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300+ Evidence-Based Longevity Promoting Natural Substances

© 16th January 2020 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.com/blog/300-evidence-based-longevity-promoting-natural-substances

Posted on: Thursday, January 16th 2020 at 1:15 pm

Written By: GreenMedInfo Research Group

This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

Research has concluded that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory natural substances can increase longevity and improve the aging process by reducing the risk of age-related diseases

As you age, you may feel increased pressure to reduce the effects of aging through topical creams or pharmaceutical drugs. However, researchers have concluded that the dietary intake of several natural substances can successfully promote longevity.

You aren’t a victim to the passage of time — it’s possible to improve your health and longevity through daily activity and dietary interventions. This meme humorously illustrates your ability to mediate your body’s natural changes using diet and exercise:

Old Women

13 Substances for Healthier Aging

How you age is largely a matter of choice. Here are 13 top natural substances proven to promote healthier aging and longevity and get you feeling your best, and keep reading for a link to hundreds more:

1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin E supplementation is proven to reduce the rate of cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, arthritis, cancer and other age-related illnesses.[i],[ii]

Further research has uncovered additional benefits of vitamin E unrelated to its high antioxidant content and determined that vitamin E may play a role in the therapy and prevention of age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.[iii]

2. Green Tea

Green tea, which originated in China, is extremely high in antioxidants and is well-known for its anti-aging properties. The phytochemicals in green tea are highly reactive, making it a potent neutralizer of free radicals.[iv]

Results from several studies suggest that green tea delays the process of collagen-aging, the fibrous protein that keeps skin looking young by reducing the formation of wrinkles and decreasing skin pentosidine levels.[v]

3. Zinc

Zinc, a powerful micronutrient found in shellfish, dark chocolate and meat, is commonly known as a natural remedy to reduce the duration of the cold and flu.

Zinc works to regulate the immune system and reinforce antioxidant performance, and zinc deficiency in older adults can lead to increased susceptibility to infections and a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Zinc deficiency has also been linked to depression, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.[vi]

4. Melatonin

Your skin is your largest organ, and as you age, it reflects the damages from air pollution, excess ultraviolet (UV) light exposure and smoke. Over time, these pollutants cause oxidative damage and provoke the skin to wrinkle, sag and become rough. Melatonin, a radical scavenger produced in the skin, protects cells from oxidative damage but gradually decreases as the body ages.[vii]

To counteract this decrease, melatonin-infused topical creams can improve skin tonicity and hydration levels, improving the skin’s appearance.[viii] Eggs, fish, and nuts contain large amounts of melatonin, which also boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and neuroprotective properties, making it a potent anti-aging substance.[ix]

5. Curcumin

Low-grade inflammatory processes are believed to contribute to the aging process, and the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin could be the anti-aging remedy researchers are searching for.[x]

Curcumin, the yellow compound found in turmeric root, has been extensively studied as a potential anti-aging substance, but its main drawback is lack of bioavailability.[xi] To harness the anti-aging benefits of curcumin, look for supplements that also contain black pepper, which is known to improve the absorption rate of curcumin [xii]

6. Vitamin C

Healthy, young-looking skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C, and many manufacturers tout the addition of vitamin C to topical formulations as a way to improve skin’s appearance and counteract skin aging.[xiii]

While there is some evidence that topical application is successful, dietary intake of vitamin C is just as important, if not more so, for inhibiting wrinkles and preventing collagen loss in skin cells.[xiv],[xv] For effective topical application, look for serums or creams that contain both vitamin C and vitamin E.[xvi]

7. Magnesium

Magnesium, the fourth most prevalent mineral in the human body, has been extensively studied for its anti-aging properties. Magnesium supplementation can decrease the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in older adults and increases physical performance in healthy elderly patients.[xvii]

Magnesium also plays a role in the prevention of age-related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.[xviii] Older adults wishing to reap these benefits should eat a diet of food rich in magnesium, including green vegetables, avocados, nuts and seeds..

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil consumption, especially within the context of the Mediterranean diet, has been extensively studied for its potential prevention of cardiovascular disease and antioxidant properties.[xix] Oxidative stress is believed to correlate with cognitive decline, a precursor for dementia in the elderly, and the high antioxidant content of extra virgin olive oil has been shown to improve cognitive function in older populations.[xx]

9. Acai

Acai, a reddish-purple berry native to South America, has long been touted for its potent antioxidant properties.[xxi] However, recent studies indicate that acai may also exhibit cardiovascular, antidiabetic, antiobesity and metabolic effects, making acai berries and supplements potential longevity-promoting substances.[xxii]

10. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and dietary intake are well known. In one study, researchers measured the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and the rate of telomere shortening, concluding that there is an inverse relationship between baseline levels of omega-3s and the rate of telomere shortening.[xxiii]

Telomeres, located at the end of chromosomes, limit the proliferation of cells and can suppress the regeneration of organs during aging, as well as increase the risk of cancer as they shorten.[xxiv] For this reason, increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids could increase longevity, especially in older adults with coronary heart disease.[xxv]

