The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth
God's Hand Behind the News

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gel that can help decayed teeth grow back could end fillings

A gel that can help decayed teeth grow back in just weeks may mean an end to fillings.

The gel, which is being developed by scientists in France, works by prompting cells in teeth to start multiplying. They then form healthy new tooth tissue that gradually replaces what has been lost to decay.

Researchers say in lab studies it took just four weeks to restore teeth back to their original healthy state. The gel contains melanocyte-stimulating hormone, or MSH.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1297850/Gel-help-decayed-teeth-grow-end-fillings.html#ixzz0uvn5HDHp

Gel that can help decayed teeth grow back could end fillings Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1297850/Gel-help-decayed-teeth-grow

A gel that can help decayed teeth grow back in just weeks may mean an end to fillings.

The gel, which is being developed by scientists in France, works by prompting cells in teeth to start multiplying. They then form healthy new tooth tissue that gradually replaces what has been lost to decay.

Researchers say in lab studies it took just four weeks to restore teeth back to their original healthy state. The gel contains melanocyte-stimulating hormone, or MSH.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1297850/Gel-help-decayed-teeth-grow-end-fillings.html#ixzz0uvn5HDHp

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods

(WebMD) These 25 foods are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system.

From asparagus to sweet potatoes to a robust cabernet — every bite (or sip) of heart-healthy foods delivers a powerful dose of phytonutrients that prevent and repair damage to cells. That’s the essence of preventing heart disease.

“There really is an abundance of fruits and vegetables in many colors, shapes, sizes that are good for your heart,” says Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, a dietitian with the Preventive Cardiology Center at The Cleveland Clinic. “You can definitely reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by eating these foods every day.”

Indeed, fresh produce provide the cornerstone for a heart-healthy diet because they help wipe out free radicals in the bloodstream, protecting blood vessels.

It’s what Zumpano calls “the whole-foods diet. You want everything to be in its natural form, as it comes from the ground, the less processed the better,” she says.

Whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, fatty fish, and teas are just as important — offering all sorts of complex heart-protective phytonutrients.

That’s why variety is best in selecting heart-healthy foods, says Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition in Denver.

“Everyone’s looking for that one magic food,” Farrell tells WebMD. “But heart-healthy is not only about oatmeal and omega-3 fats. You need to look for ways to get all the different nutrients. Plus, you’ll stick to a heart-healthy lifestyle longer if you have variety.”

25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods

With the help of these nutrition experts from The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association, we’ve put together a list of the “best of the best” heart-healthy foods.

The foods listed here are all top-performers in protecting your heart and blood vessels. We’ve also got menu ideas — so you can easily bring heart-healthy foods into your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Get WebMD’s 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods >>

Tight Blood Pressure Control Doesn’t Help All Diabetics: Study

(Health Day) Lower may not be better when it concerns blood pressure levels in type 2 diabetics who also have heart disease.

New research finds that patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease did not have fewer strokes or heart attacks, and actually were more likely to die when their blood pressure was maintained under 130 mm Hg, compared to patients with “usual blood pressure control,” putting them in the 130 to 140 range.

In healthy adults, blood pressure levels of 120/80 are recommended.

“We found that after a mean follow-up of just under three years in patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease, lowering systolic blood pressure [the top number] to less than 130 . . . did not have any benefit compared to lowering blood pressure to between 130 and 140,” said Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff, lead author of the study published in the July 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These findings, along with similar data recently released from the large ACCORD study, would suggest that “lowering blood pressure intensively does not provide any benefit over and above usual blood pressure reduction,” said Cooper-DeHoff, who is associate professor of pharmacotherapy and translational research and division of cardiovascular medicine at the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Time would be better spent focusing on other modifiable heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol, she advised.

Various organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, currently recommend that diabetics keep their blood pressure under 130/80 mm Hg, but it’s been less clear what to recommend for patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

To this end, the researchers involved in the new study analyzed data on 6,400 type 2 diabetics aged 50 or over who also had coronary artery disease. The participants were part of a larger trial investigating whether specific medication regimens were better than others for preventing heart attacks and other long-term heart problems.

Volunteers first received either a calcium antagonist or beta blocker, then an ACE inhibitor or a diuretic or both. The goal was to reach blood pressure levels of 130/85.

Individuals in the study who had blood pressure between 130 mm Hg and 140 mm Hg (usual control) and those who maintained tight control (less than 130 mm Hg) had roughly the same rate of cardiovascular events.

And, for the first time, the results showed that individuals with systolic blood pressure under 120 had a 15 percent higher risk of dying than those with the higher blood pressure readings.

“We don’t need to push below 130 so maybe we save a blood pressure medication and save some of those adverse effects associated with extra [blood pressure] medication and concentrate on some other goals that are still important in patients with diabetes,” said Cooper-DeHoff.

Read More >>

Kids' Cholesterol May Drop Naturally

Very high cholesterol levels in kids may decline over time even without intervention, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found.

The findings add to an ongoing debate over the importance of high cholesterol in children, and whether cholesterol-lowering drugs are appropriate when changes in diet and physical activity don't cut it.

Such drugs, including statins, are used in adults to reduce the risk of heart disease, a major killer in Western countries. But it isn't clear if they also work for kids.

MORE===================>

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Half of Women Have Sex with Their Clothes On

36% of men say they prefer it.

When things are getting hot and heavy under the sheets, do you keep your shirt on? If you said yes, you're not alone. According to a recent sex survey that's what nearly 50% of women do.

Read: 8 Sex Moves Guys Hate

A new poll conducted by MyCelebrityFashion.co.uk finds that just under 50% of women prefer to keep at least one article of clothing on during sex, and 54% of them said the reason for this is because of issues with body image.

The site, which describes itself as "the UK's leading independent celebrity fashion website," surveyed over 1,500 people about sex and clothes after it noticed people were searching for nightwear on its site.

When asked which items people most prefered to wear, 68% said a bra, 59% said a negligee, 40% said high heels, 36% said a dress and 31% said "knickers."

Read: What's the Best Weather for Sex? Hot and Rainy

Men were also polled, and it was found that 36% said they preferred when their female partners wore clothing during sex. 62% said they preferred women wear negligees.

Of course, for the majority of men, the reason they wanted women to keep some clothes on did not have to do with insecurity. Rather, 82% said it's sexier when a woman keeps her pants on because it added a "heigtened sense of thrill."

In other sex news, a new study reveals just how long the perfect amount of time to have sex is... seven minutes.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

6 Foods You Didn't Think Were Good for You... But Are


John La Puma, MD
Santa Barbara Institute for Medical Nutrition and Healthy Weight

Special from Bottom Line/Personal
June 1, 2010

M any foods that we perceive as nutritional lightweights actually are just as healthy as -- and, for many people, more enjoyable than -- the so-called superfoods, such as broccoli and spinach. Here, some of the best...

iceberg Lettuce

The light green color of iceberg lettuce suggests that it isn’t rich in nutrients.

Fact: Iceberg contains lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that reduce the risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, the leading causes of blindness in older adults.

Bonus: Eat a salad at the beginning of a meal. It is low in calories and, like any food, stimulates the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a satiety hormone that reduces appetite and causes people to consume fewer calories overall.

Watermelon

It contains more water than most fruits. The high liquid content, along with the sugars and fiber, make watermelon the perfect snack before workouts. But it’s more than a snack food.

Fact: Watermelon contains 40% more lycopene than fresh (uncooked) tomatoes. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and may lower the risk for breast and prostate cancers.

