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Are Seed Oils Behind the Majority of Diseases This Century?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/18/chris-knobbe-macular-degeneration.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 18, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Knobbe says most chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration are linked to the consumption of processed seed oils
  • Knobbe says the large consumption of omega-6 seed oil in everyday Western diets is so dangerous it is “a global human experiment … without informed consent”
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, found in vegetable oils, edible oils, seed oils, trans fat and plant oils, owe their existence to “roller mill technology,” which replaced stone mill technology and removed their nutrients
  • Many people now consume 80 grams of PUFAs a day, which amounts to 720 calories and one-third of their caloric intake
  • Results from studies of tribal peoples and animals have demonstrated the deleterious effects of PUFAs in the diet

What do heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and other chronic health conditions of modern society have in common? They all have increased by shocking amounts in the last decades. And, they are all linked to the consumption of seed oils.

In a recent speech at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, titled “Diseases of Civilization: Are Seed Oil Excesses the Unifying Mechanism?,” Dr. Chris Knobbe reveals startling evidence that seed oils, so prevalent in modern diets, are the reason for most of today’s chronic diseases.1

Knobbe, an ophthalmologist, is the founder of the nonprofit Cure AMD Foundation, dedicated to the prevention of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).2 He is a former associate clinical professor emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.3

His research indicts the high consumption of omega-6 seed oil in everyday diets as the major unifying driver of the chronic degenerative diseases of modern civilization. He calls the inundation of Western diets with harmful seeds oils “a global human experiment … without informed consent.”

The Rise of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

Trans fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids, also called PUFAs, found in vegetable oils, edible oils, seed oils and plant oils, are a fairly recent invention and include cottonseed, rapeseed, sunflower, safflower, rice bran, soybean, corn and other popular oils. PUFAs owe their existence to “roller mill technology,” which around 1880 replaced stone mill technology that was used to grind wheat into flour.4

Roller mill technology facilitated the entire removal of the bran and the germ of a grain, leaving only the endosperm, a refined product with its nutrients removed.5 According to Knobbe, writing on the Cure AMD Foundation website:6

“The first of these [PUFAs] was cottonseed oil. This was soon followed by the hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation of cottonseed oil, producing the first ever artificially created trans-fat. The latter was introduced by Proctor & Gamble in 1911 under the name ‘Crisco,’ which was marketed as ‘the healthier alternative to lard … and more economical than butter.'”

Crisco, the grandfather of commercially produced PUFAs or trans fats, is still widely sold today. The plan of vegetable oil producers, says Knobbe, was to undersell and therefore replace animal fats, which were priced higher.7 The plan was successful.

PUFAs became so popular that they now make up 63% of the American diet, form the basis of USDA food recommendations and are found in 600,000 processed foods sold in the U.S. today.8 In 1909, Americans ate 2 grams a day of vegetable oil, says Knobbe, and by 2010 they were eating an astounding 80 grams of vegetable oil a day.9

There are several reasons PUFAs are harmful, says Knobbe. Unlike animal fats, they lack vitamins A, D and K, so they are nutrient deficient. They contribute to most of the chronic diseases associated with modern civilization. And PUFAs also contribute to the epidemic of obesity. The 80 grams of PUFAs a day that Americans are now consuming amount to 720 calories, says Knobbe, which means that one-third of most people’s calories are “coming out of factories.”10

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Chronic Diseases Rose With PUFAs

Many people are aware that diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and other conditions were less common in the first part of the 20th century than they are today. But the rise in the incidence of these conditions is more dramatic than many realize. According to Knobbe:11

  • In 1900, 12.5% percent of the U.S. population died of heart-related disease; in 2010, that figure was 32%
  • In 1811, 1 person in 118 died of cancer; in 2010, 1 in 3 died of cancer
  • In 80 years, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes has increased 25-fold
  • In the 19th century, 1.2% of Americans were obese; in 2015, 39.8% were obese
  • In 1930, there were no more than 50 cases of macular degeneration; in 2020, there are 196 million cases

Are the rises in these chronic conditions correlated with the rise in the dietary consumption of PUFAs? Absolutely, says Knobbe in his lecture. He gives the following explanation:12

“These disorders from heart disease to atherosclerosis to type-2 diabetes to macular degeneration and cancer all have the same thing. They all have mitochondrial dysfunction …The very first thing that happens when the electron transport chain fails … is that it starts shooting out reactive oxygen species — these are hydroxyl radicals and superoxide …

These free radicals lead to nuclear mitochondrial DNA mutations … which contribute to heart failure … macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s … a catastrophic lipid peroxidation cascade [that] leads to toxic aldehydes.”

At the root of the harmful biochemical reactions enacted by seed oils is linoleic acid, says Knobbe, which is an 18-carbon omega-6 fat. Linoleic acid is the primary fatty acid found in PUFAs and accounts for about 80% of total vegetable oils. Omega-6 fats must be balanced with omega-3 fats in order not to be harmful.

“Most of this linoleic acid, when it oxidizes, it develops lipid hydroperoxides and then these rapidly degenerate into … oxidized linoleic acid metabolites,” says Knobbe.13

The oxidized linoleic acid metabolites are a perfect storm. They are cytotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, atherogenic and thrombogenic, says Knobbe. Their atherosclerosis and thrombogenic actions are especially concerning because they can produce strokes and clots.

PUFAs Create Insulin Resistance

Diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have become epidemic since the U.S. diet has been based on PUFAs. It is estimated that nearly 70% of Americans are now overweight or obese and a substantial amount are metabolically unhealthy.14

This puts people at risk for Type 2 diabetes as well as the many chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance, from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. In his lecture, Knobbe explains how these conditions develop:15

“When you consume omega-6 to excess … it combines with reactive oxygen species like hydroxyl radicals … so this begins catastrophic lipid peroxidation cascade — these polyunsaturated fats are accumulating [in] your cells, accumulate in your membranes, accumulate in your mitochondria and they cause a peroxidation reaction.”

Because there’s so many reactive oxygen species it leads to developing insulin resistance at the cellular level and the production of lipid droplets in your liver, continues Knobbe:

” … that creates a catastrophic lipid part or it feeds back to the lipid peroxidation … so now you’re not burning fat for fuel properly so the person gaining weight and getting sick in this regard is now carb dependent — their glycolysis is working but … [they] start storing the fat … so this leads to obesity.”

Linoleic acid is especially a culprit in this harmful process, agrees Dr. Paul Saladino, a physician journalist, in a podcast. Linoleic acid “breaks the sensitivity for insulin at the level of your fat cells” — it makes them more insulin sensitive — and, since your fat cells control the insulin sensitivity of the rest of your body by releasing free fatty acids, you end up with insulin resistance.

Rat Studies and Indigenous People Show PUFA Harm

Animal studies have dramatically demonstrated the deleterious effects of PUFAs. In one study Knobbe cites, two sets of rats were put on identical diets except one group received 5% cottonseed oil and the other received 1.5% butterfat.16 The result of the study was that:17

” … the rats on the cottonseed oil grow to sixty percent of normal size and live[d] 555 days on average; they’re, weak, fragile, sickly little rats. The rats on the butterfat they are healthy; they grow to normal size and they live 1020 days so they grow to almost twice the size [of the cottonseed oil-fed rats], live twice as long and are infinitely more healthy.”

While it’s suggested that the American Heart Association and other medical groups might discount such studies, potentially calling them paradoxical, there are also examples of the positive effects from saturated and animal-based fats upon human health, says Knobbe.

For example, the Tokelau people who live on islands in the South Pacific between Hawaii and Australia eat a diet almost exclusively of coconut, fish, starchy tubers and fruit.18 Between 54% and 62% of their calories come from coconut oil, which contains saturated fat, Knobbe points out.

Nevertheless, a study of Tokelau men between 40 and 69 years found that they had no heart attacks, no obesity and no diabetes.19 They were “fantastically healthy,” says Knobbe.

Whether we’re talking about animal studies or studies of non-Westernized people, at least 80% of obesity and chronic diseases in Westernized countries come from processed foods, Knobbe concludes. “It is driven by vegetable oils and trans-fats … fast food restaurants almost all cook in soybean oil and canola oil.”

Other Experts Agree With Knobbe

In a previous newsletter with the Saldino podcast mentioned above, I discussed how Saladino and journalist Nina Teicholz decry the popularity and ubiquity of PUFAs in the modern food system and believe in the healthful benefits of saturated fat.