11. Ginseng

Both red and American ginseng varieties have been studied for their potential anti-aging properties, and research indicates that consumption of American and red ginseng may reduce age-associated oxidative stress and correct amino-acid metabolic disorders.[xxvi],[xxvii] Additional studies concluded that red or black ginseng may decrease cognitive deficits related to aging.[xxviii]

12. Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, both of which have numerous longevity-promoting benefits. Consumption of dietary flaxseed is linked to a decrease in cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, as well as improved cognitive function.[xxix]

However, flaxseed is not very bioavailable in seed form and needs to be milled to increase bioavailability. Since crushing or milling the seeds can cause oxidation, it’s best to wait to grind seeds until right before consumption.[xxx] To further extend the shelf life of flaxseed, store flaxseed in a cool dark place until ready to grind and consume.

13. Dark Chocolate

The antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate are well studied, but researchers have also determined that chocolate consumption is associated with better psychological health and increased optimism in older adults.[xxxi]

Furthermore, recent studies have found a correlation between chocolate consumption and longer telomere length, which is thought to inhibit the incidence of cardiovascular and infectious diseases.[xxxii],[xxxiii] To incorporate healthy chocolate into your diet, look for dark chocolate products that are organic and ethically sourced and avoid excess sugar and filler ingredients, as well as milk chocolate or white chocolate.

300 More Natural Substances That Promote Longevity

Aging is inevitable, but research backs these 13 substances as natural and effective ways to increase longevity and mediate the aging process. For a wider dataset on these and other anti-aging remedies, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Aging Research Dashboard, where we’ve compiled over 750 studies related to more than 300 longevity-promoting natural substances, including:

Resveratol

Melatonin

Soy

Ginkgo biloba

Aloe vera

Bacopa

Grape seed extract

Lutein

Horse chestnut

Fish extract

Black tea

Anthocyanins

Apples

Cocoa

Fennel

Rose

Artichokes

Amla fruit

Reishi mushroom

Blueberry

Walnut


References

[i] Antioxidants (Basel). 2018 Mar; 7(3): 44

[ii] Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2014 May; 14(2): e157-e165.

[iii] Biofactors. 2012 Mar-Apr;38(2):90-7.

[iv] J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jun;52(6):1049-59.

[v] Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2003 Nov; 73(6): 453-460.

[vi] Pathobiol Aging Age Relat Dis. 2015; 5: 10.3402/pba.v5.25592

[vii] J Drugs Dermatol. 2018 Sep 1;17(9):966-969.

[viii] Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018; 11: 51-57.

[ix] Nutrients. 2017 Apr; 9(4): 367.

[x] Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(7):884-92

[xi] Immun Ageing. 2010; 7: 1.

[xii] Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Jan; 46(1): 2-18.

[xiii] Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.

[xiv] Food Sci Biotechnol. 2018 Apr; 27(2): 555-564.

[xv] Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015; 8: 463-470.

[xvi] Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.

[xvii] Eur J Nutr. 2008 Jun;47(4):210-6.

[xviii] Int J Endocrinol. 2018; 2018: 9041694

[xix] Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):4-13.

[xx] JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jul;175(7):1094-1103.

[xxi] J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Nov 1;54(22):8604-10.

[xxii] J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2016 Jul;68(1):19-26

[xxiii] JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.

[xxiv] Jiang, H., Ju, Z. & Rudolph, K.L. Z Gerontol Geriat. (2007) 40: 314.

[xxv] JAMA. 2010 Jan 20;303(3):250-7.

[xxvi] Phytochem Anal. 2018 Jul;29(4):387-397

[xxvii] J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3603-9.

[xxviii] Food Sci Biotechnol. 2017 Oct 16;26(6):1743-1747

[xxix] Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1171.

[xxx] Nutrients. 2019 May; 11(5): 1171.

[xxxi] Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;62(2):247-53. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

[xxxii] Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Jun 8.

[xxxiii] Pediatr Res. 2019 Oct 1

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.

Slash risk of coronary heart disease with healthy fats

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-disease-healthy-fats-3260.html

healthy-fats(NaturalHealth365) If asked about one of the very best foods to consume in order to lower cholesterol, reduce abdominal fat and decrease the risk of heart disease … it’s unlikely that most people would say: healthy fats.  But, if you did say it, you would be correct … despite the “wisdom” of conventional thinking.

In truth, there is a lot of scientific research which demonstrates that there is no link between the consumption of “healthy fats” and the risk of developing serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease or cancer.  Generally speaking, to avoid disease, the smarter choice is to focus on reducing our toxic burden and improve the quality of our diet – in every way imaginable.

The truth behind healthy fats

Conventionally-trained nutritionists tend to warn us that saturated fats and trans fats are unhealthy, and can raise levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.  Of course, trans fats, or highly-processed (heated) vegetable oils should be avoided at all costs. But, are we being told the whole truth about healthy (saturated) fats?