Helpful: When you take a watermelon home, keep it on the counter even after cutting it open. Room-temperature watermelon continues to produce antioxidants for about two weeks. It will contain up to 40% more lycopene and up to 139% more beta-carotene than cold watermelon.

Sauerkraut

Fresh, minimally processed vegetables are presumed to be the healthiest. Not always.

Fact: One study found that women who ate at least four weekly servings of fermented cabbage, better known as sauerkraut, were 72% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who ate less.

Eating fermented cabbage changes gut metabolism and may help to protect the intestinal tract. Isothiocyanates, which are naturally present in all the cruciferous vegetables, appear to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and accelerate the death of these cells.

Korean kimchi, a spicy form of fermented cabbage, appears to have similar effects.

Onions

Most people use onions mainly as a seasoning ingredient in soups and stews and on burgers and salads. For good health, use a lot of them.

Fact: Onions are high in vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B-6 and folate. They also are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid with powerful anticancer effects, and allyl sulfides, the same protective compounds that are present in garlic.

Studies have found that people who eat between 14 and 22 servings of onions a week can reduce their risk for oral cancer by 84%. They have a 56% reduced risk for colon cancer, a 25% reduced risk for breast cancer and a 71% reduced risk for prostate cancer.

Red onions have the most quercetin. However, pink shallots contain the richest mix of chemical compounds and more antioxidants than other onions.

Artichokes

They’re work to eat, but the payoff can be better digestive health.

Fact: One study found that people who took an artichoke leaf extract had a 26.4% reduction in symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome. One of the chemical compounds in artichokes, silymarin, is reputed to improve liver health in patients with hepatitis, but this hasn’t been proved.

I advise patients to eat whole, natural foods rather than depending solely on supplements. Artichokes contain a mix of antioxidants, including narirutin and apigenin-7-rutinoside, that aren’t necessarily included in supplements.

Helpful: Look for artichokes with long stems. When cooked, the stems are almost as tasty as the hearts. Peel the stems to make them more tender. Canned, frozen and jarred artichoke hearts are good, too.

Avocados

Avocados have the distinction of being higher in fat than any other fruit or vegetable. One medium Hass avocado, for example, has about 29 grams of fat and about 320 calories.

Fact: Nearly all of the fat in avocados is the healthful, monounsaturated form. In a study of patients with high cholesterol, those who included avocado in their daily diet had a decrease in total cholesterol, along with an 11% increase in beneficial HDL cholesterol.

As a source of healthy fat, avocado is better than butter and is delicious when spread on toast or a sandwich.


Bottom Line/Personal interviewed John La Puma, MD, an internist at Santa Barbara Institute for Medical Nutrition and Healthy Weight in Santa Barbara, California. A professionally trained chef, he hosts the Lifetime television series What’s Cookin’ with ChefMD? He is author of ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover’s Road Map to Losing Weight, Preventing Disease and Getting Really Healthy (Three Rivers). He writes the blog "Paging Dr. La Puma" at www.DrJohnLaPuma.com.


Help for Panic Attacks

Mark A. Stengler, NMD
La Jolla Whole Health Clinic

Special from Bottom Line/Natural Healing

June 1, 2010

T he intense fear and heart attack-like symptoms of a panic attack come on suddenly, without warning. By definition, panic attacks are unprovoked, and figuring out why some people get panic attacks can be challenging. Sometimes they are triggered by fatigue... anxiety... phobias (such as fear of heights)... stress... stimulants (such as caffeine)... low blood sugar... or medication withdrawal. In most cases, panic attacks can be helped by natural therapies.

During a panic attack: Bach Flower Rescue Remedy. This homeopathic blend of flower extracts, which comes in a spray or drop form, quickly and gently relaxes the nervous system. For panic, use the spray form -- and spray once under the tongue every five minutes until anxiety subsides. Available at health-food stores, this product comes in a small, easy-to-carry bottle.

To prevent panic attacks...

Take AlphaS1-casein hydrolyate. This supplement, made of the milk protein casein, helps to calm the nervous system and has been shown to reduce stress-related symptoms. It is best used preventively for those with anxiety who are prone to regular bouts of panic attacks.

Brand to try: A product with alpha S1-casein or lactium, such as Nature’s Plus Dreaminol (800-645-9500, www.NaturesPlus.com, for a store locator).

Treat weak adrenal glands. I have found that patients who are prone to panic attacks often have weak adrenal glands, which keeps the body from effectively coping with stress. Several supplements can help, including the herb ashwagandha (250 mg daily at bedtime) and one 50-mg tablet (or capsule) of a B-complex vitamin twice daily.

Avoid sugar. Eliminating sugar helps to maintain blood sugar levels and makes it less likely that you will feel edgy due to a sugar-induced roller coaster. To keep your blood sugar on an even keel, eat small amounts of protein throughout the day, such as lean poultry, nuts, legumes and fish.


Source: Mark A. Stengler, NMD, a naturopathic medical doctor and leading authority on the practice of alternative and integrated medicine. Dr. Stengler is editor of the Bottom Line Natural Healing newsletter, author of The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies (Bottom Line Books), director of the La Jolla Whole Health Clinic in La Jolla, California, and adjunct associate clinical professor at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about his work, visit www.drstengler.com.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Olive oil study questions 'extra virgin' claims

SAN FRANCISCO — Many of the olive oils lining supermarket shelves in the United States are not the top-grade extra-virgin oils their labels proclaim, according to a report from the University of California, Davis.

Researchers analyzed popular brands and found 69 percent of imported oils and ten percent of domestic oils sampled did not meet the international standards that define the pure, cold-pressed, olive oils that deserve the extra virgin title.

"Consumers, retailers and regulators should really start asking questions," said Dan Flynn, executive director of UC Davis' Olive Oil Center, which conducted the study in partnership with the Australian Oils Research Laboratory, in South Wales.

Funding for the study came in part from California olive oil producers and the California Olive Oil Council, a trade group that works to promote locally produced oils.

Although the survey's sample size was relatively small and selected at random — 19 widely distributed brands purchased from retailers in San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Los Angeles — the study held the claims on their labels to a scientifically verifiable standard, said Flynn.

The results came as the U.S. Department of Agriculture prepares to adopted scientifically verifiable standards for nomenclature such as "virgin" or "extra virgin," in an effort to clear up concerns about labeling accuracy. The standards will be implemented in October, and are similar to those upheld by the International Olive Council. read the rest of the story==============>

Garlic Improves Health 7 Ways

Garlic is doing a lot more these days than warding off vampires � or even adding flavor to favorite dishes. The herb, known affectionately as "the stinking rose," is a potent antioxidant and dishes up a wide variety of health benefits.

Garlic contains allicin, a chemical that has antibacterial abilities, along with many detoxifying sulfur compounds. Also called "Russian penicillin" for that country's dedicated use of it, garlic � fresh or as a supplement tablet or capsule � may help improve these seven conditions:

1. Heart disease

Studies indicate that garlic may prevent the buildup of plaque and prevent blood clots by thinning the blood, thus lowering the risk of strokes and thromboses. A study at Germany's Saarland University found that garlic helps dissolve potentially dangerous clots. Dr. Arun Bordia at India's Tagore Medical College found that patients who took garlic oil daily for 10 months were 83 percent less likely to form dangerous blood clots.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Walnuts: Food for Gods Available to Anyone

“Walnuts contain a great deal of minerals,” the expert explains. “They include iron, copper, cobalt, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and iodine. Many of them are antioxidants. In addition, walnuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, more than 20 amino acids, and vitamins A, E, B, P and C. By the way, they contain nearly 50 times more vitamin C than citrus, and 8 times more than black currants. In addition, walnuts are rich in protein.