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz review the history of the demonization of saturated fat and cholesterol, which began, they say, with the flawed hypothesis in 1960 to 1961 that saturated fat causes heart disease.

The hypothesis was buttressed by the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans, introduced in 1980, which told people to limit their saturated fat and cholesterol, all the while exonerating carbs, which were increasingly made with PUFAs. It should be no surprise that the hypothesis and dietary guidelines were linked to a rapid rise in obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease.

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz discuss the reasons why this myth has been allowed to persist, despite the scientific evidence against it.

If saturated animal fats were acknowledged to be healthy and processed industrial vegetable oils and grains were exposed as unhealthy, it would decimate the major processed food and fast food industries, which rely on vegetable oils and grains. Moreover, statin sales and other Big Pharma profit areas would suffer. Big Food and Big Pharma have financial motives for keeping the health benefits of real food hidden.

Like Knobbe, the experts are convinced that the massive increase in linoleic acid consumption because of its ubiquity in industrial vegetable oils and processed foods is a key metabolic driver of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic disease.

They stress that the belief that high low-density lipoproteins (LDL) — the so-called “bad” cholesterol — are a risk factor for heart disease and that by lowering your LDL you lower your risk of a heart attack, is incorrect. The science simply doesn’t bear this out, they say. The reason for this is because not all LDL particles are the same.

Cutting down on red meat and saturated fat and eating more vegetable oil may cause LDL to go down, Saladino explains, but those LDLs will not be oxidized. It is the effect of LDL oxidation that triggers insulin resistance and related problems, including heart disease — something the LDL tests don’t detect.

Eating saturated fat, on the other hand, may raise your LDL, but those LDL particles will be large and fluffy and do not cause arterial damage, says Saladino.

The take-home message from both doctors Knobbe and Saladino is that seed oils are responsible for the vast majority of modern diseases and the best thing you can do for your health is renounce them.

– Sources and References

How Omega-3 Might Help Prevent Cytokine Storm


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/13/omega-3-fats-epa-and-dha.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 13, 2020

omega-3 fats epa and dha

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Evidence suggests the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA affect biological pathways that may have direct influence in the outcome of COVID-19
  • EPA and DHA have a direct influence in the immunological response to viral infections and can modulate immune response and function
  • Animal-based omega-3 fats, especially DHA, also help prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel) by decreasing platelet aggregation. Hypercoagulation is another complication of severe COVID-19 infection that can have lethal consequences
  • Omega-3 also lowers your risk of lung dysfunction, protects against lung damage and secondary bacterial infections, and improves mitochondrial function
  • Research shows that by lowering triglycerides, the risk of developing a cytokine storm is diminished. Omega-3 supplementation is known to lower triglycerides, but krill oil does so more effectively than fish oil

By now, you’re probably aware that one of the lethal effects of COVID-19 is the virus’ ability to trigger a cytokine storm. It makes sense then that many health practitioners are looking at ways to strengthen and improve immune function. The good news is there are several strategies that appear very helpful in this respect.

Supplements and strategies that have been identified as capable of modulating immune responses and suppressing cytokine storm include but are not limited to:

To this list, we can also add the omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), long-chained omega-3 fats found in cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and krill, just to name a few.

DHA and EPA May Ameliorate Cytokine Storm

According to the opinion paper “The Potential Beneficial Effect of EPA and DHA Supplementation Managing Cytokine Storm in Coronavirus Disease,” published June 19, 2020, in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, EPA and DHA are known to affect biological pathways that “may have direct influence in the outcome of COVID-19”:1

“To date, the molecular events that precipitate a ‘cytokine storm’ or the applicable therapeutic strategies to prevent and manage this process is not elucidated because of the complex nature of this problem.

Recent articles suggest that specific nutrients such as vitamin B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper may play a key role in the management of cytokine storm …

LC-PUFAs (long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids) such as EPA … and DHA … are noteworthy because of their direct influence in the immunological response to viral infections. Evidence suggests that n-3 LC-PUFAs can modulate the immune response and function in many ways.

Among these complex immunomodulatory effects, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1ß (IL-1β) — because of the suspected central regulatory role in the ‘cytokine storm’ — should be highlighted. These cytokines can be affected by dietary EPA and DHA intake (Figure 1).

In addition, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase enzymes that have anti-inflammatory properties, translatable to human COVID-19 infection were shown to improve tissue levels of DHA and EPA, as well as the downstream anti-inflammatory metabolites of EPA and DHA further underscoring the applicability of DHA and EPA in COVID-19.”

Figure 1: Main pathways for the metabolism of DHA and EPA yielding anti-inflammatory metabolites.

dietary EPA and DHA

While not mentioned in this Frontiers in Physiology paper, animal-based omega-3 fats, especially DHA, have also been shown to prevent thrombosis (a blood clot within a blood vessel) by decreasing platelet aggregation. As discussed in “COVID-19 Critical Care,” hypercoagulation is another complication of severe COVID-19 infection that can have lethal consequences. Omega-3 also:

  • Lowers your risk of lung dysfunction
  • Protects against lung damage
  • Protects against secondary bacterial infections
  • Improves mitochondrial function

Marine- Versus Plant-Based Omega-3

Unfortunately, the authors recommend using “algae- or plant-based sources of EPA and DHA” rather than marine-based sources. I believe this is a mistake. While microalgae2 do contain DHA and EPA and are a viable source for strict vegetarians, as previously discussed in “The Critical Differences Between Omega-3 Fats From Plants and Marine Animals,” most plant-based omega-3s actually do not contain any of the long-chain omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA.

As mentioned, ideal sources of DHA and EPA are marine-based and include cold-water fatty fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies. If you do not eat these fish on a regular basis, consider taking a krill oil supplement. To learn more about why krill oil is preferable over fish oil, see the infographic below.

As it pertains to the issue of cytokine storm, the authors of the Frontiers in Physiology paper3 point out there are at least three studies showing that by lowering triglycerides, the risk of developing a cytokine storm is diminished, and krill oil, specifically, has been shown to lower triglycerides more effectively than fish oil.4

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Do You Know Your Omega-3 Index?

Along with vitamin D testing, measuring your omega-3 level at least once a year is strongly recommended, as being low in this vital nutrient can spell trouble for your health in more ways than one.

One of the reasons why DHA and EPA are so crucial is because they’re actually key structural elements of your cells; they’re 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 assay to measure omega-3 in your red blood cells was developed by William Harris, Ph.D., in 2004. The omega-3 index is expressed as a percent of all fatty acids in the red blood cell membrane.Data from studies Harris performed showed an ideal, healthy range of omega-3 is 8% to 12%.6,7

GrassrootsHealth co-founder Carole Baggerly commented on the Frontiers in Physiology paper in a personal email to me: “Based on this data, it is highly likely that the higher omega-3 would help prevent the cytokine storm … I would … get up to the index level of 8.1% at least.”

Not only do you want to make sure you are getting sufficient omega-3, but it is also absolutely imperative you limit your omega-6 intake, especially from processed vegetable oils. I discuss this in greater detail in a section below. This is another benefit of the omega-3 index test, as it will show you precisely the levels of these potentially dangerous fats in your cells.

How to Test Your Omega-3 Level

GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization, has several cost-effective testing options available as part of its consumer-sponsored nutrient research projects,8 the aims of which are to establish population-based nutrition recommendations based on science-backed data.

For example, ongoing research by GrassrootsHealth has established the ideal vitamin D range for disease prevention is between 60 and 80 ng/mL. It conducts the same kind of consumer-sponsored research for omega-3 and magnesium. For omega-3, you have four test options:

Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth. Your test results will be emailed to you in about 10 to 20 days after your samples are received.

Based on your index result, you will then be able to use GrassrootsHealth’s omega-3 index calculator9 to determine the dosage you may require to raise your current level to your chosen target level.

Don’t Assume Your Omega-3 Intake Is Adequate

Avoid the temptation to assume that your omega-3 index is sufficient just because you’re eating fish or taking a supplement. Many fish do not contain high omega-3 levels (you have to eat cold-water fatty fish to reap that benefit), and many fish oil supplements are synthetic with questionable efficacy.