The truth is: we can find healthy fats from flaxseed, coconut, hemp and olive oil.  These oils contain varying amounts of the omega-6 polyunsaturated acid known as linoleic acid – which has been shown to have health-promoting qualities.  And, yes, in moderate amounts, grass-fed meats or organic eggs are also a good source of healthy fats.

Wait a minute!  What do the “experts” say about fat?

While past studies have indeed linked linoleic acid-rich diets with inflammation in animals, some researchers are beginning to state that these results don’t hold true for humans, who respond to fats differently.  Of course, quality (and quantity) does matter – whenever talking about the risk of disease, as it relates to your diet.

So, do the “experts” advise against eating fat?

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out, “rather than adopting a low-fat diet, it’s more important to focus on eating beneficial “good” fats and avoiding harmful “bad” fats. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet.”

And, the Mayo Clinic says, “you don’t need to eliminate all fat from your diet. In fact, some fats actually help promote good health. But it’s wise to choose the healthier types of dietary fat and then enjoy them as part of a balanced diet.”

Bottom line, although it’s taking a long time to clear up, fat is not “bad” for you.  But, toxic (highly processed) fats like, vegetable oils found in cookies are no good!  I think you get the idea.  Like we stated before, quality and quantity matters when it comes to food and your health.

Considered the “queen” of healthy oils: Is it really o.k. to consume olive oil?

A staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil has generous amounts of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids – both of which are beneficial. Monounsaturated fatty acids lower LDL cholesterol while raising levels of healthy HDL cholesterol.

In addition, they help to regulate blood clotting and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Olive oil is also rich in vitamin E, an important antioxidant vitamin that can scavenge destructive free radicals and decrease disease-causing oxidative stress. In addition, it contains powerful anti-inflammatory polyphenols such as oleuropein and oleocanthal.

In a randomized controlled trial published just this week in Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers found that extra-virgin olive oil – when used as part of the Mediterranean diet – can help reverse metabolic syndrome, a collection of unhealthy conditions that raises risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is indicated by excessive belly fat, low levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high levels of blood sugar and triglycerides.

Controlling your body weight: “Healthy” fat diets are better than “low-fat” diets

Participants in the olive oil group decreased their obesity and blood sugar levels at a much greater rate than those in the control group, which was counseled to eat a low-fat diet. In fact, close to a third of the olive oil group completely reversed their condition, and could no longer be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome by the end of the 4.8 year follow time period.

With roughly 33 percent of all Americans currently affected by metabolic syndrome, the good news about olive oil is particularly significant.

When it comes to oils that feature polyunsaturated fatty acids, it is the balance between the omega-3 and omega-6 acids that helps to determine their healthiness. Natural health experts tell us that both flaxseed oil and hemp oil contain optimal balances of PUFAs. Both of them feature an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which has been shown to decrease inflammation.

The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that research shows a lower incidence of fatal heart attacks in people who eat a diet rich in ALA, and adds that ALA may even reduce the risk of heart arrhythmias, and – by decreasing the adhesiveness of blood platelets – cut the risk of a stroke as well.

For maximum health benefits, look for organic hemp and flaxseed oils that are labeled “high oleic.”

Coconut oil and the surprising effects on your health

Don’t forget the coconut oil, which imparts a light, delicious coconut flavor to recipes when used as a cooking or salad oil. This healthy oil boosts immunity, promotes good digestion, supports healthy thyroid function and fights abdominal fat.

It also increases levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, and helps to spur the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone – which in turn assists in the creation of important hormones.  In a double-blind clinical study published in 2009 in Lipids, researchers found two tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks promoted significant loss of abdominal fat in the study participants.

Isn’t coconut oil high in harmful saturated fat?

Although most of coconut oil’s fat is indeed of the saturated variety, many natural health experts point out that much of this fat consists of medium-chain fatty acids, which have not been implicated in chronic diseases in the same way longer-chain fatty acids have been.

Coconut oil proponents also point out that this tasty tropical oil is good for use in cooking, as it withstands relatively high temperatures without breaking down – up to about 350 degrees.

Are there any vegetable oils I should avoid?

Yes. Canola, soy and corn oils, despite their otherwise beneficial content of linoleic acid, are notorious for their content of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Unless you want to up your intake of genetically manipulated ingredients, these oils should be avoided.

So, how much fat is enough?

Of course, the recent research doesn’t suggest that you should guzzle down vegetable oils in unlimited quantities. Even with “healthy fats” … moderation is the key.

Experts say that consuming between two and four tablespoons of fat per day should be sufficient to achieve adequate linoleic acid levels in the body.  In other words, a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil is good … but, a 24 oz. steak would be too much!

On a more serious note: according to the American Heart Association, fats – which universally contain nine calories a gram – should make up no more than 20 to 35 percent of your total calories. Although, some people may require more – depending on personal lifestyle habits and medical health profile.