What illnesses can be treated with walnuts?

1. Cardiovascular

Since 60 percent of walnut contents is unsaturated fat as well as potassium and magnesium, it is recommended for patients with various heart diseases and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that walnuts can reduce the level of "harmful" cholesterol in the blood. And thanks to large amounts of vitamin E walnuts strengthens the walls of blood vessels.

2. Thyroid gland disease

Since walnuts contain iodine, they are effective in fighting diseases associated with the thyroid gland. A special brew of walnut septum can also be used in the treatment of thyroid diseases.

3. Mental activity

It has been long proven that walnuts contain a range of biologically active substances that have a positive effect on the vessels of the brain (above all, it is the Omega-3). Therefore, they are recommended for people engaged in intense mental or physical labor.

4. Prostate cancer

Recently, scientists from the Cancer Center at the University of California Davis (USA) found that consumption of walnuts slows down the growth and reduces the size of cancerous tumors of the prostate gland. This was revealed during laboratory experiments on mice. Perhaps the remedy could be effective for people as well.

“In addition, walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties, promote healing of wounds,” - says Anna Protsenko. “Thanks to the contents of iron and cobalt, they can be used in the treatment of anemia. They promotes regular bowel movements. For these purposes, large quantities of nuts should be consumed on a regular basis for a month or longer, and such dose is not good for everyone, therefore you should consult with your doctor first.

Read Page: 2

Walnuts: Food for Gods Available to Anyone

“Walnuts contain a great deal of minerals,” the expert explains. “They include iron, copper, cobalt, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and iodine. Many of them are antioxidants. In addition, walnuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, more than 20 amino acids, and vitamins A, E, B, P and C. By the way, they contain nearly 50 times more vitamin C than citrus, and 8 times more than black currants. In addition, walnuts are rich in protein.

What illnesses can be treated with walnuts?

1. Cardiovascular

Since 60 percent of walnut contents is unsaturated fat as well as potassium and magnesium, it is recommended for patients with various heart diseases and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that walnuts can reduce the level of "harmful" cholesterol in the blood. And thanks to large amounts of vitamin E walnuts strengthens the walls of blood vessels.

2. Thyroid gland disease

Since walnuts contain iodine, they are effective in fighting diseases associated with the thyroid gland. A special brew of walnut septum can also be used in the treatment of thyroid diseases.

3. Mental activity

It has been long proven that walnuts contain a range of biologically active substances that have a positive effect on the vessels of the brain (above all, it is the Omega-3). Therefore, they are recommended for people engaged in intense mental or physical labor.

4. Prostate cancer

Recently, scientists from the Cancer Center at the University of California Davis (USA) found that consumption of walnuts slows down the growth and reduces the size of cancerous tumors of the prostate gland. This was revealed during laboratory experiments on mice. Perhaps the remedy could be effective for people as well.

“In addition, walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties, promote healing of wounds,” - says Anna Protsenko. “Thanks to the contents of iron and cobalt, they can be used in the treatment of anemia. They promotes regular bowel movements. For these purposes, large quantities of nuts should be consumed on a regular basis for a month or longer, and such dose is not good for everyone, therefore you should consult with your doctor first.

Pages: 2

Walnuts: Food for Gods Available to Anyone

“Walnuts contain a great deal of minerals,” the expert explains. “They include iron, copper, cobalt, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and iodine. Many of them are antioxidants. In addition, walnuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, more than 20 amino acids, and vitamins A, E, B, P and C. By the way, they contain nearly 50 times more vitamin C than citrus, and 8 times more than black currants. In addition, walnuts are rich in protein.

What illnesses can be treated with walnuts?

1. Cardiovascular

Since 60 percent of walnut contents is unsaturated fat as well as potassium and magnesium, it is recommended for patients with various heart diseases and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that walnuts can reduce the level of "harmful" cholesterol in the blood. And thanks to large amounts of vitamin E walnuts strengthens the walls of blood vessels.

2. Thyroid gland disease

Since walnuts contain iodine, they are effective in fighting diseases associated with the thyroid gland. A special brew of walnut septum can also be used in the treatment of thyroid diseases.

3. Mental activity

It has been long proven that walnuts contain a range of biologically active substances that have a positive effect on the vessels of the brain (above all, it is the Omega-3). Therefore, they are recommended for people engaged in intense mental or physical labor.

4. Prostate cancer

Recently, scientists from the Cancer Center at the University of California Davis (USA) found that consumption of walnuts slows down the growth and reduces the size of cancerous tumors of the prostate gland. This was revealed during laboratory experiments on mice. Perhaps the remedy could be effective for people as well.

“In addition, walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties, promote healing of wounds,” - says Anna Protsenko. “Thanks to the contents of iron and cobalt, they can be used in the treatment of anemia. They promotes regular bowel movements. For these purposes, large quantities of nuts should be consumed on a regular basis for a month or longer, and such dose is not good for everyone, therefore you should consult with your doctor first.

Pages: 12

Monday, July 12, 2010

Secrets to Unlocking the Genes That Want You to be Lean, Healthy and Looking Years Younger

Introduction

The purpose of this document is the give a one-stop summary of my continually evolving life way in diet, nutrition, exercise, fitness, and health. I draw from vast sources of information, employ the scientific method, evolutionary logic, and have consequently come away with the firm conviction that the mainstream dietary advice is not only wrong, but is maliciously maiming and killing people in great numbers, devastating families, imposing tremendous costs that will ultimately be covered by healthier people, and that the medical and drug industries are profiting from all of it.

What is meant by "Animal," and "Freeing" it?

Please take a moment to review some of the results that have been achieved through my Free the Animal Program.

Foundation

The Foundation of my approach to diet and exercise is evolutionary biology. This informs a logic known as natural selection, which in turn helps us understand what humans ought to eat and not eat, how much, how often, and even when not to eat at all (fasting).

In addition, we can also understand how to move around such as to properly condition our bodies for natural, animal-like physical health.

However, should you personally not want to accept evolutionary science, you don't have to in order to gain all the benefits possible from my program (See: You Don't Have to Believe in Evolution).

Here's a 5-point summary of what forms the essence of the approach:

  1. Eat real food (meat, fowl, fish, natural fats from animals, coconuts & olives; veggies, fruits, & nuts) that you shop for and prepare yourself most of the time. Add a little dairy if you like it and can tolerate it. Find the range of balance that works best for you in terms of fat, protein & carbohydrate ratios. I say 'range' because I think you ought to mix things up; seasonally, or whatever method works for you. Especially: cut out grains, sugar and vegetable oils. Consider supplementing with omega-3 fats.
  2. Allow yourself to go hungry every day, at least a little (first meal of the day is a good time -- don't eat until you're truly hungry). Every once in a while, go hungry for a whole day.
  3. Get plenty of sunlight; and, probably supplement vitamin D.
  4. Run very fast sometimes, play hard when you can, and push and lift heavy things around when you have the urge. Do it briefly and intensely; not too often and not too long. Once to twice per week for 20-30 minutes each is plenty. But always push yourself for that brief time. Always try to workout hungry, just like animals.
  5. Get lots of sleep.