As reported by GrassrootsHealth,10 of the first 135 participants in the D*action + Omega-3 home testing project, 85% had an omega-3 index below 8%, which is the lower threshold for sufficiency, putting them at increased risk for heart disease11 and other chronic diseases, as well as death from any cause. To learn more about the benefits of optimizing your level, see “How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?

initial test results omega-3 index

Source: GrassrootsHealth

As reported by GrassrootsHealth:12

“In studies using a measurement called the Omega-3 Index test, individuals with a low Omega-3 Index were shown to have a 10-fold higher risk of death compared to those with a high index … An Omega-3 Index between 8% and 12% was associated with lower risk for death from cardiovascular disease, versus an index less than 4%.”

omega-3 index test

Important: Limit Your Vegetable Oil Intake

Again, while many need a marine-based omega-3 supplement to get their level up, it’s also crucial to limit your intake of omega-6 fats from vegetable oils. This even includes some healthy oils such as virgin olive oil.

Aside from the fact that a majority of olive oils are fake, even the real McCoy can cause trouble when consumed in too-high amounts, as it’s loaded with omega-6 and therefore can skew your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

Your body metabolizes omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs into eicosanoids, which are hormone-like substances. As a general rule, omega-3 eicosanoids are anti-inflammatory while omega-6 eicosanoids have proinflammatory effects.

Ideally, this ratio should be close to 1-to-1, but because people eat so little omega-3 and excessive amounts of omega-6, it’s not uncommon for this ratio to be closer to 1-to-25 of greater. When your consumption is this skewed, you may still have a hard time optimizing your omega-3 index, even when taking a supplement.

It’s important to realize that your body metabolizes omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) into eicosanoids, which are hormone-like substances. As a general rule, omega-3 eicosanoids are anti-inflammatory while omega-6 eicosanoids have proinflammatory effects.13

Part of the benefits of omega-3 fats is that they block the proinflammatory effects of omega-6 eicosanoids, but if your omega-6 intake is too great, you may still have high rates of inflammation. Omega-6 fats also:14

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

Many Consume Enormous Amounts of Vegetable Oils

According to the 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture report,15 “U.S. Trends in Food Availability,” consumption of healthy saturated animal fats such as butter, lard and beef tallow fell by 27% between 1970 and 2014, while consumption of harmful vegetable oils rose by 87%. Intake of salad and cooking oils specifically rose by 248%.

As noted in “New Study Tells Why Chicken Is Killing You and Saturated Fat Is Your Friend,” which features a podcast interview with Dr. Paul Saladino and Nina Teicholz, conventional chicken is also a hidden source of harmful omega-6 linoleic acid, due to the fact that they’re fed corn. So, your best bet is to eat the eggs, not the chicken.

Compelling evidence suggests processed vegetable oils, rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, are likely the primary culprit in our modern diet, contributing to the development of just about all chronic diseases. I believe they take 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.16

In a November 8, 2019, Medium article,17 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 … 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-618 … Experimental data19 supports the theory that it is this skewed balance between the two PUFAs that influences the development of a tumor.”

Similarly, the 2002 paper20 “The Importance of the Ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids” points out that:

“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.”

Vegetable Oils Are Toxic in Their Own Right

In addition to promoting chronic disease by throwing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio off kilter, vegetable oils also have more direct toxic effects. One of the reasons for this is because they degrade when heated, forming extremely toxic oxidation products such as cyclic aldehydes.21

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,”22 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 wreak 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.

Omega-6 Oils Are Integrated Into Your Cells

Shanahan’s book also expounds on the hazards of 4-hydroxynonenal (4HNE), which is the oxidized form of omega-6 vegetable oil and forms during the processing. 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. 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.

Importantly, these oils get integrated into your cell and mitochondrial membranes (just like healthy omega-3s), 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,23 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.24

One of Most Important Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Omega-3 Index

Remember, omega-6 and omega-3 oils are polyunsaturated oils and highly susceptible to oxidation and becoming biologically damaged. This is why it is NOT as simple as merely adding omega-3 oils to your diet to improve your ratio. Merely increasing your omega-3 could actually make your health worse by increasing the oxidized fats.

The absolute key is to be assiduous in removing ALL vegetable oils. You simply should avoid them at all costs. Another source high in omega-6 oils is chicken meat. Chicken is very high in the omega-6 fat linoleic acid because they eat so many omega-6 rich grains.

One of the best ways you can get a handle on how many omega-6 oils you are eating is by using the incredible nutrient tracking app call Cronometer. If you use the app on your desktop, it is completely free. As long as you are accurately weighing your foods when you enter them, it will give you a fantastic estimate of how many omega-6 oils you are really eating.

This may be one of the most important and least expensive health strategies you can implement today.

Additionally, as noted in my recent interview with Dr. Chris Knobbe, omega-6-rich oils have a half-life of 600 to 680 days in your body. That means it can take quite a few years to empty your body stores of these damaging omega-6 fats. That said, eliminating them from your diet now will, over time, allow your body to rid itself of them, thus steadily improving your health.

Optimizing Your Omega-3 May Be Helpful COVID-19 Prevention

In summary, as with vitamin D, optimizing your omega-3 index to a level of at least 8% may be a strategy that can help lower your risk of an adverse COVID-19 outcome, as omega-3 fats are important modulators of immune function25 and can help lower your risk of a cytokine storm.

Just remember that increasing your intake of omega-3 may not be sufficient. In all likelihood, you also need to limit your intake of vegetable oils, including corn-fed chickens. Together, these two strategies should allow you to achieve a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

New Study Tells Why Chicken Is Killing You and Saturated Fat Is Your Friend


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/07/11/saturated-fat-myth.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked
July 11, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • 60% of the U.S. population has chronic disease, nearly 70% are overweight or obese and 90% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, which means virtually everyone is at risk for Type 2 diabetes and all the chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance
  • Part of why chronic ill health is so widespread is this persistent idea that saturated animal fats are unhealthy, and should be replaced with industrial vegetable oils
  • Long thought of as a healthier type of meat, primarily because it’s leaner than red meat, the problem with conventional chicken is that they’re fed corn, which makes them a source of harmful linoleic acid, a harmful type of fat
  • Recent research admits the long-standing nutritional guideline to limit saturated fat has been incorrect, and foods high in saturated fat such as whole-fat dairy, red meat, eggs and dark chocolate are not associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • The reason the low-fat myth is so hard to break is because the food and drug industries are largely built on this flawed science, and they cannot afford to relinquish what have become highly profitable businesses

In the video podcast above, Dr. Paul Saladino and science journalist and author, Nina Teicholz — who is also an adjunct professor at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the executive director of The Nutrition Coalition — review the evidence against chicken, and why saturated fat really qualifies as a health food.

Teicholz’ book, “The Big Fat Surprise,” challenged the conventional wisdom on dietary fats, especially saturated fat. Saladino, meanwhile, is releasing the second edition of his book, “The Carnivore Code,” August 4, 2020.

Why Conventional Chicken May Contribute to Poor Health

As noted by Saladino, while consumption of red meat is on the decline, thanks to the vilification of red meat and saturated fat, people are eating more and more chicken.

Long thought of as a healthier type of meat, primarily because it’s leaner than red meat, the problem with conventional chicken is that they’re fed corn — typically GMO varieties that are farmed with glyphosate.

Increasingly, we’re finding that trans fats and polyunsaturated fat from vegetable oils are far worse for your health, and a greater contributor to chronic disease, than added sugar even. And what happens when chicken is fed corn? The meat becomes high in omega-6 linoleic acid, as corn is high in this type of fat.1

As Saladino points out, high chicken consumption actually adds to your vegetable oil consumption. While you need some omega-6, the amounts obtained from a standard American diet high in processed foods are far too high for health. High omega-6 intake also skews your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, which ideally would be close to 1-to-1.

As noted by Saladino and Teicholz, 60% of the U.S. population has chronic disease, nearly 70% are overweight or obese, and recent NHANES data2 reveal 87.8% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, based on five parameters. That data is over four years old now, so the figure is clearly greater than 90% of the population today.

That means virtually everyone is at risk for Type 2 diabetes and all the chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance, which run the gamut from cancer to Alzheimer’s. Simply assuming you are one of the 12.2% (from the 4-year-old figures) that are metabolically healthy would be risky business.

Will Saturated Fat Myth Soon Be Upended?

Part of why chronic ill health is so widespread is this persistent idea that saturated animal fats are unhealthy, and should be replaced with industrial vegetable oils.3

On the upside, Teicholz reviews a recent paper4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, published online June 17, 2020, which actually admits the long-standing nutritional guideline to limit saturated fat has been incorrect. This is a rather stunning admission, and a huge step forward. As noted in the abstract:

“The recommendation to limit dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has persisted despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Most recent meta-analyses of randomized trials and observational studies found no beneficial effects of reducing SFA intake on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality, and instead found protective effects against stroke.