And, it is not just cooking and salad oils that offer up healthy fat. You can also snack on whole organic foods that are rich in these good fats, and treat your body to healthy quantities of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants galore.

For example, try eating organic avocados, some olives, and crunchy, satisfying sprouted nuts such as walnuts or almonds.  And, don’t forget the health benefits of seeds like, sesame or pumpkin.

To sum up, we need to stop demonizing all fats.  Our body needs healthy fats to help absorb fat-soluble nutrients.  Naturally, if you’re concerned about your health (and need help with your diet) – seek the advise of a trusted, integrative healthcare provider and keep reading NaturalHealth365.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
Harvard.edu
Mayoclinic.org

5 ways to avoid gallstones naturally

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/5-ways-to-avoid-gallstones-3245.html
 | January 6, 2020

gallstones

(NaturalHealth365) According to the most current data about gallstones –  deposits of crystallized cholesterol in the gallbladder or bile ducts, about 15 percent of the American population are affected by this preventable condition.

And, while many gallstones are “silent” and cause no symptoms, serious complications – including bile duct infection, pancreatitis and an increased risk of heart disease and gallbladder cancer – can sometimes occur. The good news: a variety of natural nutrients and supplements can help slash your risk of developing these potentially troublesome deposits.

Just don’t expect your conventionally trained physician to talk to you about this.

In fact, the “typical response” of Western medicine is to surgically remove the gallbladder (a procedure known as cholecystectomy), if there’s a problem.  But, again, you ought to know that there are many non-invasive, non-toxic techniques to ward off gallstones.  Let’s take a closer look!

Warning: The standard American diet is a perfect “recipe” for promoting the development of gallstones

When it comes to raising the risk of gallstones, a high (toxic) fat, high calorie and highly processed diet is a primary culprit.  Unfortunately, with the ease of obtaining “fast” foods, junk foods and highly processed foods, this is the diet of far too many people.

Other factors that can raise the risk of developing gallstones include obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, increasing age and certain medications, such as diuretics.

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Genetics can also play a role. And, women are statistically more likely to develop gallstones than men.

Note: while losing weight can help cut the risk of developing gallstones, experts recommend that the loss be gradual, and not exceed about 3 pounds a week. As ironic as it seems, prolonged fasting and sudden, drastic weight loss can also trigger the development of gallstones.

The following substances have been shown in human and animal studies to be particularly effective against gallstones. Of course, consult with an experienced integrative physician before supplementing with any of them.

Observational study: Vitamin C supplementation slashes gallstone risk

A potent antioxidant, vitamin C works in the body to scavenge harmful free radicals and reduce the oxidative stress that plays a role in gallstone formation.  By helping to convert excess cholesterol into bile acids, vitamin C may help reduce cholesterol concentrations, thereby decreasing the chance of gallstones.

In one study, gallstone patients slated for gallbladder removal were given 2,000 mg of vitamin C a day for two weeks before their surgeries.  These patients were found to have improved bile composition, and less cholesterol crystallization, than those who hadn’t received supplementary vitamin C.

But, a 2009 study yielded even more dramatic findings.

In an observational study involving over 2,100 subjects, researchers found that regular vitamin C users were a whopping 66 percent less likely to develop gallstones than those who didn’t supplement.

Imagine if these results were achieved by a brand-new drug?!  The pharmaceutical companies would doubtless crow over these remarkable results in a non-stop barrage of commercials.

Ironically, however, non-toxic, natural, inexpensive vitamin C has received no such media fanfare in the decade following this study – a typical result when it comes to the therapeutic benefits of any vitamin.

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil discourage gallstone formation

Fish oil, rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, has received kudos from natural health experts for its ability to reduce inflammation, support healthy cardiovascular function and ease depression.  Now, research shows that EPA and DHA, the primary fatty acids in fish oil, also help prevent gallstones.

Like vitamin C, EPA and DHA inhibit cholesterol crystallization and improve bile composition.  In a study published in Journal of Nutrition, researchers gave 11.3 grams a day of omega-3s from fish oil to obese women who were on medically supervised weight-loss diets of 1,200 calories per day.

When compared to the placebo group, the omega-3 group experienced a reduction in the time it took to form cholesterol crystals, thereby slowing gallstone formation.  As an added “bonus:” the researchers noted that the group also enjoyed a reduced risk of heart disease.

The team concluded that omega-3 fatty acids can cut the risk of developing gallstones that accompanies rapid weight loss – an especially important point for those looking to improve their health!

SAM-e is a useful tool for promoting gallbladder health

SAM-e, short for S-adenosylmethionine, is a molecule found naturally in the body. With potent anti-inflammatory and mood-elevating effects, SAM-e is currently used to treat a variety of ills, including arthritis pain and depression.

This versatile compound also has a protective effect on the liver and gallbladder.