Food

Saturated Fat & Cholesterol

Meat Eating vs. Vegetarianism and Veganism

Other Must Reads

Schwarzbein Principle


The Schwarzbein Principle is written by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein who is an endocrinologist who worked closely with Type II Diabetic patients in her practice. She noticed that her patients were responding poorly to the conventional dietary treatment for diabetes of a low fat, high carbohydrate diet and when she adjusted their diets her patient’s health improved and they lost weight.

The focus of the book is on the connection between dietary carbohydrates and insulin levels. However Dr. Schwarzbein stresses that her program should not be regarded as a diet, but as a lifestyle approach to improve general health, boost vitality and reach your ideal body weight.

She points out that it is not just about losing weight, but about improving wellbeing and balancing the body’s physiology. She explains that sometimes when we make dietary changes to improve our health we may actually gain a little weight initially but as the metabolic equilibrium improves the weight will eventually come off.

In addition to diet and exercise recommendations Dr. Schwarzbein is a proponent of nutritional supplements as well as hormone replacement therapy when used appropriately.

Schwarzbein Diet Basics


The diet involves two stages. The first stage is designed to heal the metabolism and is basically a high protein, low carbohydrate diet that is very similar to the Atkins diet.

During this stage dieters are advised to center their meals on protein foods, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables. It is also recommended to never skip meals, drink plenty of water and to eliminate alcohol, caffeine and artificial sweeteners.

Refined carbohydrates including bread, pasta, cereals and sugar are also removed from the diet as these foods trigger insulin levels to increase excessively.

During stage two, which is referred to as the maintenance phase, dieters are advised to experiment adding in more carbohydrates to the diet to discover the amount that is right for them, where weight gain or other adverse effects on health do not occur.

Dr. Schwarzbein also explains that while carbohydrates are reduced initially, they are an important part of our diet, and in contrast to the Atkins diet she states that it can actually be dangerous to eliminate carbohydrates entirely. Those who are physically active are advised to consume a higher amount of carbohydrates than people with a sedentary lifestyle.

Recommended Foods

The diet is initially focused on protein foods such as meat, seafood and eggs. Butter and cream are allowed and non starchy vegetables are the main source of carbohydrate in the initial stages.

As the dieter progresses into the maintenance stage the variety of foods increase to include more fruit, low fat dairy products and whole grains.

Look for high protein, low carb recipes here.

Exercise Recommendations

A combination of aerobic exercise, resistance training and flexibility are recommended to promote balance in the body and heal the metabolism.

Costs and Expenses

The Schwarzbein Principle and The Schwarzbein Principle II cost $11.95 US each..
Several exercise DVD’s are also available for a cost of $19.95-$29.95 each.

Medications and nutritional supplements may be advised depending on the individual and this is an additional cost to be considered.

Pros

  • Balanced approach that addresses nutrition, exercise and other factors that may be influencing weight loss.
  • Especially suitable for diabetics, those with insulin resistance or women with hormonal imbalances.

Cons

  • Progress may be very slow as it can take many months to ‘heal’ the metabolism before weight loss occurs.
  • The recommended nutritional supplements are very expensive.
  • May require additional medical tests and pharmaceutical treatments.

Conclusions

In essence the Schwarzbein Principle is similar to many other reduced carbohydrate diets but where it differs is with the emphasis on eliminating toxins and improving physiology and hormone balance.
Dieters who have tried many different dietary approaches without success may achieve results on this program however it will be necessary to work closely with a medical professional in order to experience optimal benefits.

It will also be necessary to accept that progress may occur very slowly and that weight loss will not occur immediately. However the positive lifestyle changes will probably lead to an improvement in general health and vitality within a short time of commencing the program.

Losing Weight

Question: I find myself gaining weight, in spite of following the principles of nourishing traditional diets. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: In my book The Fourfold Path to Healing, I explain that one of the keys to effective weight control is controlling the levels of the hormone insulin in your tissues and blood. Insulin is secreted when the sugar level in the blood and tissues is higher than needed for immediate energy use. The usual reason this occurs is that you are eating more carbohydrates in your diet than you need for your activity level. Or, as I sometimes tell patients, you may be eating like a marathon runner but exerting the activity of a couch potato.

Lowering your carbohydrate intake to 75 or fewer grams per day will result in a gradual weight loss for about 70-80 percent of the patients I see, until they achieve something like an ideal weight (which, by the way, is not a weight that leaves you model-thin). But experience has shown me that by no means is this strategy succesful with everyone.

So, what are the options if this amount of carbohydrate reduction is unsuccessful? The first option is to decrease the carbohydrate level to about 40 grams per day for two weeks every 2-3 months. This will usually work, although it is a Spartan diet that many people find unpleasant or even impossible.

A second option is to get on a rigorous exercise program and keep the carbohydrate level the same. However, many report that this also doesn’t work or at least not very quickly.

Another option is to supplement with the fat-burning enzyme known as lipase. Taking a high potency enzyme supplement between meals three times per day as far away from food as possible will often help mobilize the fat stores. If you experience a slight feeling of nausea when using these enzymes, taking some bitters two to three times per day will often help clear out the fat breakdown products produced by the enzyme digestion. There are many brands of these enzymes commercially available.

If these simple procedures don’t seem to work, a cleansing program might help clear out the liver and jump start the weight loss. Standard Process makes a very good purification program which can be used every six months to initiate the weight loss. It can be obtained through many health care providers.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2006.


Dr. Thomas Cowan: Holistic Family Medicine

Treating Diabetes: Practical Advice for Combatting a Modern Epidemic

Written by Thomas Cowan, MD
Wednesday, 18 February 2004 09:32

VISIT WESTON PRICE FOUNDATION


Adapted from The Fourfold Path to Healing by Tom Cowan, MD, with Sally Fallon and Jaimen McMillan, to be published Spring 2004, NewTrends Publishing.

Diabetes is so common in America and other western countries that its presence in any human group has become a marker for civilization. Ironically, in no other field of western medicine has the promise of scientific breakthrough failed so poignantly as in the treatment of diabetes.

Diabetes is characterized by abnormally high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood, which spills into the urine, causing it to be sweet. The disease was first described by the Greeks who called it diabetes mellitus or "honey passing through." Today there are at least 20 million diabetics in America, six million of whom must take shots of insulin daily. Scientists hailed the discovery of insulin in the 1920s as one of medicine’s greatest achievements--as, in fact, it was. Insulin is a pancreatic hormone needed for the transfer of glucose from the blood to the cells. When this system fails--when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the insulin cannot get the glucose into the cells--then the sugar level in the blood remains abnormally high. This is the disease we call diabetes.

Originally, doctors thought that diabetes was simply a disease of insulin deficiency, a disease in which the pancreas was unable to produce enough insulin to meet the body’s demands, and that it could be successfully managed once the right knowledge and technology were in place. Over time, researchers have produced better delivery systems for insulin, and ways to produce more purified and effective types of insulin--from porcine insulin to human insulin produced through genetic engineering. The medical profession has learned that giving insulin orally was unsuccessful, that subcutaneous injections were better, and that delivering it through a pump was best. Yet with all the improvements that have been made since 1920, diabetes remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the western world. Complications of diabetes include heart disease and circulation problems; kidney disease; degeneration of the retina leading to blindness; neuropathy resulting in numbness, tingling, pain and burning in the extremities; foot ulcers leading to gangrene; and high risk of infection.

