, because coconut oil remains stable at high temperatures, and is full of MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which go straight to the liver to be burned as fuel, and cannot be stored as fat in the body.
Coconut oil also contains Lauric Acid, which keeps our skin wrinkle-free and healthy.

PS (Phosphatidylserene) is a component of the cerebral cortex’s neuronal membrane, and can improve memory and mood, reduce stress, improve learning and more.
It does this by controlling input and production of choline, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine and glucose.

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) which helps the body make Glutathione, the body’s natural “Master Antioxidant” that fights cancer, Alzheimer’s and many other conditions.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric which has been used for thousands of years for dementia, cancer and many other conditions.

Vitamin B-12 because as we age, our stomach acid levels drop, preventing the high-acid conditions required for B-12 absorption from food. Even more essential for vegans and vegetarians as B-12 mainly comes from animal products.

B-group vitamins because these are vitally important for nerves and brain health.

ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) as an antioxidant to help remove heavy metals from the brain, reduce inflammation, and improve the effectiveness of votamins C and E.

Vitamin D3 because over half the ageing population are taking statin medication (which they should NOT) and statins halt production of 7-dehydrocholesterol, the first step in the manufacture of vitamin D3. Worse, many of these seniors are in Aged Care facilities and never see the light of day, so cannot make vitamin D3 from sunlight. If they are ever taken outside, it is only early morning or late afternoon when they cannot get vitamin D3 anyway. More info in my Vitamin D3 article.

Ginkgo Biloba is highly recommended to improve blood flow in the brain. Should not be used in conjunction with prescription blood thinners.

TMG (Trimethylglycine) is an effective methyl donor for the facilitation of methylation processes. Supports a healthy homocysteine level, which in turn supports healthy cardiovascular function and helps prevent Alzheimer’s. Homocysteine, a damaging amino acid, with the aid of TMG, is turned into methionine, a safe and beneficial amino acid. Methylation is essential for DNA repair and production of SAMe, which helps joints, lifts mood, fights depression and protects brain cells from amyloid plaques. Read more in my TMG article.

SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine) can help protect the brain and also help treat depression, anger, anxiety which are common symptoms in some Alzheimer’s patients.

Vinpocetine has shown mixed results but mostly beneficial in limited human trials using 10mg 3 times daily.

Vitamin E is recommended to improve the healthy fats in the brain and increase antioxidants.

Benfotiamine with Leucine can help remove glucose and improve insulin resistance.

Many other supplements can help, including:

In addition, many supplements primarily used to treat diabetes will also help prevent Alzheimer’s.

The Cholesterol Fraud

Previous research indicated that high cholesterol was a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Again, this was wrong. Doctors started prescribing statin drugs for those people with high cholesterol, or those with signs of dementia with normal cholesterol.
What happened? They got Alzheimer’s WORSE and got it FASTER than patients who did NOT take statins.
Researchers only looked at total cholesterol which is a complete waste of time.

25% of the cholesterol in the body is in the brain, mainly in the myelin sheath.
Around 60% of our brain is fat, mainly in the form of cholesterol.
The myelin sheath (oligodendroglia) that surrounds and protects our neurons are 70% cholesterol, 30% protein.
Starve the brain of healthy fat, and we get Alzheimer’s. Almost guaranteed.
Reduce cholesterol and what happens? The protective myelin sheaths break down as they are starved of cholesterol, allowing the brain cells to be damaged. Damage them enough, and they die. Then we have dementia. Damage enough cells, and the brain can no longer support our basic functions, like breathing. Then we die.
This is why statin drugs are BAD.
Sure, in some cases, they can slightly reduce risk of heart attacks, but they INCREASE death from all other causes, including Alzheimer’s.
The net result is that on average, we will not live a day longer on statin medication.
Statins will give us lousy final years with muscle breakdown, osteoporosis, more sickness and dementia.
We need plenty of healthy fats like coconut oil, walnuts, avocados, fish, eggs, butter from grass-fed cows, unheated olive oil.
We must NOT consume bad fats: Canola oil, margarine, anything hydrogenated, anything heated over 120 degrees C.
Cholesterol is NOT the enemy.
We NEED cholesterol, especially HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol which reduces inflammation, and helps clean up the body (like a garbage collector). Without HDL Cholesterol, we die within 24 hours.
We also need LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), still incorrectly called “bad” cholesterol, as we die without it.
LDL has antimicrobial effects, so the idea that we should drive it down to zero is ludicrous. LDL is essential to transport nutrients around the body (and into the brain) as well as helping the body manufacture hormones and other important products. LDL was essential for our evolutionary ancestors millions of years ago, and we still need it.
The brain is mostly fat, and 40% of the brain is CHOLESTEROL.
Many things that were protective in our native environment are problems in our modern environment, but if we go back to our ancestral diet, problems are resolved.
Studies show time after time that people with low cholesterol die young, while people with normal to high cholesterol live longest.
These studies are ignored by the big drug companies. Because statin sales make them billions of dollars, of course they continue the Big Cholesterol Lie, one of the biggest frauds in medical history. Their own study showed increased deaths and terrible side effects so they stopped the study short at that time, supposedly to “save patient’s lives” when the opposite was true.

The dangerous cholesterol is VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) which cannot easily be tested.
Because triglycerides contain some VLDL, labs estimate VLDL value by simply taking a percentage of triglycerides.
High triglycerides are much more of a danger signal than high cholesterol, and are almost always related to obesity, poor diet of processed foods, especially dangerous fats.

The Big Fat Lie

We have been told for decades that fat is bad for us.
Forget about “low fat” or “fat free” diets.
Another big fat lie, coming from a scientist who plucked figures out of a study to suit an argument he was proposing.
When the data was analysed completely, many decades later, it showed the complete opposite.
The largest and longest study in the world was the Framingham study which showed that those who ate the most fat lived longer than those who ate the least.
Fat is not unhealthy in general, in fact it is essential for health.
The UNHEALTHY fats are man-made artificial fats (margarine, Canola oil) and other processed fats that are hydrogenated to improve shelf life and heated to extremes during manufacture, often going rancid in the process, causing oxidised VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein), the REAL dangerous “food”.
What is REALLY bad is carbohydrates, and when manufacturers remove fats from food, they replace them with carbohydrates, causing most “modern” diseases including Alzheimer’s and Diabetes.

The Ketogenic Diet

For the first two million years of human life on Earth, carbohydrate consumption was very low.
Carbohydrates were uncommon, with the majority of food being nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables. Meat was eaten very rarely when an animal was killed.
These people did not burn carbohydrates for energy, they burned FAT. In particular, ketones, the basis of the ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet means maintaining a fasting state of ketosis. Ketones are produced when the body is in a state of ketosis.
Ketones fuel cells using a different pathway from glucose.
Glucose has to have insulin to allow glucose into cells, but as we all should know, our typical modern diet is loaded with carbohydrates, forcing the pancreas into overdrive making enough insulin.
Eventually our cells become insulin resistant, so the pancreas produces even more insulin to force glucose into the cells, creating even more insulin resistance.
We are now a full-blown diabetic, and when the pancreas starts shutting down, we need insulin injections for the rest of our life.
However, when we feed the cells with ketones, they simply enter the cell naturally, and do NOT require insulin or anything else to do so.
This is critically important for five of our modern diseases: Obesity, Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s, all caused or aggravated by high blood glucose, bad fats and inflammation.
Ketones are also signaling molecules as well.

Benefits of the ketogenic diet include:

  • Helps the body express new restorative and healing genes
  • Reduces inflammation (underlying cause of nearly every disease)
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Aids weight loss
  • Stops or slows degenerative disease
  • Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Obesity

The Anti-Alzheimer’s diet

Spices

Add these spices to every meal possible.
Of course they will spice up any meal, but also help clear the brain of problems and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and many more modern illnesses.

