Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cut your chance of getting cancer 10 to 1....

Today's post: Thursday, 7-31-2008

“The incidence of the top four cancers in the U.S. - colon, breast, prostate, and lung - is ten times lower in India.”

Research has now been done to explain why. There is evidence that taking one specific supplement can give you the same protection the people in India get.

(Note that this is on top of the many other actions, such as staying away from tobacco smoke, and getting the several other supplements and foods that protect you from getting cancer.

We’ve posted for example on taking boron, selenium, vitamin D, & resveratrol all of which, in addition to other health benefits, tend to prevent cancer. Eating raw broccoli & or cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, particularly if they are organically grown is also protective.)

People in India eat a lot of curried foods. Curries vary in their ingredients; but they all seem to contain the spice, turmeric, a member of the ginger family of spices. This produces a sharpness or heat to the food and imparts an intense yellow color.

A study published in the August 15, 2005 issue of the journal Cancer, found that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, stopped laboratory strains of melanoma from proliferating and caused the cancer cells to commit suicide.

Since melanoma is one of the most dangerous and hard to kill cancers, I believe this is extremely significant news.

The research found that curcumin shut down nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein that causes strong inflammatory responses that tend to cause cancer, arthritis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, this effect may explain why curcumin seems to prevent Alzheimer’s disease as strongly as it prevents cancers.

Daily capsules of curcumin powder may also strongly slow growth of pancreatic cancer and multiple myeloma according to the authors of the study.

One of them also said that:: "The incidence of the top four cancers in the U.S. - colon, breast, prostate, and lung - is ten times lower in India,"

Curcumin made desirable changes in virtually every tumor biomarker they tested.

They found that curcumin down-regulates EGFR activity that mediates tumor cell proliferation, and the VEGF helps create in angiogenesis.

That means that curcumin tends to prevent cancers from growing and from getting increased access to blood supply. And, that means the cancer cells tend to stop growing and become starved for energy and oxygen.

They also found that curcumin reduces NF-kB and IKK the protein that turns NF-kB 0n& suppresses a STAT3 pathway that is also involved in tumorigenesis two. Both these pathways play a central role in cell survival and proliferation

One researcher said that curcumin’s ability to suppress numerous biological routes to cancer development is helped explain why it was effective. This helps to ensure “aptosis’ or death of the cancer cells.

They also found that. "The NF-kB machinery is suppressed by both short exposures to high concentrations of curcumin as well as by longer exposure to lower concentrations of curcumin,"

That suggests that if you take curcumin regularly as a supplement for quite some time, it will give you quite robust protection against getting cancer since with far less inflammation less cancers will start and any that develop will tend to die off instead of taking hold and growing.

It also suggests, that unlike some drugs and supplements where more is NOT better or is even dangerous -- such as taking more than 100 mg a day of vitamin B6 or far more than 10,000 iu of the retinol form of vitamin A-- if you have cancer, taking very large doses of curcumin may prove to be an effective treatment. The researchers found the desirable effects for both ways of taking the curcumin.

On a personal note, I’ve taken one capsule a day of curcumin for quite awhile for its ability to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The news that it also may have that strong of a preventive effect on prostate cancer for which I have a family history, AND colon and lung cancer is very welcome news.

I also am pleased that it looks likely to prevent breast cancer. And, it looks likely to prevent or even be a decent supplementary treatment for many other cancers.

I also forwarded the information on this study to my nephew who didn’t have a nasty looking mole on his leg checked out early and who is now being treated for stage III melanoma as a result.

It sounds like he would do well to take 3 capsules 3 times a day of curcumin for a month and then 3 a day after that. I read a report of the study instead of the study itself. If you can get a copy of the study, the study may show what amount of curcumin the authors tested as a “very large” dose and for how long they gave it to get the effects they found.

By the way, people who often eat curried food also get plenty of curcumin. If you have access to such foods several times a week and enjoy them, that may also work as the very low rate of these cancers in India suggests.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Early warning from fasting glucose....

Today's post: Tuesday, 7-29-2008

As some of you know, when I got my cholesterol panel done once a few years ago, my doctor included fasting glucose. He knew, as I did not then, that high fasting glucose readings were as bad for my heart and health as super high LDL or super high triglycerides or super low HDL.