TYPE I AND TYPE II

Today, doctors realize that diabetes is a much more complicated condition than one of simple insulin deficiency. They have also discovered that there are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes, which is also called insulin-dependent or childhood diabetes, usually develops before the age of 30, and involves a malfunction of the pancreas. Type I diabetes is thought of as autoimmune disease in which some trigger causes the body’s immune system to attack its own insulin-producing cells, the beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. In time, the pancreas loses its ability to produce insulin, blood sugar rises, and serious adverse consequences, including death, can occur if the person is not supplied with insulin. As yet, there is no consensus as to what the autoimmune trigger for Type I diabetes might be. Some evidence points to early feeding of pasteurized cow’s milk, soy products and grains, or the use of vaccines, as likely triggers. Type I diabetes is often very difficult to control and, if not successfully controlled, can lead to the early onset of many of the complications listed above.

Type II diabetes, which is much more common than Type I diabetes, has a different etiology. It is the form of diabetes that is literally crying out for a new perspective from the one currently offered by the medical profession.

HYPOGLYCEMIA

In order to understand the diabetes epidemic in the Western world, and why the conventional treatment for this scourge has made almost no dent in its long-term impact on those who suffer from it, we must understand some basic biochemistry. The control of the blood sugar is one of the most fundamental requirements for a healthy life. Blood sugar levels can become abnormal in one of two ways: they can become too low, which we define as a blood sugar less than 80 and call hypoglycemia; or they can become too high, defined as a blood sugar over 110, which is called hyperglycemia. While neither hypoglycemia, nor hyperglycemia is good for your health, they appear to call forth very different reactions in the human being. For example, if your blood sugar drops below 40, you will become disoriented, confused, and if the situation persists, slip into a coma and die. This situation is a true medical emergency. When blood sugar is between 40-60, you feel shaky, jittery, anxious, sweaty, confused and irritable. When blood sugar is between 60-80 these same symptoms occur, but they are less severe.

The body reacts to the emergency situation of low blood sugar in many ways. When blood sugar even begins to drop below 80, the body produces a number of hormones, principally adrenaline and glucagon. The main effect of adrenaline is to make more sugar available to the cells. It is the production of adrenaline that accounts for the familiar shaky, jittery feeling that many have experienced during these hypoglycemic episodes. Glucagon helps raise blood sugar levels by increasing fat breakdown and stimulates the conversion of fat into sugar.

There may be at least 10 more hormonal or biochemical reactions that occur during the early stages of hypoglycemia. One is the release of growth hormone, which has also been found to increase blood sugar in times of stress. As you can see, the body is well prepared to ward off this potential emergency. It has multiple overlapping mechanisms to prevent a precipitous fall in blood sugar, and many of these reactions produce clear symptoms that provoke us into action. Severe hypoglycemia is clearly a situation our adaptive physiology has learned to avoid.

HYPERGLYCEMIA

The situation is very different with respect to hyperglycemia. Many times during my practice I have asked a new diabetic patient how they felt and heard them reply, "A little tired, but not bad." Yet routine screening blood tests tell me that some of these unsuspecting patients have blood sugar levels as high as 400, almost 4 times the normal level. These people are at strong risk for all the major complications of diabetes including coronary artery disease and neurological disease, yet they feel nothing, their bodies give them little warning. Why is this?

Some have conjectured that the body has a hard time dealing with hyperglycemia because the condition that causes it--namely overeating-- is a relatively new phenomenon in human history. On the other hand, hypoglycemia induced by lack of food has been a frequent occurrence to which the body has adapted with a variety of mechanisms. Compared to dozens of hormones that are produced when our blood sugar drops too low, the body has only two mechanisms to deal with blood sugar that goes too high. One is exercise--any muscular activity drives the sugar from the blood into the muscle cells where it is used as fuel. The second is the production of insulin. Insulin production is the body’s way of saying that the sugar level is too high, that the body is overfed with sugar. Insulin helps remove sugar from the blood into the cells where it is stored as fat. (It is interesting to note that the type of fat that is made by the body under the guidance of insulin is saturated fat.)

Understanding this basic physiology leads to some interesting conclusions. One is that controlling the level of insulin produced is the key to controlling obesity. For without insulin there can be no weight gain. People who lose the ability to make insulin (type I diabetics) will never gain weight no matter how much food they eat unless they are supplemented with insulin. In fact, without insulin they literally starve to death.

The second conclusion we can draw is that the cause of type II diabetes is actually quite simple. Type II diabetes occurs when for many years the consumption of foods that raise the blood sugar chronically exceeds the amount of sugar needed by the muscles for exercise. This forces the body to gradually make more and more insulin in order to bring this sugar level down. Eventually, the body cannot make enough insulin to lower the sugar level, the sugar level remains chronically high and the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

INSULIN RESISTANCE

Along the way a curious thing happens called insulin resistance. This means that as the blood sugars are chronically elevated, and the insulin levels are rising, the cells build a shield or wall around themselves to slow down this influx of excess sugar. Insulin resistance is a protective or adaptive response, it is the best the body can do to protect the cells from too much glucose. But as time goes on the sugar in the blood increases, more insulin is made by the pancreas to deal with this elevated sugar and the cells resist this sugar influx by becoming insulin resistant, in a sense by shutting the gates. This leads to the curious situation in which blood sugar levels are high but cellular sugar levels are low. The body perceives this as low blood sugar. The patient has low energy and feels hungry so he eats more, and the vicious cycle is under way.

Having a chronically elevated insulin level is detrimental for many other reasons. Not only do high insulin levels cause obesity (insulin tells your body to store fat), but they also signal that fluid should be retained, leading to edema and hypertension. Chronic high insulin provokes plaque development inside the arteries and also suppresses growth hormone needed for the regeneration of the tissues and many other physiological responses.

During the 1980s, researchers began to ask whether obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension and other common medical problems that occur together are really separate diseases, or manifestations of one common physiological defect. The evidence now points to one defect and that is hyperinsulinemia, or excessive insulin levels in the blood. Hyperinsulinemia is the physiological event that links virtually all of our degenerative diseases. It is the biochemical corollary or marker of the events described in heart disease.

The question we need to answer, then, is what causes hyperinsulinemia? In basic biochemistry we learn about the three food groups: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Under normal circumstances it is the carbohydrates that are transformed into the sugar that goes into the blood. Fats are broken down into fatty acids and become the building blocks for hormones, prostaglandins and cell membranes. Proteins are broken down into amino acids which then are rebuilt into the various proteins in our bodies. Carbohydrates are used for one thing only and that is energy generation. This allows us to define a "balanced" diet, which is one where the energy used in movement and exercise equals the energy provided by the carbohydrates we consume.

For a person of a given size, protein and fat requirements are relatively fixed and can be controlled with the appetite. (It is actually difficult to overeat fats and proteins, as our bodies make us nauseous when we do.) However, carbohydrate intake should be intimately related to our level of activity. If we run a marathon every day, a balanced diet would probably include about 300 grams of carbohydrates per day, the amount contained in 20 potatoes or 6 brownies. If we sit on the couch all day, obviously our requirement for energy food will be less. In this case a balanced diet would include only about 65-70 grams of carbohydrate per day. Any more, and our bodies are forced to make more insulin and the whole vicious cycle begins.

The problem of diabetes can be summarized by saying that the western diet has us eating like marathon runners, when in fact most of us simply sit on the couch. When we regulate the carbohydrate intake to match our exercise level, type II diabetes cannot develop, and in fact, I have found that most cases of type II diabetes respond well to treatment when these basic principles are kept in mind. Type I diabetes responds equally well to a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet. In fact, before insulin was available, the only way to treat type I diabetes was a high-fat diet from which carbohydrate foods were completely excluded because the body does not need insulin to assimilate proteins and fats.