  • Sage – one of the best brain-saving spices
  • Cloves – one of the most potent antioxidants
  • Curry – a blend of other great spices
  • Ginger – reduces inflammation and improves immunity
  • Turmeric – for colour, flavour and Curcumin
  • Ceylon Cinnamon – Better and safer than regular cinnamon

Ketogenic Diet – Healthy fats, intermittent fasting.
Read How Cyclical Ketosis can help combat Chronic Fatigue

Avoid Trans Fats
Read Trans Fats Linked to Increased Risk for Alzheimers

Avoid Processed Foods
Only shop in the greengrocer department at the Supermarket, preferably the organic section. Buy or grow your own real food. Nothing in a bag, box, tin because toxic ingredients are sure to be added.

Avoid AGEs
Forget fried foods. Steaming is the best way to cook. Never Microwave. Eat raw salads daily.


This section often updated. Please come back soon (if you remember!)

LeanMachine online supplements

Updated 20th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

Buyer beware: Eating Chinese garlic is a risky health decision

Reproduced from original article:
https://www.naturalhealth365.com/chinese-garlic-herbs-3250.html

chinese-garlic

(NaturalHealth365) It’s hard to find a reason not to eat garlic. Aside from the wonderful depth of taste, the long list of garlic health benefits offer plenty of incentive to add it to dishes of all types. No wonder it’s one of the world’s most popular herbs! But, as many consumers are learning, Chinese garlic is definitely something to avoid – as you’ll soon see.

The reason?  Garlic imported from this country is contaminated with potentially toxic chemicals – and the nation’s industry standards for cultivating garlic is leaving a really bad taste in people’s mouths.

Warning: Chinese garlic is contaminated with chemicals

Garlic is native to Asia and the Middle East and is a close relative to other vegetables from the onion family, including onions, leeks, chives, and shallots.  And, although within the U.S., Gilroy, California has been nicknamed the “Garlic Capital of the World” – world trade practices have changed quite a bit over the years.

Botanically speaking, garlic is a veggie because it comes from an edible plant with leaves and a bulb, although most people consider garlic to be one of the most popular herbs in the world.

Proven garlic health benefits include improved blood pressure, decreased cholesterol, strengthened immune system, and a deceased risk of blood clots. Garlic has also been shown to be an effective antimicrobial and can help naturally treat conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and upper respiratory infections.

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

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

But here’s the problem we as consumers are facing:

According to many health-related resources, about 80% of the world’s supply of organic garlic – yes, organic garlic – is shipped from China.  And natural health watchdogs are finding that the standards and methods of “organic certification” in China is iffy at best.

For one thing, China is able to produce such cheap garlic because of the way its cultivated. Many Chinese farmers use bleach (yes, bleach!) to whiten their “organic” garlic and kill bugs on the harvest.

Chinese garlic also tends to be exposed to cold temperatures, treated with compounds that will control or inhibit its growth after harvest, and over-stored – all of which will decrease the amount of allicin found in garlic, which is a natural compound that’s a major factor in garlic health benefits.

Also, consider the serious pollution problem that China is facing right now. High levels of air pollution throughout the nation is directly linked to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, and investigations indicate that Chinese soil and water are both loaded with heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic as well as high concentrations of fertilizers and pesticides.

Some Chinese garlic farmers are even believed to use pesticides and herbicides that contain illegal and powerful neurochemicals like parathion and phorate.  There’s just no way that these harmful compounds aren’t getting into the food that the Chinese industry is shipping out to the rest of the world.

Really makes you wonder what’s on your plate, right?

Consuming garlic regularly will boost your health – here’s how to avoid low quality Chinese garlic

For what it’s worth, our team here at NaturalHealth365 uses organic garlic – grown locally.  But, if that’s not possible – you may want to look at buying your garlic from Christopher Ranch or McFadden Farms.  And, no, we are not being paid to suggest these companies!

Bottom line: no matter what garlic you go with, it’s clear that you should avoid garlic imported from China.

To help you avoid the troublesome herbs, here are a few tips:

  • Chinese garlic tends to be lighter and less bulbous (an ingenious if not disingenuous hack used to save on shipping costs)
  • Chinese garlic doesn’t taste as rich or bold as American organic garlic
  • Chinese garlic typically has its roots removed, whereas American garlic does not
  • Do your research on companies selling organic garlic powder – it’s possible that they are using imported garlic from China!

Lastly, for the ultimate peace of mind, buy your garlic from your local farmer’s market or consider growing it yourself.

Sources for this article include:

Boredomtherapy.com
Tokyofamilies.net
SFA-MN.org
Consumerreports.org
Healthline.com

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.”

Advertisement

Get my FREE 20 health resolutions for 2020 here


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

Advertisement

Get my FREE 20 health resolutions for 2020 here


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

Protect yourself from liver damage with phosphatidylcholine

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/phosphatidylcholine-liver-damage-3239.html
by: | December 31, 2019
liver-damage
(NaturalHealth365)  Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – defined as excess fat in the liver in the absence of chronic alcohol abuse – is fast becoming a pandemic in the United States. According to recent research, the national prevalence of NAFLD has soared from 18 percent of the population (in 1991) to an astounding 31 percent in 2012 – and death rates from chronic liver disease are on the rise as well.Fortunately, a natural nutrient known as phosphatidylcholine is showing the potential to slow and even reverse fatty liver damage, while protecting against damage from a variety of toxins.

In spite of decades of clinical trials demonstrating phosphatidylcholine’s protective effects, this lecithin-like nutrient still seems to be relatively little-known – and underappreciated – by most people.

Essential NEWS: Phosphatidylcholine makes up 65 percent of all cell membranes

In addition to functioning as the body’s major detoxifying organ, the liver also stores vitamins, assists in the absorption of nutrients, secretes hormones and metabolizes body waste and toxins into water-soluble compounds to be eliminated.

Researchers have learned that most of the life-sustaining activities performed by the liver actually occur on the membranes of the parenchymal cells (known as the “workhorses of the liver”).

Phosphatidylcholine – which is produced by the liver – is absolutely essential for the structure and function of these cells.  Although the parenchymal cells are normally protected by antioxidants such as glutathione and cysteine, exposure to environmental toxins, viruses and bacteria can deplete these protective enzymes and jeopardize levels of phosphatidylcholine (PC).

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

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

And that’s where the trouble really begins.  Protective cell membranes lose their integrity and develop holes, leading to leakage of vital enzymes and, eventually, cell death – which in turn causes inflammatory and necrotic damage to liver tissue.

In order to avoid this scenario, and to continue to carry out its life-sustaining duties, the liver must create new cell membranes – for which PC is a key ingredient.

In a groundbreaking German study conducted in 1973, researchers began to evaluate PC’s therapeutic effects on liver disease in humans – and evidence of PC’s benefits has continued to accumulate ever since.

Phosphatidylcholine can reverse alcoholic liver damage, study says

To conduct the five-year study, the team gave PC daily to 650 subjects with varying degrees of liver damage, then regularly assessed them through biopsies, blood analysis and clinical tests.

Participants’ liver disease ranged from mild to severe – and included fatty degeneration, aggressive inflammation and advanced fibrotic damage.

The subjects were first given PC both orally and intravenously – then were switched to oral supplementation at 450 to 700 mg a day.  The results were striking!

Over 50 percent of participants with mild liver damage showed “excellent” improvement – and even experienced reversal of fatty deposits.