In addition, SAM-e improves bile flow and decreases cholesterol concentration – two important defenses against gallbladder problems. Like vitamin C, it contributes to antioxidant protection, and reduces the oxidative stress that can trigger gallstones.

Note: researchers have found that women with increased estrogen levels are more likely to suffer from gallstones. Significantly, SAM-e reduced bile cholesterol by almost one third in women taking oral contraceptives.

Natural health experts normally advise SAM-e dosages in the area of 600 mg to 1,200 mg a day, but check first with your own healthcare provider.

Curcumin from turmeric: The “golden spice” has a glowing reputation for fighting gallstones

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the medicinal spice turmeric, has long been valued by natural healers for its ability to ease inflammation, combat infection and fight cancer. A carotenoid, or natural plant pigment, curcumin is responsible for the brilliant yellow-orange coloration of turmeric.

Both animal and human studies have shown that curcumin has the ability to improve cholesterol and lipid metabolism, increase bile flow, reduce gallbladder inflammation and promote normal bile acid metabolism.

There is even evidence that curcumin can reduce post-operative pain and fatigue after gallbladder removal. In an intriguing study published in Surgical Endoscopy, patients who had their gallbladders removed required less pain medication when they were given curcumin.

Curcumin is available in supplemental form, with typical dosages ranging from 500 mg to 2,000 mg a day.  Just be sure to look for a formulation that includes black pepper – which greatly improves curcumin absorption.

EGCG in green tea may fight not only gallstones – but deadly gallbladder diseases as well

EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, is a flavonoid found in green tea. This potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory has been demonstrated to prevent gallstones in animals – and human studies back this up.

Not only does EGCG prevent gallstones, but it appears to play a role in warding off some of the potentially life-threatening forms of gallbladder disease.

A population-based study in China, published in International Journal of Cancer, showed that drinking at least one cup of green tea for six months cut the risk of developing gallstones by 27 percent, the risk of bile duct cancer by 35 percent and the risk of gallbladder cancer by 44 percent.

Not a bad payoff for merely sipping a daily cup of fragrant and refreshing green tea!

Take action: Reduce the risk of gallstones with natural techniques

You can cut your risk of gallstones by removing white sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated or trans fats from your diet – while eating plenty of fiber-rich fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy amounts of monounsaturated fats (such as those found in avocados, nuts and olive oil).

Note: an influential 2017 French study showed that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet – which roughly mirrors the above suggestions – enjoyed a dramatically lower risk of gallstones.

And, it couldn’t hurt to add garlic, onions, fenugreek and cayenne to your diet – all have been associated with lower risk of gallstones.

And, finally, increasing your activity level can help ward off gallstones, too. One study showed that between two and three hours of moderate exercise per week could lower the odds of developing gallstones by 25 percent.

Sources for this article include:

LifeExtension.com
NIH.gov
Gallbladderattack.com
NIH.gov

Excess Body Fat Can Age Your Brain Faster Than Muscle


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

excess body fat and brain health

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

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

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

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

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

More Muscle, Less Fat Protects Your Brain

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Obesity Affects Your Brain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Obesity-Associated Health Problems Also Harm Your Brain

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Inflammation Connection

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

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

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

Strength Training Is Good for Your Brain

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid Obesity and Protect Your Brain With a Ketogenic Diet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources and References

Defeat insomnia and chronic stress with a lesser known essential oil

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/defeat-insomnia-naturally-3232.html
by:  

defeat-insomnia-naturally(NaturalHealth365) While you’re likely familiar with essential oils like frankincense and lavender, you may never have heard of spikenard essential oil.  Today, we’ll focus on how to defeat insomnia with a natural remedy.

Although it’s not as well-known as other essential oils, spikenard been used for centuries for health, beauty, and even religious purposes. While it’s valued as a prized perfume for its musky, earthy, spicy scent, it also offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties used by integrative healthcare providers for years.

A relative of the valerian plant, spikenard is a flowering plant that grows in the Himalayas in India, China, and Nepal, and it’s usually only found at around an altitude of 10,000 feet.  Although it’s long been hailed for its ability to treat a variety of health problems, research backs up its use for treating insomnia, helping to reduce stress, and more.

How to defeat insomnia and reduce stress naturally without negative side effects

Multiple studies have investigated the use of spikenard essential oil as a sedative, as well as its ability to defeat insomnia. One study not only documented the sedative effect of the oil, but also discovered that when it’s mixed together with other oils like sandalwood, patchouli, borneol, and galangal oils, the sedative response was even more significant.

Another study went on to isolate two of the components of spikenard essential oil – beta maaliene and valerna-4,7(11)-diene. They found that the valerna-4,7(11)-diene offered the strongest sedative effect on test subjects and even had an effect similar to chlorpromazine, a medication often given to patients with behavior or mental disorders.

Spikenard oil also has a calming effect, which helps reduce stress. The combination of stress-relief and sedative effects make it a useful, natural treatment for people who have insomnia.