Although SFAs increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, in most individuals, this is not due to increasing levels of small, dense LDL particles, but rather larger LDL which are much less strongly related to CVD risk.

It is also apparent that the health effects of foods cannot be predicted by their content in any nutrient group, without considering the overall macronutrient distribution.

Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, eggs and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD. The totality of available evidence does not support further limiting the intake of such foods.”

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How Did We Go so Wrong?

In the podcast, Saladino and Teicholz review the history of the demonization of saturated fat and cholesterol, starting with Ancel Keys’ flawed hypothesis5 that saturated fat causes heart disease in 1960-1961, and how the introduction of the first Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 1980 (which recommended limiting saturated fat and cholesterol) coincided with a rapid rise in obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease.

They also discuss the reasons why this myth has been allowed to persist, despite the scientific evidence against it. In short, the low-fat, low-cholesterol myths promulgated by Keys in the ’60s rapidly led to dramatic changes in the food and drug industries, and these behemoths are incredibly reluctant to relinquish what have become highly profitable businesses.

Acknowledging that saturated animal fats are healthy, and processed industrial vegetable oils and grains are not, would decimate the processed food industry, as it relies on vegetable oils and grains. The healthy alternative is real food, and there’s no big industry profits to be made from that.

Vegetable Oils Undermine Your Health

Saladino and Knobbe are both equally convinced that the massive increase in linoleic acid (omega-6 polyunsaturated fat found in industrial vegetable oils) is a key metabolic driver of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic disease. They review several studies6,7,8,9,10,11,12 demonstrating the truth of this.

Historically, humans got an estimated 2% polyunsaturated fat from their diet. Today, that percentage is between 10% and 20% — and conventional poultry is a hidden source of harmful polyunsaturated fat as well.

Importantly, they also review the incorrect belief that high LDL is a risk factor for heart disease, and that by lowering your LDL, you lower your risk of a heart attack. The science simply doesn’t bear this out, and the reason for this is because not all LDL particles are the same.

By cutting down on red meat and saturated fat and eating more vegetable oil and chicken for example (which again will count toward your vegetable oil or polyunsaturated fat intake), your LDL may go down, but those LDLs are now going to be oxidized, and no one is testing for oxidation. Oxidized LDL, Saladino explains, will in turn trigger insulin resistance and related problems, including heart disease.

Eating saturated fat, on the other hand, may raise your LDL, but those LDL particles will be large and “fluffy,” and do not cause any arterial damage. Many studies have demonstrated that high LDL has nothing to do with heart disease. High LDL does not raise your risk of heart disease per se, but oxidized LDL do.

Teicholz also makes another important point, in that the saturated fat myth has been one of the most thoroughly and comprehensive hypotheses in the history of nutritional science, and it has failed miserably.

She also details how avoiding saturated animal fats causes you to end up with nutritional deficiencies, as animal foods and fats are also rich in micronutrients. Industrially processed vegetable oils are not. As noted by Teicholz, “foods high in saturated fats are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.” These nutrients are also highly bioavailable.

Meanwhile, the diet recommended by our Dietary Guidelines for Americans do not actually meet nutritional goals. As a result, the most disadvantaged among us — impoverished school children who rely on school meals, hospital patients and the elderly who are in long-term care facilities for example — are being disproportionally harmed, as they have few if any options to make healthier food choices.

The Benefits of Carnosine

In addition to saturated fat and the vitamins and minerals it contains, red meat is also an important source of carnosine, a dipeptide (two amino acids put together) made up of beta-alanine and histidine. Carnosine is only found animal products. It serves as a scavenger or sink for reactive carbonyl groups — intermediaries that go on to form advanced lipoxidation end-products.

If you can grab these carbonyls before they attack proteins and fats, you can essentially stop the vicious cycle resulting in catastrophic peroxidation. Diets that exclude animal products and meat will lower your carnosine level, and carnosine is a really important nutrient to limit the damage from oxidation products. It’s also important for mitochondrial function.

Summary of Why Saturated Fats Are so Crucial

Toward the end of his podcast, around one hour and 44 minutes in, Saladino offers a comprehensive summary of the entire discussion. Here’s a quick review of his key points:

  • The insulin sensitivity of your adipose fat cells is inverse to the rest of your body. In other words, you want your fat cells to be insulin resistant, because this makes the rest of your body insulin sensitive (i.e., not insulin resistant). If your adipose fat cells are insulin sensitive, the rest of your body will be insulin resistant. The factor that determines the insulin sensitivity of your adipocytes is the fats you eat.
  • Linoleic acid “breaks the sensitivity for insulin at the level of your fat cells” — it makes them more insulin sensitive — and, since your fat cells control the insulin sensitivity of the rest of your body by releasing free fatty acids, you end up with insulin resistance.
  • Conversely, when you eat saturated fat, because of the way it’s beta-oxidized in your mitochondria, your fat cells become insulin resistant. As a result, they do not grow and they do not release free fatty acids. Thus, the insulin sensitivity in the rest of your body improves, and insulin resistance goes down.

Vegetable Oils Are Toxic

As discussed in my recent interview with Knobbe (above), the polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils, seed oils and trans fats are mostly stored in your fat cells (opposed to being used for fuel), and have a half-life of 600 to 680 days.13

They also get incorporated into tissues, including your heart and brain. Who in their right mind would want a highly oxidizable oil saturating their organs for years? One result of this could be memory impairment and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is exactly what they found with canola oil.14 As reported in one 2017 study:15

“Our findings do not support a beneficial effect of chronic canola oil consumption on two important aspects of AD pathophysiology which includes memory impairments as well as synaptic integrity. While more studies are needed, our data do not justify the current trend aimed at replacing olive oil with canola oil.”

In the interview above, Knobbe explains the harms of vegetable oils and, like Saladino and Teicholz, reviews why they are a root cause behind virtually all chronic diseases.

How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/how-to-get-rid-bags-under-eyes.aspx

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Under eye bags may be reduced by moisturizing your face, sleeping on your back, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, adding an extra pillow below your head when sleeping, avoiding rubbing your eyes and treating your allergies
  • Diet changes such as drinking enough water, avoiding salty food, reducing alcohol intake and consuming vitamin C- and retinol-rich foods may also help get rid of bags under eyes
  • Easy home remedies that may help include applying cucumber, avocado, cold compress, egg whites, potato, tomato, lemon juice or caffeinated tea over the affected areas

Periorbital hyperchromia, or dark circles under the eyes, is a common dermatological condition that can affect a person’s self-confidence because it makes them appear tired.[1 It’s a normal thing to happen, though, since this is a physical change that takes effect when you age.2

Also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, periorbital melanosis and dark circles, under-eye bags may appear as the lower eyelid’s bluish discoloration (vascular type) or brownish to black hyperpigmentation (constitutional type).3 The eyelid skin is the thinnest of all body parts, particularly the lower medial eyelid, which has the lowest dermal to epidermal ratio.4 This is where fat accumulates through time, resulting in the development of bags under the eyes.5

What Causes Bags Under Your Eyes?

Bags under your eyes aren’t always caused by getting too little sleep at night, contrary to what many people believe. They can be caused by factors that differ from one person to another. According to a 2007 study:6

“DC (dark circles) are caused by multiple etiologic factors that include dermal melanin deposition, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis, periorbital edema, superficial location of vasculature and shadowing due to skin laxity.”

Puffiness and bags under the eyes that appear in the morning may be caused by your sleeping position. Sleeping only on one side places pressure on the blood vessels under your eyes. The pool of blood that accumulates in this area makes the skin appear darker.7 According to Medical News Today, buildup of excess fluid and weakened muscles may cause dark bags under the eyes as well.8

Stress may also contribute to the appearance of dark circles. In Chinese medicine, having puffy eyes can be a symptom of water or kidney imbalance, while dark bags under the eyes may imply allergies.9

Is It Safe to Use Under-Eye Bags Cream?

According to a Reader’s Digest article, most eye creams in the market are a waste of money because they basically contain the same ingredients as facial moisturizers. They’re usually water-based to ensure that the skin would be hydrated.10

If you intend to use an eye cream, choose products that contain organic ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, acai oil, green tea leaf extract and chamomile flower extract to help moisturize your skin and to ensure safety from harmful chemicals. For more convenient and easy-to-follow methods, I have provided a list of remedies below.