In participants with persistent inflammation, PC returned enzyme parameters to normal after 30 days.  And, of those with the most severe and aggressive chronic inflammation, more than one-third experienced a benefit.

PC supplementation even benefited 17 percent of those with advanced liver scarring – an impressive finding in light of the fact that some of the participants had failed to benefit in the past from other treatments, including steroid drugs and milk thistle extract.

The impressed researchers concluded that PC was the “best single means” for managing liver damage – quite an endorsement!

Warning: Alcohol strips much-needed PC from cell membranes and triggers the development of a fatty liver

PC seems custom-designed to help protect the body from the harmful effects of ethyl alcohol (the type found in beer, wine and liquor).  These damaging effects include damage to mitochondria – the “power centers” of the cells – oxidative stress, antioxidant depletion and inhibition of the liver’s detoxification system.

In addition, alcohol molecules are metabolized to become acetaldehyde (the harmful toxin that is responsible for hangover misery).

Perhaps most alarmingly, alcohol dissolves phosphatidylcholine from the parenchymal cell membranes – jeopardizing their ability to metabolize triglycerides (fat) and setting the stage for inflammation and deposits of fat in the liver.

In fact, so effective is PC at metabolizing lipids that it is used in cosmetic injections to dissolve fat.  Clearly, supplementation with PC is a valuable tool in addressing liver dysfunction.

In an article published in Alternative Medicine Review, the author notes that extensive animal studies have shown that PC slows the progression of fatty liver disease and helps reduce liver fibrosis, or scarring.  And, the German study is one of many showing that PC’s fat-burning and liver-restoring effects translate into therapeutic benefits for human patients with fatty livers.

Additional studies have shown that 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day of phosphatidylcholine can protect the liver by reducing the leakage of enzymes, decreasing the harmful oxidation of fats, slowing membrane damage and preserving membrane integrity.

A liver “MVP,” phosphatidylcholine also protects against damage from medications, pollutants and viruses

Of course, alcohol is far from the only threat to liver health.

Over-the-counter and prescribed medications – including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, antibiotics and benzodiazepines – also take a toll on the liver, as does exposure to herbicides, pesticides and electromagnetic radiation from smart phones and laptops.

Animal and clinical studies have shown that PC defends the liver against these, as well.  In one study, PC was even found to be effective against Amanita phalloides, the notorious “deathcap” mushroom.

In other research, PC helped to resolve liver damage from hepatitis A and B, while improving general well-being.  Note: In 20 percent of the PC-treated patients, the virus was found to be “inactive” – a truly encouraging result!

Support liver health with phosphatidylcholine supplementation

Phosphatidylcholine is produced in the liver, and is also found in some foods – including cage-free eggs, organic soybeans, mustard and sunflower seeds.

Clearly, supplementation could be a wise move for those dealing with fatty liver disease.

Natural healers may recommend dosages in the area of 500 mg to 3,000 mg of phosphatidylcholine a day. Of course, check first with your integrative doctor before supplementing with PC.

As a “bonus tip:” PC is not only highly bioavailable – with about 90 percent absorption over 24 hours – but it also enhances the bioavailability of other nutrients, such as flavonoids, that are taken along with it.

No doubt, researchers are hailing PC as an “effective and safe nutrient for liver damage of all levels of severity.”  And, with fatty liver disease becoming rampant in the United States, PC’s ability to reduce and prevent fatty deposits and fibrosis is certainly good news.

Editor’s note: LuvByNature Liposomal LiverLuv is my number ONE pick for supporting liver health, detoxification and glutathione levels.  Click here to order today!

Sources for this article include:

Semanticscholar.org
Naturalhealth365.com

Mighty Broccoli Sprouts Rapidly Detox Pollutants

© 6th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/mighty-broccoli-sprouts-rapidly-detox-pollutants

Air pollution is associated with a long list of health problems including cardio-respiratory deaths, pulmonary disease, and chronic respiratory conditions. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified air pollution as carcinogenic to humans.

But clinical trial finds that tiny broccoli sprouts can help neutralize this very big problem.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and several other institutions in the U.S. and China tested the power of broccoli sprouts to protect people from air pollutants.[i]

They conducted a 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled study of 291 Chinese adults in the Jiangsu province of China. The province has very high levels of air pollution. China itself is the world’s largest emitter of air pollution.

In the study half of the participants were asked to consume about half a cup of a broccoli sprout drink every day. The control group drank pineapple and lime juice.

The results were published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. They found that throughout the 12-week period the participants taking the broccoli sprout drink increased their rate of excretion of benzene by 61%.

Benzene is a known carcinogen. In the U.S. benzene exposure comes predominantly from car and truck exhaust, emissions from coal and oil combustion, evaporation from industrial sites, and gas stations. Smoking is another source of benzene exposure.

In addition, the study participants taking the broccoli sprout drink increased their excretion of acrolein by 23%. Smoking and second hand smoke is also a source of acrolein. Burning fuel like gasoline and oil is another source. Acrolein is toxic to humans and inhalation exposure may result in upper respiratory tract irritation and congestion.

How do broccoli sprouts defeat these toxins?

Science has known for some time that cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts contain a compound called glucoraphanin.

Animal studies show when glucoraphanin is chewed or swallowed it produces a cancer-protective compound called sulphoraphane. Sulphoraphane activates enzymes that take up the pollutants and flush them out in the urine.

In this study, the researchers were pleasantly surprised at the rapid rate sulphoraphane cleared toxins from the body. They also noted the effects of the broccoli sprouts did not wane. They retained their high level of effectiveness throughout the 12 weeks.

The researchers concluded that broccoli sprouts enhance detoxification of some airborne pollutants and “may provide a frugal means to attenuate their associated long-term health risks.”

They also indicated that sulphoraphane works best on toxins you’ve been recently exposed to. They don’t know if their results hold for toxins that have already been stored in fat cells like pesticides, DDT, or dioxin.

Vegetables like broccoli are known to fight cancer. The sulphoraphane improves the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens. In fact, broccoli has been shown to kill the stem cells that make cancer immortal.

But broccoli sprouts are much more powerful. At 5 to 6 days old, the sprouts contain over one hundred times more sulphoraphane per gram than the mature plant.

Broccoli sprouts are also known to have a beneficial effect on breast cancer.

The drink used in the China study was made with broccoli sprouts developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They are sold under the brand name BroccoSprouts. They are widely available in supermarkets or you can sprout your own from seeds.

Broccoli sprouts can be eaten raw. They are great on sandwiches, in wraps or as a salad topping. You can also add some to smoothies.

And try serving them with broccoli. Studies show combining the two makes the anti-cancer effect almost twice as powerful.


Reference

[i] Egner PA et al, “Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in china.” Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Aug;7(8):813-23.

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.

Glutathione and NAC Play Crucial Roles in Health and Fitness


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/30/glutathione-nac-for-health-and-fitness.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
glutathione nac for health and fitness

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body. Sulfur-containing amino acids increase your levels of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which play important roles in health and fitness
  • Glutathione metabolism influences the control of epigenetic mechanisms at several levels, including substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation and the expression of microRNAs
  • NAC supplementation may be useful for the prevention of cardiovascular problems in older people by lowering oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function
  • Glutathione deficiency can induce epigenetic changes in genes that regulate vitamin D metabolism in the liver, and research suggests glutathione supplementation could help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals
  • Glutathione and NAC also ameliorate exercise-induced stress and reduce muscle fatigue. Glutathione may also play a central role in chronic fatigue syndrome

As explained in “The Health Benefits of MSM,” sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in a variety of bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification, and for maintaining the proper shape and structure of proteins and enzymes.

Sulfur-containing amino acids increase your levels of glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and these two play important roles in health and fitness.