He also knew that the reading I got then, 115, despite being in the so called “normal, non-diabetic range” was way too high to be safe or desirable. (Just 11 points higher is now diagnosed as type II diabetes, 126 & up.)

When he told me that, I already exercised regularly including strength training and interval cardio; drank no soft drinks; & rarely ate refined grain foods. I also already took 200 mg a day of chromium polynicotinate.

But, I had recently begun to eat a lot of apple sauce that had sugar added. And, I still ate a good bit of brown sugar on my breakfast cereal.

I then did three things. I immediately went back to ONLY buying apple sauce with NO sugar added. I still love brown sugar; but I cut the amount I added to my breakfast cereal in half. And, I began taking 200 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid. (Alpha lipoic acid & chromium polynicotinate & exercise, particularly, strength training and interval cardio, all tend to improve your body’s ability to process sugar properly.)

The result on my next test was a fasting glucose reading of 87. And, I made those changes permanent.

Today, I got the news that fasting glucose readings of 90 and above, even 90 to 99 are also numbers you should act immediately to bring down. (As you can see, my previous 115 reading was even scarier than my doctor then knew.)

These numbers act as an early warning that you might be headed where I was at 115 or even higher. The wonderful thing is that they do it at a low enough level, your chances of bringing it down and preventing it from going up to dangerous levels are still quite good.

The article was one of the better articles from the Total Health Breakthroughs emails I get.

I post that article below & then will add my comments below that.

"This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise's Total Health Breakthroughs, offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blood Glucose -- Know Your Number!

By James LaValle, RPh, ND, CCN

When it comes to blood sugar, the closer you can keep it to the normal range of 80 to 89 mg/dL the better. For years I have been warning that blood sugars even in the 90 to 100 range show that you are becoming insulin resistant and on your way to diabetes. A recent study done on 47,000 Kaiser Permanente patients validated this observation.

The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine found that blood sugar, blood glucose (BG) levels in the 95-99 range more than doubled a person's risk of becoming diabetic. In fact, for every point over 85 mg/dL the risk of becoming diabetic increased 6%, even when they controlled for other factors.1

Accordingly, the study noted that there was more incidence of cardiovascular disease and hypertension in those with higher BG. Why is this research so important? It flies in the face of currently accepted medical guidelines that for years have used 100 as the magic number for diagnosing "pre-diabetes."

At LMI, I've been seeing red flags for years when patients come in with BG levels even in the 90's, because these levels are often accompanied by being somewhat overweight or over fat, having a thick waist, or the spare tire of dangerous belly fat. These are signs that the body can no longer efficiently process the sugars that come from complex carbohydrates in whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, and simple sugars.

In other words, they are signs of insulin resistance. Insulin is the "key" that unlocks the door to each cell in the body, letting glucose into the cell to be processed for energy. If the insulin key is faulty, the glucose remains in circulation, raising triglycerides, lowering HDL, and usually ending up at the waistline.

Anytime you see your doctor for a routine physical, fasting blood glucose is tested along with other blood labs. If your blood sugar comes in less than 100 mg/dL, you will likely get an "all clear," when it comes to diabetes risk. If you're overweight, have elevated blood pressure and are sedentary -- other risk factors for insulin resistance -- your doctor may suggest you lose a few pounds and add a few days of walking to your weekly routine.

But typically that won't happen unless your blood sugar levels come in greater than 100 mg/dL, but less than 126 mg/dL -- the pre-diabetes range -- then you will get a more stern warning regarding diet and exercise. However, it's not until your fasting blood sugar levels reach over 126 mg/dL that you are diagnosed with type II diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes.

By the time you get the "true diabetes" diagnosis -- your body is so insulin resistant that it may need much more than the "diabetic diet" and a walking routine to get your blood sugar levels under control. This is when you may need an oral hypoglycemic medicine, which comes with a nice little set of nutrient-depleting side effects.

Wouldn't it be nice if your doctor had warned you of your increased risk way before you even reached the 100 mark for blood glucose? For years, I have been warning my patients that a blood sugar of over 90 is a sign they are becoming insulin resistant. But because medical guidelines give an "all clear" at anything under 100, too many patients don't want to believe they could be at risk -- even with fasting BG's of 98 and showing every sign of insulin resistance.