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How to Get Rid of Bags Under the Eyes

Conventional treatments for under-eye bags include topical medications, surgery, chemical peels and laser treatments.11 However, I advise you to turn to safer and more convenient noninvasive methods to help diminish the bags under your eyes.

Although it is considered more of a cosmetic concern than a medical one,12 you can improve your appearance by getting rid of the bags under your eyes through these methods.

5 Topical Remedies for Under-Eye Bags

Moisturize — Wrinkles and bags under the eyes become more visible when your skin is dry.13 Keep your skin well-moisturized, especially around the eyes, by using all-natural moisturizers such as pure emu oil and pure coconut oil.

Use Brazilian ginseng — A 2009 study found that topically applying a serum sample containing Brazilian ginseng twice a day may help reduce the intensity of dark circles around the eyes.14

Opt for eye creams with coffee extracts — A 2013 study found that caffeine has antioxidant properties that may work as a sunscreen. These polyphenol compounds protect the skin from UVB radiation, which may help prevent rapid skin aging.15

A 2018 study also found that skin care products with caffeine may help reduce under-eye bags caused by dilatation of blood vessels.16

Use a safe sunscreen and wear sunglasses — Though sun exposure is vital in achieving optimal health, you must consider factors such as weather conditions, season and time of the day when you stay under the sun to avoid photodamage and the appearance of wrinkles.

According to a 2013 study, using a broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing UV-coated sunglasses may help reduce bags under the eyes.17 However, in choosing a sunscreen, make sure that it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances or retinyl palmitate; your safest choice is a lotion or cream with zinc oxide. You may also wear a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your face and eyes.

Gently remove your makeup — Excessively scrubbing your face may break your blood vessels, which may worsen the bags under your eyes.18 Avoid this by gently swiping some mild makeup remover over your eyes (coconut oil is a good option) and leaving it on your face for a minute before washing it off.

5 Diet Changes May Help Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes

Drink enough water — Staying hydrated will help restore your skin’s moisture and may help eliminate toxins from it.

Avoid salty food — Sodium contributes to fluid retention,19 which causes bags under eyes. Cutting down on your salt intake at night is one way to reduce bags under eyes and puffiness in the morning.20

Add retinol-rich food to your diet — Retinol or vitamin A helps prevent further thinning of the skin.21 Nourish the skin under your eyes by adding food rich in retinol such as grass fed beef liver, cheddar cheese, pasture-raised chicken giblets, turkey liver, grass fed butter and organic, pastured eggs to your diet.

Reduce or avoid alcohol intake — Alcohol is one of the fluids that can dehydrate your body, including the skin under the eyes. This thin area may likely sink and form a bag.22 If you do imbibe in alcohol, be sure to balance it with at least 8 cups of water throughout the day.

Consume vitamin C-rich food — A 2009 study found that vitamin C from sodium ascorbate lotion may help thicken the skin of the lower eyelids. The results showed that dark coloration is significantly diminished when the dermis has thickened.23

Reduce the appearance of bags under your eyes by adding foods rich in vitamin C such mangopapaya, pineapple, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, strawberries and winter squash to your diet.24

6 Lifestyle Changes That May Help Eliminate Under-Eye Bags

If you want to know how to get rid of bags under eyes fast, here are additional lifestyle changes you should follow today:

Sleep on your back — Sleeping on one side or on your belly contributes to the buildup of blood and fluid to the face. Try to sleep on your back to avoid morning face puffiness due to fluid accumulation.25

Add an extra pillow below your head — Elevate your head when you sleep to avoid fluid buildup around your eyes.26

Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke — Besides chemical irritation, smoking may cause skin damage and rapid aging, especially around the mouth and eyes. Preventing exposure to tobacco smoke is one of the ways you can avoid or remove bags under eyes.27

Get enough sleep — One of WebMD’s recommended ways on getting rid of under-eye bags is ensuring you get high-quality sleep at night. To help prevent your skin from sagging, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep to give your skin more time to produce collagen.28

Deal with your allergies — According to a Sage Journals study, dark bags under the eyes may be caused by nasal allergies in children. The authors note:

“Prolonged and persistent allergic edema of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavities produces pressure effects on the veins, interfering with their normal drainage. Thus the discoloration under the eyes develops from obstruction and slowing of the normal drainage of the lower venous marginal arcades and palpebral veins.”

Commonly known as allergic shiners,29 these may be mitigated by using natural antihistamines such as butterbur, vitamin C and green tea.

Avoid rubbing your eyes — Frequent rubbing of the eyes may aggravate the appearance of dark circles, according to a study published in 2014.30 Doing this may break the blood vessels in your eyelids and create a blood buildup that causes the discoloration of the lower eyelids.31

Eliminate Bags Under Your Eyes With These 8 Home Remedies

If you’re looking for an easy home remedy for the bags under your eyes, here are different things that you may use at home:

Cucumber — Cucumber is one of the most popular natural remedies for bags under eyes as it contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce puffiness. Simply put two slices of chilled cucumbers over your eyes for about 25 minutes.32

Cold spoon —One of the most convenient under-eye bags treatments is placing a cold spoon over your lower eyelids to cool down your blood vessels.33

Cold compress — Placing a cold compress over the eyes significantly reduces the swelling of blood vessels. Simply place a damp, ice-cold face towel over your eyes for 15 minutes to do this.34

Egg whites — Times of India suggests applying beaten egg whites around the eye area as a bags-under-eyes remedy. Leaving the egg whites on your skin for 20 minutes may help tighten it35 as they contain astringent properties.36

Potato or tomato — To lighten the dark circles under your eyes, use a cotton ball soaked in potato extract or fresh tomato juice. Squeeze out the excess and then place it over your under-eye skin for 10 minutes. Rinse after.

Avocado — This fruit has emollient properties that make it a good moisturizer for your skin. You may either directly place avocado slices over your eyes or make a mask mixed with a few drops of almond oil.

Lemon juice — With its natural bleaching properties, lemon juice may be used to help reduce the discoloration of the bags under your eyes. Remember to dilute it in water before applying the mixture to your under-eye skin to prevent irritation.37

Caffeinated tea — Cold tea bags are known to help slow down skin aging because of their antioxidant properties.38 If you’ve got spare tea bags, soak them first in warm water and then place inside the refrigerator to chill. Afterward, place the tea bags over your eyes for five minutes.39

Remember that these methods for eliminating under-eye bags using home remedies may or may not work for you as these marks are caused by different factors, as found by a 2014 study involving 200 patients with different forms of periorbital hyperpigmentation.40 Try a few and see which ones work best for you.

Essential Oils for Under-Eye Bags

In aromatherapy, essential oils are used to help boost a person’s mind, body and spirit. They may be diluted in carrier oil to be massaged on the skin, used with a diffuser or infused with hot water and inhaled via the steam.41 Aside from their therapeutic purposes, some essential oils such as lavender and Roman chamomile may help reduce puffiness and bags under the eyes because they contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Here’s a recipe for helping you reduce those dark circles using essential oils:42

Ingredients:

1 drop chamomile essential oil

1 drop lavender essential oil

30 ml aloe vera gel, lotion or cream

Procedure:

1.Mix the essential oils with aloe vera gel.

2.Cleanse your face then pat it dry.

3.Take a small amount from the mixture then gently apply it to the skin around your eyes.

Alternatively, cotton balls soaked in witch hazel oil may also be placed over your eyelids for 20 minutes to reduce the dark circles.43 Witch hazel has moisturizing and astringent properties that may tighten and hydrate the skin under the eyes.

Before doing any of these, see how your skin responds by testing the various topical ingredients on a small area of your forearm. Be sure to consult your health care provider or a professional aromatherapist if you intend to use essential oils, as some oils may contain compounds that may not be suitable for your skin.44

Is There a Need for an Under-Eye Bags Surgery?

As mentioned, having noticeable bags under the eyes is not a medical concern, but an aesthetic one that doesn’t imply a disease or a health-threatening condition.45 If the saggy skin obstructs your peripheral vision, an under-eye bags surgery or blepharoplasty could be done. This procedure gets rid of the excess tissue in your eyelids46 through an incision.