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Additional science-backed uses for spikenard essential oil

Beyond its ability to reduce stress and work as a sedative to relieve insomnia, spikenard essential oil offers many other science-backed health benefits, as well.  One of the most studied benefits of this spikenard is its ability to fight fungus and bacteria.

Studies show that spikenard is one of the most effective essential oils against certain strains of bacteria, and it also works to heal skin problems caused by fungal infections.

Spikenard essential oil also has the ability to fight inflammation, which is at the root of many diseases. When studied in treating acute pancreatitis, spikenard treatment helped reduce the severity of the acute pancreatitis, proving its ability to work as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Other potential health benefits include:

  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing joint pain
  • Relieving gastrointestinal issues
  • Treating dandruff
  • Reducing pain related to menstruation and muscle aches
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Relieves anxiety

Spikenard essential oil is often used topically or as aromatherapy. It can be diffused or inhaled directly from the bottle.

Another option is to add it to a carrier oil for a massage oil that promotes sleep while relieving sore muscles and headaches. You can also add a few drops to a bath to reduce stress and help relieve insomnia.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
Healthline.com
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov

Why Vegetable Oils Are Carcinogenic


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

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vegetable Oils — A Hidden Cause of Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Lopsided PUFA Ratios Promote Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Vegetable Oils Promote Virtually All Chronic Disease

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthiest Fats for Cooking

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

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

Organic pastured pork lard — A 2015 analysis19 of more than 1,000 raw foods ranked raw separated pork fat, also known as pork lard, as the eighth healthiest food on a list of 100.20 Valuable nutrients found in lard include vitamin D,21 omega-3 fats,22 monounsaturated fats23 (the same fats found in avocados and olive oil24), saturated fats25 and choline.26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Sources and References

7 Foods and Nutrients Proven to Cut Macular Degeneration Risk

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/7-foods-and-nutrients-proven-cut-macular-degeneration-risk

Posted on:  Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 4:15 pm

As the baby-boomers age, blindness from age-related macular degeneration is on the rise. More than 3 million more people will become victims in the next five years. Eating right can lower your risk

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. It affects more than 1.75 million people in the U.S. and is expected to strike as many as 3 million in the next five years.

The macula is the small spot near the center of the retina. The eye needs it for central vision to see objects straight ahead. When the macula becomes damaged, it severely limits your ability to see things in your central line of vision.

As AMD progresses, a blurred area develops near the center of your vision. Objects may not appear as sharp or bright as they used to. Colors seem faded. That loss of central vision can interfere with daily activities like recognizing faces, reading, driving, working, cooking, or watching TV.

Besides age, the biggest risk factor for AMD is smoking. Other risk factors include sun exposure, high blood pressure and obesity.

Studies have found certain nutrients protect against the progression of AMD. Researchers at the National Eye Institute conducted two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2).[i]

The first AREDS study showed that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper reduce the risk of late-stage AMD by 25%.

The AREDS2 study found that a combination of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in place of beta-carotene was just as effective. [ii] Carotenoids were also believed to be safer than beta-carotene for smokers at higher risk of lung cancer.

The AREDS2 nutrient combination is widely available in supplement form. But in addition to those nutrients studies show other foods and compounds are effective to reduce the risk and progression of AMD and improve vision.

Multiple studies show that supplementing with carotenoids and antioxidants improves AMD. In one randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study from a Veterans Administration Hospital 90 patients were assigned to receive 10 mg of lutein alone, or 10 mg of lutein plus a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, or a placebo. After 12 months they found that either alone or in combination with other nutrients, lutein improved visual function.

But it’s not just supplements. Eating more foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin reduces AMD risk. In a prospective cohort study published in JAMA, Harvard researchers followed more than 100,000 people from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in the United States. Based on diet reports the researchers found that those eating the most foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 percent reduction in AMD risk compared to those eating the least. Other carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, were linked with a 25 to 35 percent lower risk.

Here are seven foods and nutrients proven to support eye health and reduce your risk of AMD.

1. Olive Oil

In an Australian study of 6,734 people aged 58 to 69 years, researchers collected dietary information over five years. Ten years later they measured the participants’ macula for signs of early or late AMD. They found that eating 100 ml of olive oil every week cut AMD rates by 52 percent compared to lower olive oil intakes. That’s just about seven tablespoons, or less than a half cup of olive oil a week.

2. Goji Berries

Swiss researchers found that goji berries may reduce the risk of AMD. They conducted a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 150 people aged 65 to 70 years. Half the subjects received 13.7 grams per day of a milk-based formulation containing goji berry – also called wolfberry – or a placebo for 90 days. Goji berries are high in antioxidants and zeaxanthin.

The subjects were tested for blood levels of zeaxanthin and antioxidants. They were also examined for the appearance of drusen in the macula. Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina. They are made up of lipids, a fatty protein, and their presence indicates an increased risk of AMD. In the study, drusen increased in the placebo group but remained stable in the goji berry group.