Glutathione Basics

Glutathione comprises three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate and glycine. It’s commonly referred to as “the master antioxidant,” as it is your body’s most powerful antioxidant, and is found inside every cell in your body.

Antioxidants combat free radicals — highly reactive particles that bounce around the cell, damaging everything they touch. Most originate during the process of metabolism but they can also arise during exercise, and from exposure to toxins, irradiation and toxic metals.

Because free radicals are so destructive, cells have a network of defenses designed to neutralize them. This antioxidant network is composed of numerous components that include vitamins, minerals and special chemicals called thiols (glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid).

Glutathione differs from other antioxidants in that it is intracellular, and has the unique ability of maximizing the activity of all the other antioxidants, including (but not limited to) vitamins C and E, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. It also removes toxins from your cells and protects you from the damaging effects of radiation, chemicals and environmental pollutants.

NAC Basics

NAC is a precursor to and rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of glutathione.1 Glutathione is poorly absorbed so, in many cases, it’s easier to raise your glutathione by taking NAC instead.

In emergency medicine, NAC is used as an antidote for acetaminophen toxicity resulting from an overdose.2 Mortality due to acetaminophen toxicity has been shown to be virtually eliminated when NAC is promptly administered.

It is believed the liver damage acetaminophen causes is largely due to the fact that it can deplete glutathione, which is secreted by your liver in response to toxic exposure.

On a side note, NAC supplementation can also help “pre-tox” your body when taken before alcohol, thereby minimizing the damage associated with alcohol consumption — a tidbit that may be useful to know in light of approaching New Year’s celebrations.

Taking NAC (at least 200 milligrams) 30 minutes before you drink can help lessen the alcohol’s toxic effects. Vitamin B6 may also help to lessen hangover symptoms.

While the most common use of NAC is for liver support, it’s also showing promise as a neuroprotectant.3 Scientists are currently investigating it as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, which has been linked to glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra, a region that houses dopamine neurons.4

Research looking at autopsied brains suggests Parkinson’s patients have barely detectable levels of glutathione in this brain region. Subsequent studies have found glutathione deficiency in the substantia nigra is common in a number of other neurodegenerative conditions as well, including Alzheimer’s disease.5

Another area where NAC shows particular promise is in the treatment of mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder,6 depression7 and substance use disorders.8 Dozens of additional health benefits are also reviewed in a November 29, 2019, SelfHacked article.9

Advertisement

Get 20 health resolutions for 2020 here


Glutathione Helps Regulate Epigenetic Disease Mechanisms

One factor that can help explain the wide-ranging benefits of NAC and glutathione is glutathione’s role in the regulation of epigenetic disease mechanisms.10 As noted in a November 2017 paper in Free Radical Biology and Medicine:11

“Epigenetics is a rapidly growing field that studies gene expression modifications not involving changes in the DNA sequence.

Histone H3, one of the basic proteins in the nucleosomes that make up chromatin, is S-glutathionylated in mammalian cells and tissues, making Gamma-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine, glutathione (GSH), a physiological antioxidant and second messenger in cells, a new post-translational modifier of the histone code that alters the structure of the nucleosome.

However, the role of GSH in the epigenetic mechanisms likely goes beyond a mere structural function. Evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a link between GSH metabolism and the control of epigenetic mechanisms at different levels (i.e., substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation, changes in the expression of microRNAs, and participation in the histone code).”

The following graphic12 illustrates how glutathione influences pathological changes in gene expression.

glutathione influences pathological changes in gene expression

NAC Improves Cardiovascular and Mitochondrial Function

According to a 2018 study,13 NAC supplementation may be useful for the prevention of cardiovascular problems in older people. As you might expect, oxidative stress can over time induce metabolic and functional changes that speed cardiovascular aging and dysfunction, and your glutathione levels declines with age, putting you at greater risk.

In this study, aging mice received either NAC or a combination of NAC and glycine. After seven weeks, their cardiac function was assessed, showing those receiving NAC plus glycine had improved several parameters of their cardiovascular function, including:

  • Improved diastolic function
  • Increased peak early filling velocity
  • Reduced relaxation time
  • Reduced left atrial volume
  • Reduced left ventricle end diastolic pressure

NAC alone did not impart these cardiovascular benefits, although both groups had decreased levels of inflammatory mediators. The NAC and glycine combination also improved mitochondrial function and upregulated mitochondrial genes in the heart that are normally downregulated with age.

According to the authors, “Our data indicate that NAC+Gly supplementation can improve diastolic function in the old mouse and may have potential to prevent important morbidities for older people.”

Glutathione Deficiency Lowers Vitamin D Levels in the Obese

Other recent research14 published in Scientific Reports shows that glutathione deficiency can induce epigenetic changes in genes that regulate vitamin D metabolism in the liver. Emerging evidence also suggests glutathione metabolism plays a role in the epigenetic regulation of oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions, the authors note.

According to this paper,15 obesity has been correlated with low levels of glutathione and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 — especially in Type 2 diabetics and the obese16 — and when obese mice were fed a glutathione-deficient diet, it downregulated vitamin D metabolism genes and vitamin D receptors in the liver. As a result, oxidative stress increased.

According to the authors, their findings suggest glutathione supplementation could help reduce the risk of vitamin D deficiency in obese individuals. Supplementation with L-cysteine, a rate-limiting precursor to glutathione, has also been shown to increase vitamin D levels and reduce oxidative stress, the paper notes, which supports the link between glutathione and vitamin D.

Glutathione and NAC Ameliorate Exercise-Induced Stress

As mentioned earlier, exercise is one of the ways through which free radical production increases and, with it, oxidative stress. Provided you get enough rest between bouts, this oxidative stress is actually part of what makes exercise so beneficial.

That said, as noted in a 2005 paper,17 “Effective regulation of the cellular balance between oxidation and antioxidation is important when considering cellular function and DNA integrity as well as the signal transduction of gene expression.” In other words, excessive exercise can cause more harm than good. As explained by the authors:18

Exercise enthusiasts and researchers have become interested in recent years to identify any means to help minimize the detrimental effects of oxidative stress that are commonly associated with intense and unaccustomed exercise. It is possible that a decrease in the amount of oxidative stress a cell is exposed to could increase health and performance …

To protect against the deleterious effects of ROS [reactive oxygen species], our bodies have a complex system of endogenous antioxidant protection in the form of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Under normal, resting conditions reactive oxygen species are removed from the cell preventing any subsequent damage.

However, under more extreme conditions such as: 1) inadequate intake of foodstuffs containing the antioxidants, 2) excessive intake of pro-oxidants, 3) exposure to noxious chemicals or ultraviolet light, 4) injury/wounds, and/or 5) intense exercise, especially eccentric exercise, the body’s endogenous antioxidant system is not able to effectively remove excessive ROS production.

In situations such as the ones listed above in which the production of pro-oxidant molecules increase to a point where the antioxidant system cannot effectively remove them is when oxidative stress is known to occur.

Oxidative stress has been implicated in a number of diseases which include atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and aging. Research on oxidative stress during exercise has begun to indicate that regular training enhances the ability of these mechanisms to effective respond to the increase of oxidative product.”

Exercise Boosts Your Glutathione Level

The 2005 paper above goes on to explain how exercise affects your glutathione level, and thus your health, fitness and risk of disease. In short, when you engage in intense exercise, your blood level of glutathione significantly decreases while circulating levels of oxidized glutathione increases, indicating that it’s been used inside the muscle to quench free radicals produced during the exertion.19

Considering the importance of glutathione to counteract free radicals, effective regulation of glutathione levels when exercising is a significant concern. The good news is that the more you exercise, the higher your base levels of glutathione get.