At LMI, we go to work on the insulin resistance by giving our patients blood sugar support nutrients like chromium and having our dietitians provide instruction on a lower carb diet. Ironically, we sometimes receive calls from their primary care physicians questioning our course of action because they think these patients "are fine." But our philosophy is, don't wait to become diabetic -- take action well ahead of time.

Hopefully, the medical community's eyes will be opened with the newly published article in the American Journal of Medicine. This phenomenal research has hit the nail on the head and may finally spur new guidelines to be issued for the management of blood sugar.

Medical news can take a while to trickle down into actual practice, so in the meantime, you may need to become more proactive on your own. If your blood work reveals a high-normal fasting blood sugar level, cut down on carb-heavy sugars, starches, and fruits, up the organic vegetables and proteins, and get your body moving. You may be saving yourself from becoming a diabetes statistic.

Reference Am J Med. 2008;121:519-524

[Ed. Note: James LaValle, R.Ph, ND, CCN, is the founding Director of the LaValle Metabolic Institute, one of the largest integrative medicine practices in the country. He was named as one of the 50 most influential pharmacists in the US by American Druggist magazine. Dr. LaValle is the author of more than a dozen books including the bestseller, Cracking the Metabolic Code: 9 Keys to Optimal Health…...]

X* X* X* X* X* X* My added comments:

What if you get a reading well over 90 for your fasting glucose when you get tested, perhaps in the 96 to 115 range?

1. If you don’t already do it, be sure to begin both strength training and interval cardio. Three days a week of each is ideal. If you can, it also helps to add small exercise breaks throughout your day of less programmed exercise. Play a game of Ping Pong with your kids. Take a 10 minute walk if you arrive 15 minutes early for an appointment if the location permits. Sweep your front walk with a broom instead of a leaf blower. Do as many of these each week as you can.

People who already have type II diabetes and have to measure their blood sugars several times a day will tell you this is the most effective way to get to desirable readings.

2. Almost as important is to eliminate the worst foods and drinks. This includes all regular soft drinks or even fruit juices that have extra sugar added. It specifically includes ANY food with high fructose corn syrup in it. It includes eliminating refined grain foods. And, as you can see from my case, it includes being very sparing about eating foods with sugar added.

(Note: A huge number of foods common in grocery stores still are loaded with this stuff. Almost the entire cereal aisle except for Old Fashioned Quaker oatmeal is made of refined grain and sugar and very little else. Virtually all jams and jellies still have ONLY high fructose corn syrup and no sugar. Almost all packaged snack foods & commercial baked goods and breads are based almost entirely on refined grains with mostly unhealthy flavoring agents like sugar, high fructose corn syrup and excessive amounts of salt. Many still have trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils too.)

Though diet soft drinks seem intuitively to be a good choice to replace regular soft drinks, research shows that even if they don’t boost your blood glucose readings as much as regular soft drinks, they are just as effective at making you fat and harming your health.

3. Eat and drink more health OK choices instead.:

Club soda (water with carbonation only); tea; green tea; clean water; unsweetened cocoa; coffee with no sugar or nondairy creamer added; and small amounts of real juice with no sugar added, particularly if you also eat food at the same time; are much better choices than sugar added “drinks” and soft drinks.

Eat more health OK protein foods, such as beef fed only grass, wild caught fish, eggs; beans, and nuts -- and health OK fats like nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil; LOTS of non starchy vegetables; & whole fruit in moderation.

4. It will also help to take 200 mg a day of the supplements chromium polynicotinate and 200 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid.

5. If your fasting glucose is well above 90, it’s even worse for you if your HDL is low (Readings of 50 and above are much better than readings of 40 & less) or your triglycerides are above 100 or so.

Mercifully, many of the things that bring down high glucose move those measures in the desirable direction.

But you can also take specific supplements we have covered in earlier posts to increase your HDL levels even more. And, moderate drinking raises HDL levels. (But more than one or two drinks a day can increase blood glucose and make you fat – plus other problems.)

And, eating onions and garlic and eating wild caught fish and taking DHA & omega 3 supplements from refined and purified fish oil will lower triglyceride levels.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 25, 2008

HOW statin drugs damage your brain....