After removing the excess fat, the skin would then be stitched together.47 If your condition calls for a surgery, opt for transconjunctival than transcutaneous blepharoplasty so that the scar would not be visible.48

Having to remove bags under eyes by means of surgery may pose benefits and risks, so be sure to consult an expert before intending to undergo one.

Before Trying Home Remedies, Know the Underlying Cause First

Under-eye bags may be common, but data on how this condition develops is scarce.49 Many of the home remedies mentioned above may be easy to follow, but proper guidance from your health care provider is necessary for those to take effect. Make sure that you know the cause of your under-eye bags so that you’ll know which method is right for your condition.

Aging and genetics are two common causes of under-eye bags that you cannot control, so having a better lifestyle and attending to your skin care needs may be beneficial in reducing the appearance of these marks.

When you feel like the bags have become itchy, painful or severe, or if they blur or obstruct your vision, it’s best to visit your doctor immediately to address the problem and avoid further complications.50

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bags Under-Eye Bags

Q: How do I get rid of dark circles and bags under my eyes?

A: Home remedies that may help reduce bags under your eyes include moisturizing your skin, using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, caps or hats, avoiding salty foods, adding foods rich in retinol and vitamin C to your diet, and placing tea bags, potato peel, cucumber slices or cold spoons over your eyes.

Q: How do you fix bags under your eyes?

A: Having the thinnest skin of all body parts, eyelids and the skin around them are likely to develop damage as you age. Photodamage from exposure to UV rays may cause bags under the eyes. Some ways to help reduce this are topical antioxidant usage and sunscreen application.51

Q: Do eye creams really work?

A: Eye creams actually have the same formulation as facial moisturizers.52 When buying eye creams, look for organic ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, acai oil, green tea leaf extract and chamomile flower extract to ensure safety from potential chemicals.

– Sources and References

3 essential oils that are antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/essential-oils-antiviral-antifungal-3325.html

essential-oils(NaturalHealth365). There are many essential oils that have such powerful plant constituents within them that they are a triple threat to any pathogens lurking in your home or workspace.  You can use essential oils for cleaning surfaces or within a diffuser to help detoxify your household and workplace environment.

Let’s face it: with all of this talk about viruses … it’s good to know that we can avoid harmful bacteria and viruses with completely safe (and natural) substances.  Let’s take a closer look.

Essential oils can help reduce the threat of infections

Tea tree oil kills a long list of pathogens: viral, bacterial, and fungal. Recent studies have found that tea tree oil is particularly good at eradicating gram-negative bacteria, such as the bacteria that causes pneumonia.

It even kills the resistant staph bacteria.  Tea tree oil is also great to keep in a spray bottle to quickly spritz and detoxify spaces, like when the dog’s been on your bed or other furniture items.

Tea tree oil happens to be one of the best cleaning oils around.  It is so effective at detoxifying living spaces that today, hospitals – which are only recently trying to find ways to sterilize hospital equipment in the face of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and viruses – are now coating medical supplies in a tea tree oil coating, in order to help make hospitals a safer place.

As another idea: you can mix some tea tree oil with white vinegar and create a great mold-removing solution!

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

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

The health benefits of pure eucalyptus 

Not only is eucalyptus oil great for opening up the sinus passages and clearing blocked airways, it’s a wonderful way to clean your home.  Its aroma scents the room naturally with a woodsy-pine smell that reminds us of being in nature.

It also aids in wound care and helps to ease cough symptoms.  It’s great for cleaning, especially when combined with the other two oils I’m telling you about today (and I’ll give you some cleaning solution recipes, too!)

The chief constituents that give eucalyptus its antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral powers are eucalyptol, 1,8-Cineole, Limonene, Para-Cymene, and alpha-Pinene. It also contains powerfully anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and tannins.

By the way, eucalyptus can help to eradicate the H1N1 virus and ward off colds and fungi.

Why thyme is great against bacteria and viruses

Like all the essential oils I’ve mentioned today, you must purchase a 100% pure essential oil for the oil to have a significant antiviral, antifungal, or antibacterial effect.

Thyme essential oil contains many powerful constituents in it that give its antiviral and antibacterial powers. Thyme contains multiple antiviral constituents, including thymol, carvacol, borneol, cineoles camphor, borneol, terpinenes, terpinenols cymene, and pinenes, to name a few.

These constituents give thyme essential oil its strong antiviral powers. In fact, thyme essential oil has proven to eradicate the flu (H1N1) and to eradicate 90% of herpes simplex 1 and 2 viruses.

Essential oil recipe for cleanser/disinfectant

  • 10-15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 20 drops each eucalyptus essential oil and thyme essential oil
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup white vinegar

For cleaning carpets, scrubbing floors, and jobs where you want a soapier style cleanser, add ¼ to ½ cup castile soap.

You can also add tea tree oil to shampoo for getting rid of scalp conditions or if you have an eye condition like blepharitis or Meibomian gland dysfunction, often caused by bacteria near the face or from the hair getting into the eyes.

No doubt, especially these days, there are a lot of people concerned about getting a bacterial or viral infection.  That’s why it’s so good to know there are things we can do to reduce the risk like, eating (organic, locally grown) whole foods – as much as possible, maintaining an active lifestyle, getting plenty of good quality sleep, taking high quality supplements and, of course, using essential oils – as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov

Is the Mediterranean Diet the Best Diet on the Planet?

© 28th 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/mediterranean-diet-best-diet-planet

Posted on: Tuesday, January 28th 2020 at 1:15 pm

The Mediterranean Diet has been rated as the healthiest diet on the planet three years in a row, and as the meals are simple to prepare and truly delicious, it has also been ranked as the easiest diet to follow long term

The diet itself is based upon the eating habits of people living around the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, as well as middle eastern and northern African countries.

What these cuisines have in common is the consumption of fresh, seasonal, whole foods featuring vegetablesfruitsbeansnutsherbs and spices; the predominate use of extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter, margarine, or vegetable oils; moderate amounts of seafood and poultry; and the moderate consumption of red wine. What the Mediterranean diet specifically has avoided is processed foods, sugar, sweeteners, and artificial flavors. Red meats are rarely on the menu or are used sparingly to flavor a dish.

Overall, a Mediterranean eating plan is extremely versatile. You can follow a vegetarian version very easily. You can skip breakfast and include partial intermittent fasting and benefit from ketosis several mornings per week. And as I’ll expand upon shortly, you can also limit the glycemic load (sugar-load) to enhance blood sugar control and weight loss.

For 2020, The US News and World Report rated the Mediterranean diet as:

  • The best diet overall
  • The best diabetes diet
  • The best diet for healthy eating
  • The best plant-based diet
  • The easiest diet to follow

It won similar awards in 2018 and 2019. These honors should not be too surprising, as Mediterranean countries have some of the longest life spans on the planet and they have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, cancer, and obesity than nearly all other western countries. The people of Spain, who follow the Mediterranean diet perhaps the closest, have the longest lifespan and the best health of any country in the Western world, and are anticipated to surpass Japan for longest lived country on the planet by 2030.

Considering all these benefits, I felt compelled to write a book, The Mediterranean Method, to help promote this eating plan and to make it simple to follow. The research included reading nearly 1,000 scientific journal articles, plus, my wife Nicole and I bought a sailboat in Europe with the goal to evaluate the food, lifestyle, and health habits of people living on the Mediterranean Sea. We spent 10 months sailing from Spain to Turkey during the spring and summers of 2018 and 2019. We followed the coastline along Spain, France, Corsica, western Italy, across to Greece and through the Cyclade Islands, and on to Turkey. We visited small ports, food markets, mom and pop family run restaurants, and searched for regional recipes that were easy to prepare, delicious, and healthy. What was amazing was how inexpensive and delicious the food was. And how opinionated locals were about how to prepare a dish within each region. Whether one worked in a food market, at a gas station, or drove a taxi, everyone cared about what ingredients went into local dishes and how they were prepared.

Let’s look more closely at the top three health benefits from following a Mediterranean Diet:

  • Better Weight Control
  • Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease
  • Improve Cognitive Function and Prevent Memory Loss

Better Weight Control

In 2016, Dr. Joseph Mancini and his colleagues evaluated five randomized weight-loss trials with more than 1,000 subjects on various dietary regimens including low-fat, low-carb, and Mediterranean. These subjects were followed for at least 12 months, a meaningful length of time given most people lose weight in the short term and regain it later. The research found that the Mediterranean Diet was more effective than the low-fat diet, and equally as effective as a low-carb diet over the long-term. What’s more, they concluded that those following the Mediterranean Diet not only lost weight, but they had the best improvements in lipid and metabolic profile. The typical weight loss ranged from 10 to 22 pounds lost throughout the 12-months.