This adaptation allows your body to effectively deal with the increase in free radicals that the exercise brings about. While exercise itself will boost your glutathione level over time, raising glutathione through supplementation is an oft-used strategy among athletes.

As mentioned, glutathione supplementation is ineffective due to its poor absorption, so NAC is generally considered a much better choice. According to the authors of the 2005 paper cited above:20

“In addition to the role glutathione and other thiols have on maintaining the cellular redox state, many studies have begun to explore if NAC supplementation can actually improve performance due to its ability to promote a more favorable cellular environment to achieve higher levels of performance …

One of the first studies to utilize NAC to determine its role in improving muscle performance was conducted by Reid and colleagues. They pretreated subjects with n-acetyl-cysteine infusion (150 mg/kg) or a 5% dextrose placebo while undergoing an extended fatiguing bout of electrical stimulation of the ankle dorsiflexors.

N-acetyl-cysteine was found to have no impact over the nonfatigued muscle, but a significantly increased force output of approximately 15% was found after 3 minutes of repetitive contractions which persisted throughout the 30-minute protocol. The authors concluded that NAC resulted in improved performance suggestive of oxidative stress having a causal role in the fatigue process.”

Other studies have also confirmed that NAC supplementation helps delay muscle fatigue during exercise, thereby improving endurance. In one study,21 NAC infusion increased the time to exhaustion by 26.3%.

NAC’s ability to reduce fatigue and improve cellular redox (oxidation reduction) also hints at its potential benefit for those struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The Glutathione Depletion Theory of CFS

As explained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME, is characterized by “overwhelming fatigue that is not improved by rest.”22 The fatigue is frequently such that it challenges your ability to perform even the most common of daily life tasks, such as showering or preparing a meal.

The role of glutathione in this condition is addressed in “A Simple Explanation of the Glutathione/Methylation Depletion Theory of ME/CFS”23 by the late Rich Van Konynenburg, Ph.D., developer of the methylation protocol used by many in the CFS community.24,25

According to Van Konynenburg, oxidative stress “is probably the best-proven biochemical aspect of chronic fatigue syndrome,” and in order for your oxidative stress to overwhelm your system, something must be placing excessive demands on your glutathione supply.

Several examples were already listed above, such as inadequate antioxidant and/or excessive pro-oxidant intake, toxic exposures and physical injuries. Long-term emotional stress can also be a factor. As noted in Van Konynenburg’s article:

“All people experience a variety of stressors all the time, and a healthy person’s body is able to keep up with the demands for glutathione by recycling used glutathione molecules and by making new ones as needed.

However, if a person’s body cannot keep up, either because of extra-high demands or inherited genetic polymorphisms that interfere with recycling or making glutathione, or both, the levels of glutathione in the cells can go too low …

One of the jobs that glutathione normally does is to protect your supply of vitamin B12 from reacting with toxins … When your glutathione level goes too low, your B12 becomes naked and vulnerable, and is hijacked by toxins.

Also, the levels of toxins rise in the body when there isn’t enough glutathione to take them out, so there are two unfortunate things that work together to sabotage your B12 when glutathione goes too low.”

The B12-Glutathione Connection

Vitamin B12 helps your body convert food into glucose for energy, and fatigue is one of the symptoms of low B12 levels.26 Interestingly, many with CFS have elevated B12 levels. Their bodies simply cannot use it properly, and one potential culprit is low glutathione.

“The best test to reveal this is a urine organic acids test that includes methylmalonic acid. It will be high if the B12 is being sidetracked, and this is commonly seen in people with CFS,” Van Konynenburg states, adding:27

“The most important job that B12 has in the body is to form methylcobalamin, which is one of the two active forms of B12. This form is needed by the enzyme methionine synthase, to do its job. An enzyme is a substance that catalyzes, or encourages, a certain biochemical reaction.

When there isn’t enough methylcobalamin, methionine synthase has to slow down its reaction. Its reaction lies at the junction of the methylation cycle and the folate cycle, so when this reaction slows down, it affects both these cycles …

The methylation cycle has some important jobs to do. First, it acts as a little factory to supply methyl (CH3) groups to a large number of reactions in the body. Some of these reactions make things like creatine, carnitine, coenzyme Q10, phosphatidylcholine, melatonin, and lots of other important substances for the body.

It is not a coincidence that these substances are found to be low in CFS … Not enough of them is being made because of the partial block in the methylation cycle.

The methylation cycle also supplies methyl groups to be attached to DNA molecules, and this helps to determine whether the blueprints in the DNA will be used to make certain proteins according to their patterns.

The ‘reading’ of DNA is referred to as ‘gene expression.’ Methyl groups prevent or ‘silence’ gene expression. Overexpression of genes has been observed in CFS patients, and I suspect this is at least partly due to lack of sufficient methylation to silence gene expression.”

The Basic Biochemical Mechanism of CFS

The methylation cycle also regulates your body’s use of sulfur, and the production of sulfur-containing substances, including glutathione. CFS patients often have abnormal levels of sulfur metabolites. Once you understand the interconnectedness of glutathione, B12 and the methylation cycle, it becomes easier to see how chronic CFS arises. As explained by Van Konynenburg:28

“When glutathione goes too low, the effect on vitamin B12 slows down the methylation cycle too much. The sulfur metabolites are then dumped into the transsulfuration pathway (which is connected to the methylation cycle) too much, are oxidized to form cystine, pass through hydrogen sulfide, and are eventually converted to thiosulfate and sulfate and are excreted in the urine.

This lowers the production of glutathione, which requires cysteine rather than cystine, and now there is a vicious circle mechanism that preserves this malfunction and keeps you sick … That’s the basic biochemical mechanism of CFS … everything else flows from this …

Here’s how I believe the fatigue occurs: The cells have little powerplants in them, called mitochondria. Their job is to use food as fuel to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP acts as a source of energy to drive a very large number of reactions in the cells.

For examples, it drives the contraction of the muscle fibers, and it provides the energy to send nerve impulses. It also supplies the energy to make stomach acid and digestive enzymes to digest our food, and many, many other things.

When glutathione goes too low in the muscle cells, the levels of oxidizing free radicals rise, and these react with parts of the ‘machinery’ in the little powerplants, lowering their output of ATP.

So the muscle cells then experience an energy crisis, and that’s what causes the fatigue. Over time, because of the lack of enough glutathione, more problems accumulate in the mitochondria, including toxins, viral DNA, and mineral imbalances.”

All of these factors will ultimately decimate your immune function as well, allowing pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi to take over. CFS patients will frequently have several infections ongoing at the same time. Low glutathione also impedes your body’s natural detoxification pathways, allowing toxicity to build over time, thereby causing ever-increasing dysfunction.

The Answer for CFS

So, how do you turn this chain of events around? As noted in Van Konynenburg’s article:29

“The main key to turning this process around is to help the methionine synthase enzyme to operate more normally, so that the partial block in the methylation cycle and the folate cycle are lifted, and glutathione is brought back up to normal. That is what the simplified treatment approach is designed to do, and so far, the evidence is that it does do these things in most people who have CFS.

I recommend that people with CFS have the Vitamin Diagnostics methylation pathways panel run to find out if they do in fact have a partial methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion before deciding, with their doctors, whether to try this treatment.

This also provides a baseline so that progress can be judged later on by repeating it every few months during the treatment. Symptoms may not be a good guide to judge progress during treatment, because detoxing and die-off can make the symptoms worse, while in fact they are exactly what is needed to move the person toward recovery.”

An outline of Van Konynenburg’s simplified methylation treatment plan for CFS can be found in HealthRising.org.30 At the core of this treatment is the use of specific supplements, including folate, B12, a multivitamin, SAMe and phosphatidyl serine.