Today's post: Friday, 7-25-2008

(Yesterday’s post was on other reasons to be very wary of taking statin drugs.)

Today I got an email from with an article called, Statins May Spur Dementia, written by Sylvia Booth Hubbard

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the “glial progenitor cells,” which your brain uses to change and customize the different kinds of cells it needs to keep working right, to change and become a kind of different cell your brain can no longer use to do this.

(Other studies have found that glial cells help your brain grow new cells and connections when you learn new things.)

They found that an enzyme that statins target to lower cholesterol interferes with the normal development of glial progenitor cells.

The researchers experimented with cultures of human brain cells & found that that after adding statin drugs, the glial progenitor cells turned mostly into a type of cell called an “oligodendrocyte.”

The article pointed out that you may need the rebuilding that your glial progenitor cells due to events such as a blow to the head, a stroke, etc. They found that statin drugs tend to deplete the availability of progenitor cells. That could pose a problem if these things happened to you.

However, from what I’ve read, glial cells are a good bit more important to the normal working of your brain than this point suggests.

It was once thought that only babies and toddlers grew new brain cells in response to new information and learning. Recently, researchers at the University of California, at Berkeley where the research on this effect was done for very young people found that it goes on all your life, even for people well over 65 years old.

Glial cells act like the general contractor or building supply department for your brain that does this function.

Dr Graveline, who we spoke of yesterday, found that 40 percent of the side effects from statin drugs are cognitive and, in addition to the temporary but near total amnesia he experienced, he reports that nearly permanent destruction of short term memory has sometimes resulted.

So, at worst, this effect can clearly result in mental incompetence or effective senility by itself and, according to Dr Graveline, has done so.

The researchers University of Rochester Medical Center also speculated that even when the effect just from statins in not that strong, the effect they found would tend to make any other kind of mental decline or senility a person might have worse.

As we posted about yesterday, the benefits statins are prescribed to produce can be gotten in most cases without using them. In fact, by addressing more factors than lowering LDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol in other ways, you can get much BETTER protection from heart attacks without using statin drugs.

Why run the risk of taking something that produces such effects?

Sure, you might be someone who is immune to these effects or in whom they are unusually mild for some reason.

But why run the risk of taking statin drugs when you could be one of the people in whom these effects are severe, when it’s NOT necessary to protect your heart?

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New information on statin drugs....

Today's post: Thursday, 7-24-2008

Recently, I had an opportunity to read an interview by fitness expert, Jon Benson, with a Doctor Graveline who worked at NASA.

It seems that when he was given a statin drug, he suddenly developed total amnesia for his life after he was about 13 years old. Since he was married with several kids and the time period that went missing had all his professional training, that was embarrassing and threatened to make him nearly unemployable.

Needless to say, when he did, mercifully, regain his memory after the other doctor who put him on the statin drug took him off of it, Dr Graveline decided he’d better research statin side-effects in detail.

He discovered the fact that statin drugs deplete CoQ10 and a class of cellular messengers called dolichols. (Dolichols I just heard of from this interview and know nothing about. But CoQ10 depletion HARMS your heart, reduces the energy and energy processing in all your cells, and makes you feel tired and de-energized as a result.)

And, he discovered that other people had developed the sudden amnesia he did. But he also found that many people developed aches and pains and muscle injuries after they started taking statin drugs.

However, he also found that unlike his own experience, when most of those people stopped taking statins, their amnesia, aches and pains, and muscle injuries were permanent and irreversible.

Then he found that the majority of the positive effect of statins on reducing heart attacks was from their effect at lowering the kind of inflammation measured by the C-Reactive Protein, or CRP or HS CRP tests. It was not due very much to their lowering of LDL cholesterol, although they did do that.

He then found that statins have this anti-inflammatory effect at much lower doses than other doctors were prescribing for LDL lowering. In addition, he found that taking statins at these much lower doses AND also taking purified fish oil supplements or eating wild caught fish high in omega 3’s worked even better at lowering CRP levels.