Preventing Heart Disease

Heart disease remains the #1 killer for men and women, even though studies have shown we can prevent 90 percent of heart disease with the right lifestyle changes–our biggest challenge is finding a diet and lifestyle that people are willing to follow long-term.

In 2003, the Greek EPIC trial showed that the closer subjects followed a Mediterranean eating plan, the lower their rate of cardiovascular events. Subsequent studies have shown that the closer people living outside the Mediterranean follow this same diet, the less heart disease and longer life they enjoy.

Then in 2018, the large-scale landmark PREDIMED study with over 7,000 subjects published in The New England Journal of Medicine affirmed the cardiovascular-fighting reputation of the Mediterranean Diet; those who followed a Mediterranean diet and added extra nuts or olive oil had 30% fewer events than those following a low-fat diet.

Data published from my own clinic has shown that in patients who follow a low-glycemic version of a Mediterranean diet, the average person shrinks their artery plaque load over time (measured with carotid ultrasound testing), and amazingly, hundreds of our patients had more than a 10% regression in their arterial plaque load over an average of 2-3 years.

Enhancing Cognition and Preventing Memory Loss

The most expensive disease in the U.S. and most western countries is dementia; recent estimates are that the total bill to treat it exceeds $278 billion per year. More startling is that the rates of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease are predicted to double over the next 15 years.

Yet, just as we can prevent most cases or heart disease, there is now growing evidence that we can also prevent dementia and cognitive decline with the right lifestyle changes. PREDIMED researchers tracked the impact on cognition of the dietary interventions over 6.5 years on over 500 participants and controlled for multiple lifestyle and health factors. Those randomized to a low-fat diet had lower overall cognitive scores and more progression to dementia than those in the Mediterranean diet group.

Many other studies have also shown cognitive improvement and/or reduced cognitive impairment with following a Mediterranean diet, including the FINGER trial, Three-City study in France, the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), and in a group of more than 1,200 Puerto Rican adults living in the U.S.

Data published from my own clinic confirmed that the closer a person follows these dietary recommendations, the better their brain processing speed and cognitive scores, results which have continued over 12 years of follow up.

Myths Regarding a Mediterranean Diet

Despite the many health benefits of this eating plan, and the delicious food it provides, there are several misunderstandings that threaten to eliminate these benefits. Let’s clarify several right now, dealing with the top six myths.

MYTH #1. YOU CAN EAT ALL THE HEALTHY FOOD YOU WANT

There’s no need to put a hard limit on daily servings of vegetables (you won’t overdo it because you’ll naturally fill up on fiber), but it is possible, for instance, to overeat walnuts or almond butter, or use too much olive oil, particularly if you’re dipping pieces of bread into it.

MYTH #2. EATING MEDITERRANEAN MEANS EATING PASTA, BREAD AND PIZZA

You can easily overdo the portion size, even with whole grains. When you see grains and cereals on the Mediterranean diet, this doesn’t mean a giant platter of pasta, unlimited bread (even if it’s organic and whole grain), or bowls of rice (even if it’s brown rice). It’s important to control your portions of grains and cereals, and as you’ll read in a moment, of all the food components listed in the Mediterranean diet, whole grains provide the least health benefit.

Further, when you grind a grain into flour, such as bread, that processed grain has a much higher glycemic load (sugar load) than the same amount of whole grain. If we want healthy blood sugar control, we all need to limit or avoid even whole grain products that are processed into flour—such as bread, crackers, cake, and pancakes.

MYTH #3. EATING SEAFOOD ON OCCASION WILL BENEFIT YOUR HEART

Eating fish merely a few times a month won’t yield the disease-fighting benefits of the Mediterranean diet, particularly for the heart and brain. Because of the benefits from consuming long chain omega-3 fats that are found only in seafood, aim to eat seafood at least twice a week–preferably three to five times per week. Seafood includes fish, shellfish, and seaweed.

If you are vegetarian, or avoid fish and shellfish for other reasons, plan to either eat seaweed several times per week, as in a cup portion of seaweed salad, or take a seaweed DHA supplement daily.

MYTH #4. ALL CHEESES (AND YOGURTS) ARE CREATED EQUAL

Treating pasteurized cheese as a go-to food–compared, for example, with raw, probiotic-rich and vitamin K2-loaded camembert–is a mistake. The same goes for yogurt and kefir. Many of my patients are shocked when I explain that fruit-flavored yogurt has more sugar than ice cream. As with so many components of the Mediterranean diet, when choosing your foods, simple and unsweetened is best.

If you avoid dairy products, you still need some source of probiotic food source, which can easily be obtained by using coconut yogurt sources, and other pickled foods, such as sauerkraut, olives, capers, and Asian foods such as miso and kombucha.

MYTH #5. YOU CAN SKIP THE BEANS

Don’t miss out on this fiber-packed superfood that is one of the best foods for controlling blood sugar, and it’s the #1 all-time top food for blocking disease-causing oxidation. They are also loaded with fiber, protein, B vitamins, and calcium. In Mediterranean cuisine, beans are the healthy foundation for countless meals and are used often as a side dish as well.

However, 10% of people appear to be lectin intolerant–they develop major gastrointestinal symptoms when they consume beans. The process of soaking (so called sprouting) appears to help, but if you have a lectin intolerance, just like any food intolerance, then avoid beans.

MYTH #6. YOU CAN USE EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FOR ALL YOUR COOKING NEEDS

Don’t use extra-virgin olive oil for high-heat cooking, or even medium-high heat. Once it reaches 400ºF–its smoke point, the maximum temperature it can reach before it breaks down and becomes a damaged fat–extra-virgin olive oil starts losing nutritional value, not to mention its complex and delicate flavors. For medium-high heat cooking, use avocado and/or almond oil) instead.

Save flavorful extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling over foods, making dressings, and for low or medium heat cooking.

Adapting the Mediterranean Diet to the 21st Century

Despite all these clear health benefits, there are some limitations related to the Mediterranean diet that should be applied to living in the 21st century.

First, the original Mediterranean diet was followed by farmers, fisherman, and herders–men and women who were physically active for 6 to 10 hours per day. Very few can achieve this much movement today. We therefore need to modify an eating plan with a lower glycemic load to match our activity level.

Second, studies that have evaluated the Mediterranean diet have also assessed what components of the traditional eating plan had the most and least health benefit. Results from the EPIC trial showed that consuming vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, and olive oil provided the greatest benefit, and eating whole grains provided the least–likely related to their glycemic load.

A more recent study, The EPIC Greek Cohort study, published in 2012, analyzed adherence to a Mediterranean Diet, and glycemic load intake. It concluded that those who adhered to a Mediterranean Diet and had the lowest glycemic load intake had the best health benefits of all. And if the subjects were overweight, the benefits of following a low-glycemic load version of a Mediterranean Diet were even greater.

This low-glycemic version has the added advantage of appealing to many people who have already shifted towards a low-carb and/or Paleo eating plan, and switching from a low-carb to a Mediterranean diet will usually increase their nutrient dramatically.

Beyond Food

Though there are many proven benefits to following a low-glycemic version of a Mediterranean diet, the health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle are not solely limited to food intake. Mediterranean people are more active than we are in the U.S., they spend more time walking and cycling to work and for daily shopping, and they spend more time outdoors and with nature.

How they eat is important as well. They enjoy long, leisurely meals typically with friends and family, which fosters close social connections, which is likely related to the fact that they have lower rates of anxiety and depression than are found in the U.S.

Summary

Let me share my version of the food and lifestyle pyramid of a low-glycemic Mediterranean diet, adapted from my book, The Mediterranean Method.

The pyramid’s foundation is the lifestyle, which features activity, social interaction, cooking, and mindful-leisurely eating.

Foods and beverages that are consumed daily include vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, olive oil, herbs and spices, yogurt, dark chocolate, and water, with moderate intake of red wine and coffee or tea. Seafood, poultry, eggs, and other probiotic-rich dairy products are on the menu several times a week, although a vegetarian or vegan version without animal protein is very feasible. Whole grains are also an option, although served in small portions (and gluten free as needed).

Unlike many diets that are popular today, notice that almost no real foods are completely banned–for a special occasion, you can still enjoy special treats that fit the affair–the key is that you limit them to a special event, and that you eat real, unprocessed food.