Unless eaten to great excess, fats do not contribute to diabetes--with one exception. Trans fatty acids in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils can cause insulin resistance. When these man-made fats get built into the cell membrane, they interfere with the insulin receptors. In theory, this means that one could develop insulin resistance without eating lots of carbohydrates. But in practice, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are always used in the very high-carbohydrate foods--french fries, cookies, crackers, donuts and margarine on bread or potatoes--that flood the bloodstream with sugar. Trans fatty acids in modern processed foods present a double whammy for which the human species has developed no defenses.

DIET FOR DIABETICS

Studies of indigenous peoples by Weston Price and many others reveal the wisdom of native diets and life-style. For not only did so-called primitive peoples follow the "perfect" anti-diabetes life-style program, but their diets incorporated specific foods only recently discovered to play an important role in the prevention and treatment of this disease. In general, indigenous peoples had a low carbohydrate intake coupled with a lot of physical activity. In fact, those peoples especially prone to diabetes today, such as northern Native Americans and Inuits, consumed virtually no carbohydrate foods. In warmer climates, where tubers and fruits were more abundant, these foods were usually fermented and consumed with adequate protein and fat. It is only in the change to Western habits that their so-called "genetic" tendency to diabetes manifests.

There are three other nutritional factors in indigenous diets that are helpful for diabetics. First, the diets were rich in trace minerals. Modern science has shown us that trace mineral deficiencies--particularly deficiencies in zinc, vanadium and chromium--inhibit insulin production and absorption. Without vanadium, sugar in the blood cannot be driven into the cells and chromium is necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and the proper functioning of the insulin receptors. Zinc is a co-factor in the production of insulin. Traditional foods were grown in mineral-rich soil, contained mineral-rich bone broth and salt, and included mineral-rich water or beverages made with such water. In the modern diet, the best sources of zinc are red meats and shell fish, particularly oysters. Extra virgin unfiltered olive oil supplies vanadium, and chromium is found in nutritional yeast, molasses and organ meats like liver.

Second, indigenous peoples ate a portion of their animal foods, such as fish, milk or meat, uncooked--either raw or fermented. This strategy conserves vitamin B6, which is easily destroyed by heat. Vitamin B6 is essential for carbohydrate metabolism; it is often the rate-limiting vitamin of the B vitamin complex because it is one of the most difficult to obtain in the diet. Indigenous peoples intuitively understood the need to eat a portion of their animal foods completely raw.

Third, traditional peoples consumed foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins, including butterfat from grass-fed animals, organ meats, shellfish, fish liver oils and the fats of certain animals like bear and pig. High levels of vitamin A are absolutely essential for the diabetic because diabetics are unable to convert the carotenes in plant foods into true vitamin A. Vitamin A and vitamin D also protect against the complications of diabetes, such as retina and kidney problems. And vitamin D is necessary for the production of insulin.

Putting all these rules together, we find that a nutrient-dense traditional diet fits all the requirements for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. The diet should include sufficient trace minerals from organic and biodynamic foods, Celtic sea salt, bone broths, shellfish, red meat, organ meats, unfiltered olive oil and nutritional yeast. High levels of vitamins A and D are essential, as are raw animal foods to provide vitamin B6.

Most importantly, diabetics must strictly limit their daily carbohydrate intake. While the optimum amount of carbohydrate foods depends somewhat on activity levels, most diabetics need to start on a 60-gram-per-day carbohydrate regimen until their sugars normalize. I recommend The Schwarzbein Principle as a guide to carbohydrate consumption. The book contains easy-to-use charts that allow you to assess carbohydrate values. During the initial period of treatment, which can take up to a year, average blood sugar levels should be determined by a blood test that measures HgbA1c, a compound that indicates average blood sugar levels over a period of about 6 weeks. Carbohydrate restriction will also help with weight loss.

For Type II diabetics, this diet should help both blood sugar levels and weight to normalize, after which the daily carbohydrate intake can be liberalized to about 72 grams per day. This level should be maintained throughout the life of the diabetic. The same approach applies to the Type I diabetic, although it may not allow him to get off insulin. However, strict carbohydrate restriction should reduce insulin requirements, help keep blood sugar stable and, most importantly, prevent the many side effects associated with diabetes.

Please note that in this approach there are no restrictions on total food intake, nor do we pay attention to the so-called glycemic index of various carbohydrate foods. Fats consumed with any carbohydrate food will lower the glycemic index. Worrying about glycemic indices adds nothing to the therapy and only increases time spent calculating food values rather than enjoying its goodness. One should eat abundantly from good fats and proteins--only carbohydrate foods need to be restricted.

With this approach, diabetics can expect greatly improved quality of life and even a complete cure.


Sidebars

INSULIN AND GLUCAGON

One of the most finely tuned mechanisms of the human body is the regulation of sugar levels in the bloodstream. While levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can vary widely, the levels of glucose in the blood must be maintained within a narrow range for the body to function at optimum levels--or even to function at all.The regulation of blood sugar levels is carried out by two hormones, insulin and glycogon. The principal role of insulin is to rapidly remove glucose from the blood and transport it into the muscles, liver and adipose tissue, thus lowering the blood sugar level and feeding the cells. (Note: the red blood cells and the cells in the brain, kidney and intestinal tract do not require insulin for glucose uptake.) Insulin promotes the storage of glucose as glycogen in the liver and adipose tissues. Glucagon has the opposite effect to insulin. In response to low levels of blood sugar, its task is to increase glucose concentration. Glucagon acts primarily on the liver and adipose tissue (but not on the skeletal muscle) to stimulate the production of glucose from glycogen and raise the blood sugar levels to normal.

Insulin is produced by the so-called beta-cells while glucagon is produced by the alpha-cells, both of which are found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. The ratio of insulin to glucagon in the blood determines whether glucose is used for energy or stored. If insulin is high compared to glucagon, carbohydrates will be created and/or stored after a meal; if insulin is low compared to glucagon, glucose will be added to the bloodstream rather than stored. Thus the type-II diabetic, who produces plenty of insulin that stays in the bloodstream rather than interacts with the cell membrane, will tend to gain weight easily, whereas the type-I diabetic, whose insulin production is low or non-existent, will not gain weight no matter how much he eats.

DIABETES AND STRESS

The main cause of diabetes is the western diet--based on refined carbohydrates that rush sugar into the bloodstream, trans fatty acids that interfere with insulin receptors in the cells, and difficult-to-digest foods like pasteurized milk and modern soy foods that put a strain on the pancreas--but another cause of chronic high blood sugar levels, one that is often overlooked, is stress. Under stress, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline, an important stimulus for the production of glucagon, which raises blood sugar levels and allows the body to react with a "fight or flight" response. Chronic stress--the stress on the adult in the workplace, the stress on the student under pressure to perform, the stress on the child expected to conform to rigid guidelines or who has been sexually or emotionally abused, even the stress of a spiritual or religious outlook that assumes a clockwork universe or a vengeful god--results in constant outpourings of adrenaline resulting in overstimulation of glucagon to keep blood sugar levels high. The body then responds with increased production of insulin to bring blood sugar levels down.