In his protocol, he explains the theory behind the use of each of these supplements, how they impact the methylation cycle, and their interactions with other supplements.

My take-home message here is that glutathione and NAC supplementation may not always be the ideal way to go. People with CFS may be better supported by a customized assessment by an experienced clinician that may also include methyl folate and methyl vitamin B12.

General Dosing and Safety Guidelines for NAC

For many others, however, NAC can be safely used to boost glutathione levels. For more information about how NAC can benefit your health, see “The Many Benefits of NAC.” It’s widely available as an oral dietary supplement and is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, like glutathione, NAC is poorly absorbed when taken orally, although it’s better than glutathione.

According to some studies,31,32 NAC’s oral bioavailability may range between 4% and 10%, which is why the recommended dosage can go as high as 1,800 milligrams (mg) per day. Its half-life is also in the neighborhood of two hours, which is why most study subjects take it two or three times a day.

No maximum safe dose has yet been determined, but as a general rule, it’s well-tolerated, although some do experience gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Should this occur, reduce your dosage. It’s also best taken in combination with food, to reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal effects.

Also keep in mind that since NAC boosts glutathione, which is a powerful detox agent, you may experience debilitating detox symptoms if you start with too high a dose. To avoid this, start low, with say 400 to 600 mg once a day, and work your way up.

Also, if you are currently taking an antidepressant or undergoing cancer treatment, be sure to discuss the use of NAC with your physician, as it may interact with some antidepressants and chemotherapy.

 Sources and References

10 Ways to Live Longer


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/24/10-ways-to-live-longer.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image

December 24, 2019

10 ways to live longer

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Researchers from Arizona and Texas have made a breakthrough discovery in plant DNA that could lead to stopping cancer cold, as well as slowing the aging process
  • Centenarians are optimistic and have low rates of depression and other psychiatric problems
  • Good quality sleep, in the right amount, can improve how you think and adapt to life’s circumstances
  • Eating well and avoiding toxins also factor into your overall well-being

Youthfulness, vitality and a long, prosperous life have been sought after throughout human history. And now, it seems scientists may have discovered one of the keys to turning back the hands of time.

Researchers from Arizona State University and Texas A&M University have made a breakthrough discovery in plant DNA that could lead to stopping cancer cold and slowing the aging process, ABC affiliate News 15 Arizona reports.1

The research involves telomerase, an enzyme that produces the DNA of telomeres, which have been shown to play a role in the aging process. As your telomeres lengthen, they protect your cells from aging.

Take It From the Experts: Centenarians Share Their Secrets

While direct applications from the study to human health are distant, there are a number of things you can do now to improve your health span, according to one of the co-authors. In interviews and surveys with centenarians, certain themes came up time and time again when they explained why they’ve lived so long. The 10 most common reasons they gave for their long lives were:

Keeping a positive attitude Eating good food
Participating in moderate exercise like walking, gardening swimming, etc. Living clean (not smoking or drinking excessively)
Living independently Having family to interact with
Having a circle of friends Being born with “good” genes
Having faith/spirituality Staying mentally active and continually learning

Centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the U.S population, with numbers doubling every decade; by the year 2050, the number of people who will have reached the century mark is expected to pass 1 million.

Centenarians have 60% lower rates of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, yet scientific explanations for their health and longevity remain elusive. As a group, they are happy and optimistic and have extremely low rates of depression and other psychiatric problems, suggesting you may live longer by maintaining the right attitude.

Hopefulness and Positivity Affect the Heart

There are compelling links between cardiac health and mental health. For example, having untreated depression or anxiety disorder increases your odds of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Stress hormones are again a primary culprit.

According to Julia Boehm, author of earlier Harvard studies looking at optimism and cardiovascular disease (CVD):2

“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status or body weight.”

With a later study,3 author Eric Kim told The Harvard Gazette:

“While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference.

Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”

Advertisement

Preorder your copy now and receive bonus gifts


The Significance of Sound Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is an important part of both mental and physical health. Too much or too little can lead to metabolic issues, as well as changes in mood and your ability to focus. Your circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep/wake cycle, holds implications for your brain, body temperature, hormones and cell regeneration among other things.4

“Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder,” say scientists from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.5

Italian researchers found that deletion of a specific gene related to aging also affects glucose homeostasis. According to their article, published in the journal Glia, “Disruption of the circadian cycle is strongly associated with metabolic imbalance and reduced longevity in humans.”6

Telomeres and telomerase activity are also controlled by your circadian rhythm,7 making proper sleep an important part of longevity. In a 2007 study involving 21,268 adult twins, Finnish researchers found that adults who slept more than eight hours per night, or less than seven, showed increased risk of death.8

Of course, the quality of your sleep is also important, not just the quantity. Good quality sleep, in the appropriate amount, can improve how you think and adapt to the demands on your time and changes throughout your day. There is evidence suggesting that a calm mind and active body are two important ingredients for longevity.

The meditative technique known as “mindfulness” has even been shown to have a beneficial effect on genetic expression. According to a 2018 article in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity,9 meditation has also been found to affect the enzyme telomerase, which some researchers believe is actively involved with the process of aging.

After Resting, Be Sure to Refuel

Additionally, there are many other strategies you can implement to improve your health and extend your life span. To live longer, you need to counteract the progressive loss of muscle mass by increasing your protein intake as you age. The elderly, bodybuilders and endurance athletes typically have higher than normal protein requirements for their age group.

It’s also important to cycle high and low protein intake. Ideally, combine protein restriction with time-restricted eating, followed by increased protein intake on strength training days.

Fasting 16 to 20 hours each day is likely ideal, as this allows your body to more thoroughly deplete the glycogen stores in your liver. Benefits of fasting include the suppression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the activation of autophagy, both of which play decisive roles in disease prevention and longevity.

You’d also be wise to avoid eating two to three hours before bed, as late-night eating will decrease your nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) level, which is crucial for health and longevity. Late-night eating will also make you pack on unwanted pounds, as the excess calories will not be burned but stored as fat.

Preventing Cognitive Decline

Naturally, if you’re going to live longer, you’ll want to be healthy for the remainder, and that includes maintaining your cognitive function. Specific nutrients that can help prevent dementia and cognitive decline include vitamin D, DHA, folate and magnesium. Additional nutrients of notable interest, which are readily available in supplement form, include:

  • Astaxanthin — Commonly called “king of the carotenoids,” is a potent anti-inflammatory from specific types of microalgae and may be useful for treating joint and muscle pain. It also supports healthy vision and can be used as an “internal sunscreen.”
  • Ergothioneine — Found in porcini mushrooms, ergothioneine appears to play a specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage. Along with glutathione, it may offer protection against age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease.
  • PQQ — Particularly important for the health and protection of your mitochondria, PQQ has been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also works synergistically with CoQ10, producing better results than when either one is used alone. Celery, parsley and kiwi are dietary sources of PQQ.

Kick the Chemicals to the Curb

Naturally, there’s also the issue of toxic exposures, which can take a toll on your health, so avoiding toxins is a given, right along with eating a wholesome diet of organic, unprocessed foods.

This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with nontoxic alternatives.

A group of scientists from Southeast University and Changzhou No. 7 People’s Hospital in China recently published a study10 about the role of plastics in our environment and how long-term exposure affects our health. They found that high concentrations of nanoplastic particles reduced the life span of roundworms.

They believe that different levels of exposure may have effects on locomotion and immune response, indicating that nanopolystyrene is likely toxic to all types of organisms.