The Mediterranean Diet is not just a short-term eating plan. It has been followed for centuries, generation after generation, tested in numerous long-term clinical studies, and been found to be the best diet on the planet for long term adherence and for healthy eating. The food is delicious, generally simple and easy to prepare, and the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. This is an eating plan that truly combines proven health benefits with delicious food–no other diet can embrace the saying as well–To Your Health & Bon Appétit!

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.

Coconut Oil Improves Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients

© 11th 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:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/coconut-oil-improves-brain-function-alzheimer-s-patients

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating degenerative brain condition that affects millions of people in the U.S. While pharmaceutical treatments have long lists of side effects, there is a natural food-based intervention that has proven effective in improving key brain functions. The best part is, it’s probably in your food pantry right now

If you’re a regular reader of GreenMedInfo.com, you’re likely to have seen numerous articles detailing the dozens of healthy uses for coconut oil that are backed by science. From balancing blood sugar[i] and hormones[ii] to healing burns[iii] and ulcers,[iv] it seems there is hardly an ailment that is not soothed or supported by adding this nutrition-dense fat to your diet.

Coconut Oil: The Brain’s Preferred Fuel?

In 2018, researchers added to the knowledge base with confirmation of coconut oil’s usefulness as a brain-boosting superfood. The pilot study,[v] published in July 2018 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, has shown that a Mediterranean diet, rich in coconut oil, improves the main cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Catholic University of Valencia, Spain, the aim of the study was to detect changes in key cognitive functions of patients with AD after following a traditional Mediterranean diet boosted by therapeutic doses of coconut oil.

Study methods were prospective, longitudinal, qualitative and analytic, meaning participants’ health and behaviors were studied across time to observe unknown and unpredicted changes in outcomes. Inclusion criteria were diagnosed AD patients, aged 65 to 85 years old, who were institutionalized in the Alzheimer’s Family Association of Valencia (AFAV).

A representative sample size of 44 participants was ultimately selected from the original pool of 458 AFAV patients, with criteria excluding patients who were diagnosed with other types of degenerative cognitive disorder or verbal disability that prevented them from answering test questions, and excluding patients with any metabolic chronic disease or who had been treated with drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics or hypnotic drugs, which could alter cognitive functions.

The 44 participants were randomly divided into two homogenous groups comprised of 22 patients each: an experimental group receiving coconut oil supplementation and a control group that did not receive coconut oil. Both groups followed an isocaloric Mediterranean diet that was shown in previous studies to be associated with a decrease in cognitive impairment in AD patients.

In the Mediterranean diet implemented in this study, proteins accounted for 15% of total calories, carbohydrates for 55% and lipids for 30% of overall energy intake. Calorie intake was the same for all participants, taking into account that in the experimental group, lipids were reduced so that by adding the coconut oil supplement, the daily lipid amount for all study participants was the same. The dietary intervention was conducted over a period of 21 days.

Cognitive changes in participants were measured by the same institutional psychologist, blind to study protocols, who conducted the “7-Minute Screen,” an assessment that measures “temporal orientation, visuospatial and visuoconstructive abilities.” Visuoconstructive disabilities are represented by difficulty doing math, driving and writing, among other common daily tasks. Patients were assessed the day before dietary therapy and the day after therapy throughout the 21-day intervention.

Alzheimer’s: Most Prevalent Brain Disorder

According to researchers, “Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, and new therapies are needed.” This study was a method of proving their hypothesis that coconut oil can be a beneficial source of ketone bodies, an alternative brain fuel to glucose for AD patients whose hypometabolism, or poor glucose utilization, is a factor in their disease.

In addition to serving as a fuel source for brain metabolism, ketone bodies, in adequate doses, regulate glutamate release in the synaptic cleft, the space between neurons that transmits impulses.[vi] Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that is involved in most aspects of normal brain function.[vii]

Researchers stated that gender is a significant factor in AD, with women more commonly affected than men.

The trial groups had 75% female and 25% male patients, reflecting the same percentages of gender distribution as the disease itself.[viii] In the published paper, the scientists noted the insidious onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which initially becomes apparent through “progressive loss of episodic memory, followed by gradual impairment of declarative and non-declarative memory.

Later, loss of other main cognitive functions, such as language, executive functions, attention span, and working memory, have also been observed as well as alterations in temporal orientation, visuospatial ability, and visuoconstructive ability.”[ix]

After a baseline assessment of all participants using the 7-Minute Screen, dosing commenced consisting of 20 milliliters (mls) of coconut oil, twice daily, for a total daily dose of 40 mls. This amount of coconut oil had previously demonstrated effectiveness at improving cognitive functions over 21 days in human[x] and mice studies.[xi]

Coconut Oil Improves Information Processing and Memory in AD Patients

Results were both confirming of the researchers’ hypothesis regarding the benefits of coconut oil and encouraging for proponents of natural disease interventions:

“Taking a closer look at the changes observed in the group that received coconut oil, these changes seem to point to the fact that certain cognitive functions improved … such as temporal orientation (information processing), semantic memory and episodic memory …

[These improvements] … could be explained by the decrease in insulin resistance due to the action of ketone bodies, since memory improvement has been observed after intranasal administration of insulin in AD patients, which increases glucose metabolism.”[xii]

An important observation was made regarding the potential for brain recovery with coconut oil: “It could be deduced that not all regions of the cerebral cortex recover to the same degree.”[xiii] Regarding gender differences, researchers observed that “female patients recover more easily than male patients, which confirms our previous results, where a global cognitive improvement was shown in women.”[xiv]

They hypothesize that these results could possibly be explained by hormonal differences in sex, “but not only with respect to low estrogen levels but also … by testosterone, whose levels of production are much lower in women with AD and cause them to have higher insulin resistance.”[xv] Researchers concluded that the positive effects of coconut oil are not gender- or state-specific, however, the benefits are “more evident in women with mild-moderate state [AD].”

Final conclusions of the study were that an isocaloric, coconut oil-enriched Mediterranean diet improves cognitive functions in patients with AD, with differences according to patient sex and degree of severity of the disease.[xvi] They issued a call for further studies of this type to add to this important body of evidence.

To learn more about the health benefits of coconut oil, GreenMedInfo.com has more than 70 abstracts in the world’s most widely referenced natural health database.


References

[i] Protective and Antidiabetic Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil (Vco) on Blood Glucose Concentrations in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats. Nur‘azimatul Quddsyiah H. Maidin, Norhayati Ahmad. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Vol 7, Issue 10, 2015. ISSN: 0975-1491. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/62d6/b586d89f623b4be84ac93c828b31f1070b76.pdf

[ii] Effect of dietary saturated fatty acids on hormone-sensitive lipolysis in rat adipocytes. Awad AB, Chattopadhyay JP. J Nutr. 1986 Jun;116(6):1088-94. PMID: 3014093

[iii] Burn wound healing property of Cocos nucifera: An appraisal. Srivastava P, Durgaprasad S. Indian J Pharmacol. 2008 Aug;40(4):144-6. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.43159. PMID: 20040946

[iv] Antiulcerogenic effects of coconut (Cocos nucifera) extract in rats. Nneli RO, Woyike OA. Phytother Res. 2008 Jul;22(7):970-2. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2318. PMID: 18521965

[v] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

[vi] Mirriam-Webster, Medical, Synaptic-cleft, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/synaptic%20cleft

[vii] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

[viii] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

[ix] Lazarov O, Hollands C. Hippocampal neurogenesis: Learning to remember. Prog Neurobiol. 2016;138-140:1–18. doi:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2015.12.006. PMID: 26855369

[x] Farah BA (2014) Effects of caprylic triglyceride on cognitive performance and cerebral glucose metabolism in mild Alzheimer’s disease: A single-case observation. Front Aging Neurosci 16, 1-4. PMID: 25076901

[xi] Reger MA, Henderson ST, Hale C, Cholerton B, Baker LD, Watson GS, Hyde K, Chapman D, Craft S (2004) Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging 25, 311-314. PMID: 15123336

[xii] How does coconut oil affect cognitive performance in alzheimer patients?  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. Nutr Hosp. 2017 Mar 30;34(2):352-356. doi: 10.20960/nh.780. PMID: 28421789

[xiii] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

[xiv] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

[xv] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

[xvi] Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study.  de la Rubia Ortí JE, et al. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;65(2):577-587. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180184. PMID: 30056419

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.

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?

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

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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