Polyneuronal Extopy (PNE), more commonly known as panic disorder, is a common symptom of a condition in which high levels of insulin accompany normal blood sugar levels. The condition derives from the vicious circle of constant stress causing increased release of sugar into the bloodstream, kept in check by increased outpourings of insulin, leading to chronic anxiety even under conditions that normally should not produce stress. Over time, especially when the diet is poor, the beta-cells of the pancreas become exhausted and can no longer produce large amounts of insulin. The result is full blown diabetes, characterized by chronically high blood sugar levels--as though the body has balanced a kind of bitterness in the exterior world with excess sweetness in the blood.

Treatment of diabetes may thus entail a strong emotional or spiritual component; a good diet will go a long way to lower insulin requirements and heal the insulin-production mechanism, but removing the origins of stress is an important factor for long-term recovery. A change in job or life-style, therapy and a reassessment of any philosophical assumptions that breed fear rather than love may all be necessary to bring harmony to the body’s finely tuned mechanism for keeping blood sugar levels in balance.

HERBS AND MEDICINES FOR DIABETES

Gymnema: Ayurvedic practitioners referred to gymnema as the "sugar-buster." If you chew some leaves of this inauspicious plant, you completely eliminate the ability of your taste buds to perceive the sweet taste. If you eat a piece of candy or even some honey ten minutes later, it will taste like chalk. One can almost hear a slight chuckle emanating from the plant as if to say, "I truly am the sugar buster." Gymnema also helps reduce blood sugar levels. It does this by lowering insulin resistance, much like conventional oral diabetic drugs, and also by increasing the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. Furthermore, gymnema actually helps regenerate destroyed pancreatic islet cells in type I diabetics. Use of gymnema may not completely reverse type I diabetes, but it always improves glucose control. Thus, gymnema addresses within itself the multifactorial etiology of diabetes in that it helps your body make more insulin, if that is needed, and it makes the insulin more effective. With gymnema there is no risk of provoking the dangerous hypoglycemic reactions so common with the conventional oral diabetic medication.

Bitter Melon: Bitter melon is a fruit that is widely used as food as well as medicine in Asia. Research suggests that bitter melon helps increase the number of beta cells in the pancreas, thereby improving the body’s ability to produce insulin. Furthermore, at least three different groups of constituents provide blood-sugar-lowering effects--steroidal saponins known as charantin, insulin-like peptides and alkaloids.

Bilberry: Used by the British Royal Air Force during World War II to improve night vision, bilberry contains tannins that help shrink up swollen and leaky tissue. The theory of diabetic retinopathy is that it is caused by leaky blood vessels surrounding the eye. Bilberry also contains compounds called OPCs which are good for the eyesight and the blood vessels.

Birch Leaf Tea: Birch leaf tea is excellent for the overweight Type II diabetic as it helps the body get rid of excess fluid and furthers weight loss.

Diaplex: Diaplex is the Standard Process diabetes preparation made from organically grown food containing abundant trace minerals as well as vitamin B6 from raw animal extracts.

DRUGS FOR DIABETES

INSULIN: Insulin has saved the lives of millions of diabetics and studies show that it delays the onset of complications in type I diabetics--which is what motivates the patient to endure daily finger pricks to determine blood sugar levels, followed by self-administered insulin shots, often three times per day. However it is difficult to fine tune the dosage and many diabetics have experienced episodes of very low blood sugar with symptoms of trembling, hunger, weakness and irritability. If blood sugar drops too low, death from insulin shock may occur. Since 1982, so-called "human" insulin has been available, a form produced by genetic engineering. Writing for Soil & Health, July 1999, Jenny Hirst, Co-Chair of the UK Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust, argues that the new GE insulin creates many problems compared to the earlier porcine insulin, including frequent low-blood-sugar reactions without the necessary safeguard of warning signs, extreme lethargy, behavioral changes (aggression and violence), memory loss, confusion, depression, joint pains, weight increase and changes in the menstrual cycle. Porcine insulin is still available but not in convenient insulin pens.

ORAL HYPOGLYCEMICS: Easier to take than insulin, the pharmaceutical industry has long sought a safe and effective anti-diabetes drug but the results so far have been disappointing. Unlike insulin, the oral hypoglycemics are only somewhat effective in lowering blood sugar, failing to control high levels in 20-40 percent of patients. Furthermore, studies indicate that they do not prevent long-term complications such as kidney disease and blindness. In fact, they may increase the risk from cardiovascular disease. Most disturbing have been the side effects, including breathing difficulties, drowsiness, muscle cramps, seizures, swelling, water retention and weakness that can be life-threatening in some patients. One drug, called Rezulin, generated sales of over $2 billion in the US after its release in March 1997, only to be withdrawn three years later after causing at least 90 cases of liver failure.

ONE CASE HISTORY

A recent patient of mine was a 67-year-old retired white male who gave a history of diabetes for about 4 years. He suffered from the typical symptoms including high blood pressure in the 160/95 range, diminishing eyesight and the recent onset of protein in his urine. This patient was about 35-40 pounds overweight, and he complained of increasing fatigue and lethargy.

This is the classic presentation of type II, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The typical story is onset in the 50s to 60s in a person who is significantly overweight. Diabetes often goes along with high blood pressure, both as a direct consequence of being overweight and as a result of the fact that excess insulin (the hallmark of type II diabetes) itself causes high blood pressure because it stimulates the retention of fluid in the body. The protein in the urine is a sign that the diabetes is affecting his kidneys and that they are starting to "leak" protein. This is usually a harbinger of advanced diabetes and if not corrected will eventually lead to compromised kidney function and the misery of regular dialysis treatment. The eyesight problem is also a direct consequence of the diabetes because diabetes leads to a deterioration of the small blood vessels everywhere in the body. This includes the retina, where one begins to see exudates or leaking of blood from the blood vessels of the eye into the retina. Eventually, this process will lead to further impairment of the vision, if it is not reversed. I have also found that many of my patients with this kind of advancing diabetes also complain of not feeling well in a non-specific sort of way. Often the complaint is fatigue, lethargy, or just a decreased joy in life.

As is usual in these cases, my patient was on a number of drugs to address his health concerns. He was on an oral hypoglycemic agent to lower his blood sugar, a beta-blocker to lower his blood pressure (which incidentally raises the blood sugar), and an ACE inhibitor to lower the blood pressure and protect the kidneys. He believed that these drugs were contributing to his feeling unwell.

On his initial visit to me, in spite of these drugs, his blood pressure was 165/95, and his HgbA1c ( a measure of the average blood sugar over the past 6 weeks) was 8.1 (normal is 5.5-6.5). He had been instructed in the American Diabetes Association diet which is calorie-restricted and fat-restricted--and also universally reviled by the patients. Clearly, in spite of the best that Western medicine had to offer, he was not doing well.

I suggested a strict 60-70 gram per day carbohydrate intake while implementing a nourishing traditional diet to guide his food choices and food preparation. He was to eat plentifully of all the good fats and non-starchy vegetables without overeating protein (e.g., eat egg yolks in preference to egg whites, fatty fish instead of lean fish, cream instead of milk, etc.). He was not to limit his total food intake, but rather to strictly limit his carbohydrate consumption to the amount listed above. The patient also began taking a number of medicines which are my staples for treating patients with his constellation of troubles stemming from diabetes, including diaplex, gymnema, bilberry, and birch leaf tea, along with cod liver oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A daily.