In addition, zeaxanthin blood levels increased by 26 percent in the goji group and antioxidant capacity increased 57 percent. Those measures did not change in the placebo group.

3. Rosemary

A study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found rosemary may protect against macular degeneration. Researchers discovered that carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, protects your retina from degeneration and toxicity. They treated retinal cells with carnosic acid found in rosemary and found it triggered the production of antioxidant enzymes in the cells. That in turn lowered cell-damaging free radicals. They also tested carnosic acid in animals, finding that mice treated with it suffered less vision damage when exposed to light.

4. Saffron

Australian and Italian researchers proved the Mediterranean spice saffron helps slow progression of AMD and improve vision. They conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of people with early stage AMD. One group in the study supplemented with 20 mg per day of saffron. After just 90 days the researchers saw significant improvement in the saffron group.[iii]

Then the researchers tested a group of 29 patients aged 55 to 85 with early-stage AMD. The patients received 20 mg per day of saffron as a supplement for about 14 months. All of the patients reported an improvement in their quality of vision. They experienced improvements in contrast and color perception, reading ability, and vision in low lighting. All of that added up to a substantial improvement in the patients’ quality of life.[iv]

The researchers noted that saffron from the crocus flower contains chemical compounds called crocin and crocetin. These are antioxidant derivatives of carotenoids. Crocin protects photoreceptors from light-induced death. Crocetin increases the availability of oxygen to the cells.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

French researchers tested ginkgo biloba against a placebo on 10 out-patients with senile macular degeneration. In spite of the small group, the researchers concluded that ginkgo biloba extract led to a statistically significant improvement in long distance visual acuity.

6. B Vitamins

A Harvard study found that daily supplementation with B vitamins may reduce the risk of AMD. Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 5,442 female health care professionals 40 years or older. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily combination of 2.5 mg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 50 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), and 1 mg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), or placebo. After an average of 7.3 years of treatment and follow-up, the vitamin B group had a 34 percent lower risk of AMD. For visually significant AMD the risk dropped 41 percent. The researchers indicated that B vitamins may reduce high homocysteine levels which have been linked to AMD.

7. Egg Yolks

Studies show that egg yolks have the highest percentage levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.[v] Other sources containing both of these carotenoids are corn and honeydew melon, as well as dark leafy greens such as kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and romaine lettuce.

Foods highest in just lutein include kiwi, red seedless grapes, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, cucumber, spinach, peas, green peppers, butternut squash, celery, Brussels sprouts, scallions, and broccoli.

Other foods high in zeaxanthin include orange peppers, oranges, and mango.

For more information visit GreenMed Info’s page on macular degeneration.

Originally published: 2016-04-14

Article Updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, “A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8,” Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 119, pp. 1417-1436, 2001.

[ii] The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group. Lutein + Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005-2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4997.

[iii] Benedetto Falsini et al, “Influence of saffron supplementation on retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(12):6118-24. Epub 2010 Aug 4. PMID: 20688744

[iv] M. Piccardi et al, “A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Sustained Benefits to Central Retinal Function.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 429124, 9 pages https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/429124

[v] O. Sommerburg, J. Keunen, A. Bird, and F. J G M van Kuijk. “Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes.” 1998 Aug; 82(8): 907-910.

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.

Trans Fats Linked to Increased Risk for Alzheimer’s


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

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trans Fat Consumption Increases Your Dementia Risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Is Trans Fat?

As explained by CNN:12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trans Fat Has Killed Millions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oxidized Omega-6 — Another Harmful Fat to Beware Of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of Healthy Fats to Eat More Of

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

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

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

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

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

Vitamin D29

Omega-3 fats30

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

Saturated fats33

Choline34

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

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

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

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

good fats oils- versus bad

Eating Right Can Help Prevent Dementia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Novel Treatments Are Being Explored

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

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

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

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

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

– Sources and References

From Tomb To Table: Cumin’s Health Benefits Rediscovered

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/tomb-table-cumins-health-benefits-rediscovered

Posted on: Sunday, September 22nd 2019 at 8:30 am
Written By:  Sayer Ji, Founder

Traded along spice routes separating ancient cultures by vast distances, spices like cumin were once worth their weight in gold. Has modern science now revealed why, beyond their remarkable aesthetic value, they were so highly prized?

Many spices are perfectly happy living a charmed life as seasonings, peppering things generously with flavor, and without ever arousing the suspicion that they may be capable of profound acts of healing as well.

Meet cumin, a member of the parsley family, which is to say from a well-known family of healers native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia).

Cumin’s traditional use stretches back into prehistory, as evidenced by its presence in Egyptian tombs.  The Greeks actually used it much like we use pepper today, keeping cumin at the dining table in its own container, which is still practiced by Moroccans to this day.  It is also been used for millennia in India as a traditional ingredient of curry.

An accumulating body of research now indicates that these ancient “culinary” uses, once considered primarily aesthetic in nature, may have served more fundamental medicinal roles in these cultures.  Modern scientific investigation has revealed that cumin has a broad range of potential healing properties that, when properly applied, could profoundly alleviate human suffering by providing natural alternatives to often highly toxic pharmaceutical interventions.