“Our results highlight the potential of long-term nanopolystyrene exposure in reducing longevity and in affecting health state during the aging process in environmental organisms,” they wrote. Next week I will post my interview with leading researcher James Clement on his book, “The Switch,” that will go into far more fascinating details on this topic.

Sources and References

How Cyclical Ketosis Can Help Combat Chronic Fatigue


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/12/20/cyclical-ketogenic-eating-for-chronic-fatigue.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked image
December 20, 2019

cyclical ketogenic helps combat chronic fatigue

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome appears to be rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction. Your mitochondria are responsible for energy production, and as the name implies, low energy and severe fatigue are hallmarks of this condition
  • Immune cells in the blood of patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue show clear signs of low energy production. The debilitating fatigue they experience is due to an inability to produce the cellular energy needed
  • A ketogenic diet, high in healthy fats and low in net carbohydrates, with moderate protein, is a key dietary strategy that helps optimize mitochondrial function
  • Patients with chronic fatigue also lack diversity in the gut microbiome, and the presence of certain inflammatory cytokines in their blood closely correlates with symptom severity
  • Strategies that reduce inflammation, heal your gut microbiome and support mitochondrial function and energy synthesis are all beneficial for chronic fatigue patients

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is thought to affect up to 2.5 million Americans,1 is a debilitating condition in which sufferers experience unrelenting fatigue no matter how much rest they get. Pain and chronic inflammation are other hallmarks. A number of other names are also used for this condition, including:

  • Myalgic encephalopathy/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)
  • Post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS)
  • Chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS)2
  • Systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID)3

The most common designation is ME/CFS and, according to the CDC, about 90% of people with ME/CFS have not yet been diagnosed.4 In the past, ME/CFS was typically brushed off as being a psychological problem, but in more recent years, researchers have discovered physiological commonalities between groups of individuals that validate their symptoms.

For example, ME/CFS patients tend to have similar changes in gut bacteria, and certain inflammatory biomarkers in your blood appear to correlate with ME/CFS symptoms.5 Most recently, researchers have found additional support for the hypothesis that ME/CFS is rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction, which makes logical sense considering your mitochondria are responsible for energy production.

These tiny powerhouses are an interconnected network that rapidly and effectively distributes energy throughout your body’s cells.6 Your mitochondria are also responsible for programmed cell death, and serve as important signaling molecules that help regulate the expression of your genes.

When your mitochondria do not work properly, low energy is a natural side effect. Knowing this, the remedy becomes clearer as well. A ketogenic diet, high in healthy fats and low in net carbohydrates, with moderate protein, is a key dietary strategy that helps optimize mitochondrial function.

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Until recently, the diagnosis of ME/CFS has been one of exclusion. This meant all other illnesses mimicking the symptoms of ME/CFS had to first be ruled out before doctors could suggest you were suffering from ME/CFS. Symptoms of ME/CFS can vary widely from one individual to the next.

The most common symptom is one of overwhelming exhaustion that worsens with physical or mental energy expenditure and does not get better with rest.7 It may take up to 48 hours after activity to experience the full extent of the exhaustion. Other symptoms of the condition may mimic other medical conditions, and include:8,9,10

Muscle pain Memory problems Headaches
Sore throat Pain in multiple joints Difficulty sleeping
Tender lymph nodes Visible muscle twitching (fasciculations) Difficulty concentrating
Short attention span Word find problems Excessive sweating
Palpitations Fainting Clumsiness
Enlarged glands Intermittent flu-like symptoms Alcohol intolerance
Irritable bowl-like symptoms Mood swings Temperature control
Food intolerance Gastrointestinal problems Hypersensitivity to light and noise

ME/CFS Is a Side Effect of Cellular Exhaustion

As mentioned, researchers have now identified what appears to be a root problem: exhaustion at a cellular level. This study11 was published in PLOS One at the end of October 2017. Immune cells in the blood of patients diagnosed with ME/CFS “show clear signs of low energy production,” Science Alert reports.12 This strongly suggests mitochondrial dysfunction, as the mitochondria are responsible for energy production. As noted in the featured article:13

“Researchers looked specifically at the metabolic processes of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis — two ways cells break apart chemical fuel to transfer energy in respiration. White blood cells taken from 52 patients with CFS and 35 controls were put through their paces under optimal and stressful conditions, testing their capacity to deal with low oxygen levels.

There appeared to be a number of key differences in their metabolic processes. But none were as dramatic as the contrast in maximum levels of respiration. By forcing the cells to boost their energy production, the researchers found those with CFS could only squeeze about another 50 percent from their cells — unlike the controls, who nearly doubled their output.”

In short, ME/CFS patients lack the ability to compensate for increased stress on a cellular level, and the debilitating fatigue they experience is due to the inability to produce the cellular energy needed to keep the body fully functional. Their mitochondria are simply unable to produce enough ATP to maintain an energy gradient across their cell membranes. As noted by the authors:

“Lower reserve capacity observed in CFS patients are indicative of the cells of patients performing closer to their capacity in normal conditions without stress than healthy controls. Lowered maximal respiration suggests that the PBMCs [peripheral blood mononuclear cells] of CFS patients are not capable of the same levels of respiration as healthy controls.”

ME/CFS Also Linked to Lack of Microbial Diversity in Gut

Another study published in the journal Microbiome evaluated the blood and stool of 48 people diagnosed with ME/CFS and compared the results to those from 39 healthy people.14,15 Here, differences were found in both stool and blood samples. Using DNA sequencing, a process of determining the precise order of nucleotides in a DNA molecule, they found a distinct lack in diversity in the gut microbiome in affected individuals.

Although these changes could not be clearly identified as either the cause or consequence of ME/CFS, researchers were heartened by the presence of these markers in 83% of the sample, and the possibility of treatment options to reduce symptoms. Quoted in the Washington Journal, professor of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University, Maureen Hanson said:16

“Our work demonstrates that the gut bacterial microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome patients isn’t normal, perhaps leading to gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms in victims of the disease. Furthermore, our detection of a biological abnormality provides further evidence against the ridiculous concept that the disease is psychological in origin.”

Addressing Leaky Gut May Help ME/CSF Patients

The researchers theorize the inflammatory markers in the blood could be the result of a “leaky gut from intestinal problems that allow bacteria to enter the blood.”17 Indeed, other recent research18,19 has confirmed the presence of more than a dozen inflammatory cytokines in blood that closely correlate with reported symptom severity in patients suffering from ME/CFS.

This confirms a suspicion of some researchers that symptoms of fluctuating flu-like symptoms and body aches associated with ME/CFS is linked to an inflammatory response.20 It’s important to realize that there is a distinct link between leaky gut and the foods you eat. Probably the single most important factor here is the herbicide glyphosate, which is pervasive. Between 1974 and 2014, over 3.5 billion pounds of glyphosate were used in the U.S. alone.21

Worldwide in 2017, 4.4 billion pounds (2 billion kilograms) of glyphosate were being used annually.22 Glyphosate will decimate tight junctions and contribute to leaky gut. Fortunately, you can radically reduce your exposure by eating organic and avoiding processed foods, which are usually contaminated. You can also check your glyphosate level with a simple urine test, to see how badly you’ve been exposed.

Grains and lectins, even organic non-GMO, are particularly troublesome. Research shows that gluten stimulates a protein molecule in your gut called zonulin, which triggers the opening of junctures between the cells in your gut lining. In essence, it makes your gut more permeable, allowing food particles to escape into your bloodstream, causing inflammation, immune reactions and raising your risk of various autoimmune disorders.

Certain plant lectins may also contribute to leaky gut by binding to receptor sites on your intestinal mucosal cells, thereby interfering with the absorption of nutrients across your intestinal wall. As such, they act as “antinutrients” and can have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome by shifting the balance of your bacterial flora.