In 6 months of strictly following this program the results were nothing short of remarkable (though actually predictable). He had lost 35 pounds without increasing his exercise, he felt much more energetic, he loved his food again, and he was off all conventional medicines. When I saw him at 6 months his blood pressure was 135/80, and there was no protein in his urine. The HgbA1c was 6.7 (almost normal) and he could sense his eyesight improving. Confirmation came when he had his checkup with his eye doctor, who produced an after picture showing that his retinal hemorrhages had healed considerably over the previous six months. The doctor commented that he had never seen such a thing.

This story shows that there is hope with diabetes and that with sound thinking and sound intervention much of the ravages of this illness can be prevented and treated.

NUTRITION FOR DIABETICS

Vitamin A: Plentiful vitamin A is crucial to the successful treatment of diabetes. The diabetic pancreas is deficient not only in its ability to produce insulin, but also in the production of a variety of key enzymes, including the enzymes the body needs to convert carotenes into vitamin A. Therefore, the diabetic must take in more pre-formed vitamin A than the non-diabetic. Vitamin A is key to the prevention of the side effects of diabetes, including retina problems, kidney problems, neuropathy, infection and slowness to heal. The diabetic should take cod liver oil to provide a minimum dose of 20,000 IU vitamin A per day, in addition to vitamin A-rich foods like liver, egg yolks, seafood and cream and butter from pasture-fed animals.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is needed for the production of insulin. A dose of cod liver oil that provides 20,000 IU vitamin A will provide 2,000 IU vitamin D. Several recent studies have shown that babies who receive cod liver oil during infancy, and whose mothers take cod liver oil during pregnancy, have much lower rates of diabetes. Other sources include lard, shellfish (especially shrimp), organ meats, egg yolks and cream and butter from pasture-fed animals.

Fatty Acids: The diabetic lacks the enzymes needed to make special long-chain, super-unsaturated fatty acids from essential fatty acids. Cod liver oil provides EPA and DHA from the omega-3 family. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) from the omega-6 family is provided by evening primrose oil, black currant oil or borage oil. Four capsules per day providing about 200 mg GLA is recommended.

Vitamin B1: A recent study found that diabetic rats given vitamin B1 (thiamine) had a 70-80 percent reduction in the development of kidney damage. Good sources include nutritional yeast, nuts, vegetables, liver and pork.

Vitamin B6: Plentiful supplies of vitamin B6 are critical for the health of the diabetic. B6 helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, to which the diabetic is prone. The best sources of B6 are raw animal foods such as raw whole milk, raw cheeses, raw fish and raw meat. Use only dairy products that are raw and include an ethnic raw meat or raw fish dish in the diet several times per week.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Also known as thoitic acid, alpha-lipoic acid is a vitamin-like enzyme cofactor necessary for converting glucose into ATP (chemical energy). Produced naturally in the body, it is also found in potatoes, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, beets and red meat. As the diabetic needs to limit consumption of starchy vegetables, the best sources would be red meats and small amounts of pickled beets.

Chromium: A key mineral for diabetics, chromium is necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and proper functioning of the insulin receptors. Sources include nutritional yeast, molasses and organ meats like liver. Diabetics should eat liver at least once a week and take 1 tablespoon Frontier brand nutritional yeast mixed with water per day.

Vanadium: Without vanadium, sugar in the blood cannot be driven into the cells. An excellent source is unfiltered extra virgin olive oil.

Zinc: Zinc is a co-factor in the production of insulin. The best sources of zinc are red meats and shell fish, particularly oysters.

Thus, supplements for the diabetic should include cod liver oil; evening primrose, borage or black currant oil; and nutritional yeast.

The diet should be rich in animal foods including raw butter, cream, whole milk and cheese from pastured animals; raw meat and fish; beef and lamb; seafood, especially shellfish; unrefined salt for trace minerals; bone broths for minerals; unfiltered olive oil; molasses, egg yolks; and a variety of fresh and fermented vegetables, especially beets.


This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2003.

About the Author

Thomas  CowanThomas Cowan, MD, discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price and a fellow volunteer explained the arcane principles of Rudolf Steiner's biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Cowan graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Dr. Cowan is the author of The Fourfold Path to Healing (New Trends Publishing), a companion book to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. He a board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a regular contributor to our "Ask the Doctor" column and the Foundation's quarterly journal, and has lectured throughout the US and Canada. He has three grown children and currently practices medicine in San Francisco where he resides with his wife Lynda Smith Cowan.

His book The Fourfold Path to Healing is now available from NewTrends Publishing, http://www.newtrendspublishing.com/. Visit Dr. Cowan's website at http://www.fourfoldhealing.com.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is Heartburn Cure Worse Than the Condition?

Andrew L. Rubman, ND
Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines


Acid blockers, such as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, can lead to fractures in people with osteoporosis. Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are potent acid-blocking drugs prescribed for people with heartburn and chronic indigestion. Doctors often tell patients that they must take these drugs for life -- but long-term use can interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium and minerals, increasing the risk for broken bones and hip fractures.

Self-defense: Ask your doctor about alternatives, such as digestive enzyme combinations prescribed by naturopathic physicians. If you must take PPIs, ask about limiting their use to as short a time as possible.

Bottom Line/Personal interviewed Andrew L. Rubman, ND, adjunct professor of clinical medicine, Florida College of Integrative Medicine, Orlando, and director, Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, Connecticut. www.southburyclinic.com

Friday, July 2, 2010

Genes hold key to living longer than 100

Exceptional longevity results from favourable genes much more than from a healthy lifestyle and environment, according to the first extensive genetic analysis of people who lived past the age of 100.

Researchers at Boston University have identified 150 genetic variants that, taken together, can predict exceptional longevity with 77 per cent accuracy.

They called the finding, published online last night by the journal Science, “a breakthrough in understanding the role of genes in determining human lifespan”.

The scientists compared the genomes of 1,055 centenarians with a similar number of control subjects, using DNA-scanning technology. They distilled the differences down to 150 life-extending changes, each affecting one chemical “letter” in the 3bn letters of the human genetic code.

These changes run right across the human genome. A few affect genes associated with age-related diseases, such as the ApoE and Alzheimer’s but many have unknown functions.

“Longevity is an extremely complex genetic trait involving many biological processes,” said Thomas Perls, co-author of the paper and director of the New England Centenarian Study. “We’re a long way from understanding them.”

The research confirmed that there could be no simple “elixir” to extend life, he added.

The scientists were surprised to find that, on the whole, the centenarians did not have fewer genetic variants known to trigger disease than the controls.

“What makes a difference is more the positive enriching effect of genetic variants that protect against disease than the absence of disease-associated variants,” said Dr Perls.

Although the details remain a mystery, what seems to happen as people age is that lifestyle and environment – such as healthy eating, exercising and avoiding smoking and obesity – are important in determining lifespan up to the 80s. After that, genes play an increasingly important role.

DNA rather than lifestyle is almost entirely responsible for generating “super-centenarians” who survive beyond 110. They make up one in 7m people in the industrial world.

Eighty-five per cent of centenarians and 90 per cent of super-centenarians are women. In spite of claims of people living to 140 or 150 in places from the Andes to the Caucasus, Jeanne Calment, who died in France in 1997 at the age of 122, remains the world’s oldest documented person.

Paola Sebastiani, professor of biostatistics at Boston University, said all data from the longevity study would be available without restrictions. “We have no financial interests in it and we are not planning to patent anything here,” she said.

Researchers will put up a web page this month where people can calculate their prospect of longevity. They also expect companies that sell genetic tests to consumers quickly to include a longevity assessment.

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