As we’ve posted on before here, there are a great many other factors besides total LDL levels that are much more causative & predictive of heart & cardiovascular disease. And, eating right, taking sterol supplements, and taking niacin will reliably lower high LDL levels with no statin drugs needed. In addition, eating right and taking niacin improves many of the other factors that are more important than total LDL, such as increasing HDL and lowering triglycerides and preventing high blood sugar.

The other piece of news on statin drugs is that it may soon be possible to do a test of your genetic profile to see if you have either a single gene that would predispose you to one kind of statin side effect, or if you have two of these genes, or none.

(Since even the people who have two of these genes do not all report side effects, there are clearly other factors that are protective, such as CoQ10 intake, and likely other genes that predispose you to harmful side effects from statins.)

So, the bottom line is that statins, particularly in high doses, are a good bit less safe than most of the doctors prescribing them realize. And, as many doctors now prescribe them, they are often not needed. Further, prescribing statins without also prescribing 90 to 200 mg a day of CoQ10 is a dangerous and ignorant practice that is often harmful to the people taking it and to their quality of life.

It seems that high doses of statins are not necessary for protecting your heart in most cases. And, if your LDL is high and your CRP is normal, statins may not be a good choice to bring down your LDL levels or to take at all.

You run the risk of irreversible side effects when there are more important things to check and do to protect your heart. And, you can bring down high LDL readings, particularly amount of the truly dangerous small particle LDL in your blood with far less dangerous methods.

(See our recent post: 10th way to health & longevity....
Get your blood biomarkers tested regularly & know how to correct bad readings and do it if bad readings do turn up. – from: Monday, 7-14-2008.)

Plus if your CRP IS high, it may make sense to try first boosting your omega 3 intake; reducing your omega 6 intake by eating no refined grain foods, eating animals that are naturally fed instead of grain fed (wild caught instead of farmed fish, grass fed beef, pasture fed poultry.), & using olive oil or extra virgin olive oil instead of corn oil or safflower oil or soy oil; eliminating high fructose corn syrup, and minimizing sugar intake.

(All those steps have other health benefits, including helping you to lose or avoid putting on excess bodyfat.)

Then, & only then, if you still have an elevated CRP reading, it may make sense to add a LOW dose statin drug. And, if you do that, the evidence I’ve seen suggests you would do well to also take 100 or 200 mg a day of C0Q10.

That having been said most doctors have not yet learned many of these things. They know, accurately in my view, that LDL readings of over 129 are somewhat dangerous & that LDL readings of 160 and up are dangerous.

And, they know that statin drugs have some heart attack preventive effect and do, at least, lower your total LDL readings.

Plus, they are unfamiliar with the other ways of lowering LDL or have not seen the evidence, as I have, that those methods work well to bring down LDL readings that are too high.

And, they know how to prescribe statin drugs.

So, it is understandable that many of them will prescribe statin drugs. Many will even insist on it.

Sometimes this may be the right thing to do, particularly for people who have very high CRP readings.

But it looks like this may be a bad idea for most people otherwise.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

EXERCISE grows new brain cells....

Today's post: Tuesday, 7-22-2008

We’ve posted on this before & this news has been out for awhile.

But you might have missed this news elsewhere or not read our posts on it. And, it’s really important news to know.

Or, you might have not yet started doing regular exercise to get this benefit.

So, when I got a really good article on the subject today, I decided to include it for you here.

The article was in the Total Health Breakthrough email I got earlier today.

Here it is.: (I add some comments after it & also include 3 other ways to protect your brain.)

"This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise's Total Health Breakthroughs, offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription,

Why Stem Cell Research May Be Irrelevant

By Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

I have great news to share!

Creating new brain cells was previously thought to be impossible in humans, but not any more. And you don't need to have an injection of stem cells into your brain to do it, either.

As you may know, stem cells are your body's basic building blocks, used for repair and growth. And when it comes to your brain, stem cells turn into new neurons or brain cells. These brainy stem cells then produce a chemical that protects other brain cells, even damaged ones, from deteriorating.

And recent research reveals that they can reverse memory loss, as well as help restore brain function in humans suffering from a wide range of diseases that impair memory, including Alzheimer's.1

So why then do I say that stem cell research is irrelevant?