For instance, research published in the journal Food Chemistry and Toxicology demonstrated that cumin has blood sugar lowering properties comparable to the drug glibenclamide (known in the US as glyburide), with the additional benefit (not conferred by pharmaceutical intervention) that it also lowered oxidative stress and inhibited the advanced glycated end products (AGE), which are implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic microvascular complications.[i]

Remarkably, this is only the tip of cumin’s medicinal potential. There are at least 10 other potential medicinal properties of cumin now confirmed in the experimental literature:

  • Bacterial Infections:  Cumin oil has been shown effective at killing Klebsiella penumoniae bacteria, including decreasing biofilm formation (a defense mechanism of bacteria against antibiotics), as well as enhancing the antimicrobial activity of conventional antibiotic drugs like ciprofloxacin.[ii]  Even more impressive, perhaps, cumin oil has been shown to have anti-MRSA properties.[iii]
  • Candida (Yeast) Infection: Unlike conventional antibiotics which contribute to opportunistic fungal overgrowth, cumin has been shown to have considerable inhibitory activity against 3 different Candida albicans strains of yeast.[iv] It has also been studied to be effective against a wide range of other fungi and yeasts, including Aspergilli and dermatophytes (fungi that cause skin diseases).[v]
  • Cataracts: Cumin has been shown to delay the formation of diabetes-associated cataracts primarily through its anti-glycating properties, i.e. it prevents elevated blood sugar from getting “sticky” (i.e. caramelization) and subsequently damaging tissues in the body.[vi]
  • Cancers: Cumin has been shown in preclinical research to have inhibitory activity against cervical cancer[vii] and colon cancer. [viii]
  • Dental Plaque: Cumin oil has been shown effective as an anti-gingival agent alternative to the chemical chlorhexidine commonly used in mouthwashes.[ix]
  • Diabetes: As mentioned in our opening, cumin has significant anti-diabetic properties. Another 2002 study found that the treatment of diabetic rats with cumin was more effective than the drug glibenclamide, resulting in reductions in inflammation, fatty changes, tissue cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin – all positive indicators. [x]
  • Food-borne Pathogens – Cumin oil has been found to work synergistically with other food preservation agents to inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogens.[xi]
  • Immune Function: Cumin has been found to effectively stimulate immune function in a way that may benefit immune-compromised individuals.[xii]
  • Fertility (Reversible Contraceptive): Cumin has been found to have potent contraceptive activities in male rats without apparent toxicity.[xiii]
  • Memory Disorders: Cumin has been found to reduce stress-induced oxidative changes in the brain, as well as improving cognition, as determined by acquisition, retention and recovery in rats, in a dose-dependent manner.[xiv]
  • Morphine Dependence/Tolerance: Cumin reduces morphine tolerance and dependence. [xv] [xvi]
  • Osteoporosis: Cumin extract has been shown effective at reversing bone loss associated with the loss of ovarian function at least as well as estradiol.[xvii]
  • Thrombosis (Clot): Cumin seed has been demonstrated to inhibit platelet aggregation, indicating it may prevent pathological blood clotting.[xviii]  [Note: of course this means that it could interact adversely with blood thinners].

The so-called “evidence-based” approach of modern medical science to understanding cumin’s medicinal value is relatively new. Only in the past two decades, but especially in the past ten years, scientific research on spices and culinary herbs has virtually exploded. While enlightening, we must remember that the approach is limited in a number of ways. For one, it relies on animal research, which is both inherently cruel (vivisection) and conveys only approximate data, as these substances often have very different effects in animals than humans.

Also, spices like cumin should not be considered in isolation, as traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation contained a vast storehouse of medically relevant information pertaining to the synergies inherent in combinations of ingredients, modes of preparation, seasonal harvesting, etc. In other words, cumin does not lend itself well to the pharmacological, drug-based model of medicine, which presumes there are monochemical “magic bullets” within complex herbs or spices that must be identified and isolated into megadoses, and which are primarily responsible for their beneficial effects.

Nonetheless, it is welcoming that increasingly science confirms traditional herbalism and culinary practice. Perhaps, as the scientific evidence continues to pour in, we will be more willing to give ourselves permission to appreciate once again the wondrous superfluity of nature, its ceaseless benevolence, and the the fact that issuing directly from her fecund soil, are powerful healing gifts, that we can enjoy sensually, viscerally and now intellectually with greater abandon.


References

  • [iv] Juergen Wanner, Stefanie Bail, Leopold Jirovetz, Gerhard Buchbauer, Erich Schmidt, Velizar Gochev, Tanya Girova, Teodora Atanasova, Albena Stoyanova. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae). Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Sep ;5(9):1355-8. PMID: 20922990

Originally published: 2012-12-04

Article published: 2019-09-22

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.