Among the worst culprits are wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), found in wheat and other seeds in the grass family. In fact, according to Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in ‘Healthy’ Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain,” gluten is a minor problem compared to WGA.

Evidence suggests lectins are strongly associated with autoimmune disorders in general, so anyone struggling with a dysfunctional immune system may want to seriously consider experimenting with a low-lectin diet. As for ME/CFS, leaky gut is not an automatic precursor. However, healing and sealing your gut and reducing the inflammatory response in your body may result in a significant reduction in chronic fatigue symptoms by supporting your immune system.

Ketogenic Diet May Speed Resolution of Chronic Fatigue

In 2015, Dr. Courtney Craig, a chiropractor and nutritionist, wrote about her personal experience with the ketogenic diet. Diagnosed with CFS in her teen years, she’s been able to control her condition using a number of integrative health strategies, including intermittent fasting and nutritional ketosis. Describing a particularly harrowing relapse, she goes on to discuss how switching to a ketogenic diet helped her rapidly recover. She writes, in part:23

I needed a serious immune and mitochondrial reset … So, I shifted my usual paleo-diet around, and astonishingly I bounced back very quickly … I started consuming about 80 percent of my calories from healthy fats … This is something I do periodically when the fatigue rears its ugly head … It’s also advocated by doctors like … Dr. Thomas Seyfried …

I flipped a switch on my metabolism. I stopped relying so much on glucose for metabolism, and instead encouraged my liver to break down those dietary fats into ketones — a much “cleaner” energy source … The downside of burning carbohydrate as fuel, is production of cellular stress and free radicals. Ketones provide a “cleaner” energy for cells and are less damaging to cell membranes … A ketogenic diet can be initiated with a 12 to 72 hour fast.

Then the diet is maintained by consuming 75-90% of calories as fat, with the remainder coming from moderate amounts of protein and very little carbohydrate. The ketogenic diet is one that should be considered when dealing with ME/CFS … A body of research in animals and humans have highlighted some of the mechanisms by which dietary ketones promote cellular health.

Indeed, when your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats (ketones) that:

  1. Burn far more efficiently than carbs, thereby creating fewer reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals that can damage your cellular and mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA
  2. Decrease inflammation, as they are histone deacetylase inhibitors
  3. Mimic the life span extending properties of calorie restriction, which includes improved glucose metabolism and reduced inflammation24
  4. Have a similar structure to branched-chain amino acids, thereby aiding the building muscle mass and promoting longevity

The Importance of Cyclical Ketosis

Nutritional ketosis is the metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; i.e., the biological reflection of being able to burn fat, and is defined as having blood ketones in the range of 0.5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter. As a general guideline, a dietary intake of 20 to 50 grams (or less) per day of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber) while also keeping protein low-to-moderate is usually low enough to allow you to make the shift to nutritional ketosis.

However, once you achieve metabolic flexibility and are able to generate ketones with nutritional ketosis, it’s important to include higher carb intakes every now and then. For all its benefits, continuous ketosis actually has some downsides that are easily avoided by implementing a cyclical “feast and famine” regimen. I detail the reasons for this in my book, “Fat for Fuel.” In summary, long-term uninterrupted ketosis can trigger a rise in blood sugar by driving your insulin level too low.

This paradoxical situation can occur because the primary function of insulin is not actually to drive sugar into the cell but rather to suppress the production of glucose by your liver (hepatic gluconeogenesis).

Cycling in and out of nutritional ketosis will effectively prevent this rise in blood sugar in the absence of high glucose. So, once you are able to burn fat as fuel, having a day or two each week where you eat more net carbs and protein is important, especially when you’re doing strength training, to prevent sarcopenia.

After a day of “feasting,” you then cycle back into nutritional ketosis (the “fasting” stage) for the remainder of the week. By periodically pulsing higher carb intakes, consuming, say, 100 or 150 grams of carbs opposed to 20 to 50 grams per day, your ketone levels will dramatically increase and your blood sugar will drop.

Chronic Fatigue Patients Need Mitochondrial Support

In this 2016 interview, I discuss the importance of mitochondrial function and how it may impact your symptoms of chronic illnesses like ME/CFS. It stands to reason that a condition that triggers an inflammatory response and gut dysfunction, and that results in overwhelming fatigue, will respond favorably to treatment strategies that reduce inflammation, heal your gut microbiome and support mitochondrial function and energy synthesis.

Diet-wise, a cyclical ketogenic diet would be a foundational strategy. The following dietary recommendations will also help heal and seal your gut, lower inflammation and support healthy energy production. You can also read more about supporting your gut health in “Nourishing Your Gut Bacteria is Critical for Health and Mental Well-Being.”

Avoid gluten and wheat products — Gliadins, a component of gluten, are a class of protein found in wheat and cereals that increase the permeability of your gut. Keep in mind that gluten can also be found in other grains, not just wheat.
Avoid lectins — To learn more, including which foods are best avoided due to high lectin content, please see “How to Reduce Lectins in Your Diet.”
Reduce your net carbs — The carbohydrate sugar, like grains, will upset the balance of microbes in your gut. Sugar is the food source for bacteria that can prompt damage to your intestinal walls, while fiber is the food source for bacteria that build your intestinal membranes.

Your net carbs are the total grams of carbohydrates you’ve eaten in a day, minus the grams of fiber you’ve eaten. The difference is your net carbs. Seek to reduce your net carbs to 50 grams per 1,000 calories of food you eat each day.

Increase your fiber intake — The fiber you eat from whole foods is the nutrient source for bacteria in your gut that helps maintain and build the membrane cells in your intestinal walls. This helps to seal the “gaps” between the cells and reduces any leakage of waste products and bacteria into your blood stream. Focus on eating whole food vegetables, nuts and seeds (with the exception of lectin-rich varieties).
Eat fermented foods — Fermented foods are a great source of natural probiotics to feed healthy microbes in your gut. Olives, pickles, kimchi, cheese from grass fed cows, homemade yogurt and sauerkraut are just a few of the foods you may not have considered. Your best bet is to make your own. In this video, Julie and I demonstrate how to make your own fermented vegetables at home.

Supplement with nutrients important for cellular energy synthesis such as ubiquinol, the reduced form of CoQ10, and D-ribose, a core building block of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Also eat foods rich in glutathione precursors, sulfur and selenium to encourage glutathione production. Glutathione is one of your body’s most important antioxidants and a natural detoxification agent.
Intermittently fast, making sure your last meal is taken at least three hours before bedtime. The rationale for avoiding late night eating is directly tied to the way your body produces energy.

Other Strategies to Help Reduce Chronic Fatigue Symptoms

There is no known cure for ME/CFS, but there are strategies that can help alleviate symptoms,25 over and beyond the dietary recommendations already mentioned. My full metabolic mitochondrial therapy program is described in my book, “Fat for Fuel.” Cold thermogenesisphotobiology, detoxification, exercise and avoiding electromagnetic fields are all strategies that will help improve mitochondrial health and function.

When it comes to exercise, work out according to your ability, with a focus on increasing the amount of exercise you can handle. Research shows that a combination of aerobic activity and strength training can improve pain and fatigue symptoms. Gentle exercise such as yoga can also be an excellent part of your program, and yoga benefits your mind as well as your body.

You may also want to address your mental outlook. In addition to talk therapy, I would recommend trying The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to help normalize your bioenergetic circuitry. Emotionally traumatic events can leave “energy blockages” for many years, which then interfere with your overall health, including immune function. There are many different techniques that can be used, but EFT is my favorite, and it’s easy to learn and apply.

Sources and References