Well, while it's been known that creating new brain cells (neurogenesis) was possible in animals such as rats, mice, and canaries, in an elegant new research study at Columbia University, Scott Small, M.D. unveiled the first proof that exercise creates new cells in the exact brain area that is affected by age-related memory loss.2

Previous research has shown that people who exercise do better on memory tests. And it's also true that, when you exercise, you experience an endorphin high and feel great. Moreover, you increase your brain's blood supply and create a compound called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, that induces nerve cells to grow, branch out, and make connections with one another -- all signs of an ageless brain.3

This groundbreaking study, however, explains specifically what exercise does within the brain. Exercise, it was revealed, targets a region of the brain within your memory center known as the dendate gyrus, which underlies age-related memory decline. Exercise increases blood flow to this all-important anatomical area and grows new brain cells. Exercise transforms stem cells into fully-grown, functional neurons right where they're needed most.4

And the best news? You don't have to run marathons or be an Olympic weight lifter to derive the benefits of developing higher levels of brain power. Here's all you need to do:5

Exercise at least three times a week.

Pick something you enjoy and stick with it. Perhaps you like tennis.
Hill training, brisk walking, cycling, or exercising on an elliptical trainer or treadmill are all fine provided they're done for 30 minutes or more.
Finally, don't forget about body-weight exercises or other resistance work, done in combination with your aerobic conditioning.

Exercise does more than build muscles and help prevent heart disease and keep you trim. This new science suggests that it also boosts your brain power -- and may offer help in the battle against Alzheimer's.

Best of Blessings,

Dr. Dharma


1. Cage, FH, Science, 287 (5457): 1433-1438, 2000.
2. Pereira A, et al. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, vol 14, no 13, March 27, 2007; 5638-5643.
3. Singh-Manoux A, et al. Am J Public Health, 2005; 95 (12): 2252-2258.
4. Van Pragg H, Gage FH, Nature Neuroscience,1999; 96(3): 266-270.
5. Friedland RP, et al. PNAS, 2001; 98(6): 3440-3445.

[Ed. Note: The author of seven best-selling books, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., often referred to as Dr. Dharma, is America's # 1 Brain Longevity Specialist. To be part of his on-line community, receive his free newsletter, The Healing Minute, and claim a free e-book go to You may ask him a question at]”

X* X* X* X* X*

Dr Khalsa also wrote a book called, Brain Longevity, that is well worth reading.

Exercise also: increases blood flow to your brain; helps prevent cardiovascular disease that would otherwise reduce blood flow to your brain; it releases neurotransmitters that help you to feel good & be proactive; it reduces stress neurotransmitters; it tends to make you more proactive and skilled at real world problem solving; & it helps enable you to persist and make an extra effort in the face of difficulty.

That exercise grows new brain cells and prevents you from having your brain’s memory centers shrink enough that it likely helps to prevent “senior moments’ and age related mental decline by doing so in addition, is a HUGE reason by itself to be sure to get some regular exercise each week.

Separate research reported recently found that this effect may not entirely prevent Alzheimer’s disease as that may be a separate problem that can cause your brain to malfunction even if you’ve exercised enough to prevent your brain from shrinking. To some degree, Alzheimer’s damages your brain nerves even if you still have enough of them otherwise.

However, there ARE three other things you can do that DO look capable of preventing Alzheimer’s disease if you do all 3. And, a particular kind of exercise DOES help do the third one.

1. Take the supplement turmeric or take curcumin supplements.

“Curcumin, the pungent yellow spice found in both turmeric and curry powders, blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers...." according to research released in July three years ago.

It seems that people who eat a lot of curried foods virtually never get Alzheimer’s disease.

Apparently, curcumin, the active ingredient in curry that has the yellow color, either prevents the inflammatory response referred to in the cancer study which may prevent the formation of the amyloid that that triggers Alzheimer’s or it allows your body’s immune system to clean out the amyloid from your brain nerves. Curcumin may even do both of these things.

2. Learning a variety of new things and staying continuously mentally active has been shown to also grow new brain cells AND to increase their interaction and keep these functions going.

It’s recently been found that socializing regularly with people you know or meeting new people actually has this effect on your brain. So does solving cross word puzzles or chess problems. And so does learning a new language

This effect plus the extra pathways & nerves it creates have been found to preserve your ability to think and remember in the presence of enough amyloid plaques you would otherwise have developed Alzheimer’s symptoms from those amyloid plaques.

It may also help to know a lot of varied information well to create this effect. People who speak more than one language hardly ever get Alzheimer’s disease.

3. The amyloid plaque formation that causes Alzheimer’s may be caused in part or speeded up a lot by blood sugar levels that are too high.

You can prevent this from happening by periodically getting your fasting glucose and HBA1C levels checked to know for sure if you are doing enough to prevent YOUR blood sugar levels from getting too high.

Eating right; taking some supplements such as chromium polynicotinate and alpha lipoic acid; AND ( & most effective) being sure to get in strength training or interval cardio sessions several times a week, will help prevent high blood sugar readings or bring down high ones safely. And, they each have other powerful health benefits.

Lastly, eating right for keeping your blood sugar down works best when it includes eliminating high fructose corn syrup from your food and drink; eliminating or almost eliminating refined grain foods; eating foods with sugar occasionally only instead of several times a day; AND eating plenty of nonstarchy vegetables.

And, in addition helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease, these same steps will help prevent type II diabetes; heart disease; & other health problems. Best of all, they each help prevent you from getting fat or help you lose any excess fat you may have gained.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 21, 2008

Birth control pills much safer if you lower the inflammation they cause....

Today's post: Monday, 7-21-2008

Birth control pills looked to have some health risks, particularly for women who smoked. One solution was to check to see if lower doses still worked to provide contraceptive effects. They did seem to do so & the normal and recommended doses are now a good bit less than they were when birth control pills first came out. (Smoking is such a health risk by itself, clearly it made sense for women worried about their health to not start or to quit regardless of whether or not they took birth control pills.)

So, it looked as if women who didn’t smoke could probably take birth control pills safely at the lower doses.

Last week I discovered this may ONLY be true if you take action to reverse the increase in inflammation they cause.

The article was in the Total Health Breakthrough email I got on Tuesday last week.

Here it is.: (I add some comments after it.)

"This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise's Total Health Breakthroughs, offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription,

Birth Control Pills -- Still Hold Risks

By James B. LaValle, R.Ph, ND, CCN

Years ago I started educating health professionals and patients in my practice about birth control pills. If they -- or their wives, daughters, or patients were taking them -- they should make sure to supplement with a multivitamin and mineral containing higher dosages of B vitamins.

The reason?

Studies have found that oral contraceptives deplete several nutrients including vitamins B2, B6, and B12, folate, vitamins C and E, magnesium, and even CoQ10.1-5

These nutrient depletions have far-reaching effects; they can contribute to everything from depression, migraines, and anemia -- to cervical dysplasia -- the precursor to cervical cancer.

Today it is common medical practice to discontinue the use of birth control pills for a few months before trying to get pregnant because the folate depletion they cause can increase the risks of a baby being born with spina bifida.

As recently as 2003, a study found that young women who took birth control pills had twice as much C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood.6 CRP is a product of systemic inflammation and is known to cause narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This was a small study, but it showed that birth control pills promoted inflammation in the body -- part of which is very likely due to the nutrients they deplete.

I emphasized the word "young" because this study showed that the inflammation is happening at a young age. While the authors stated that the study could not determine whether the elevated CRP would increase the risk of heart disease, it only stands to reason that the longer a woman lives with elevated CRP, the greater her risk will be of developing damage from it.

Many gynecologists today still believe the risks from birth control pills were mainly in the past when dosages of the hormones were higher. In fact, most gynecologists still encourage the use of birth control pills because some research suggests that they lower the risk of ovarian cancer and pelvic inflammatory disease.

While this is a very personal decision, I believe women should know that even today's birth control pills can deplete nutrients -- and that any woman using them should protect herself by taking a good multivitamin every day as well as extra CoQ10 (60 to 90 mg per day).

If you or your significant other uses birth control pills, protect yourself with extra nutrients, and measure your CRP levels to see if they are elevated. If they are, you should try to decrease other sources of inflammation to your body like high intake of sugars and other high glycemic index foods.

Taking the nutrients mentioned above plus additional antioxidants will help to reduce CRP levels. If CRP still doesn't come down, you may need to consider other methods of birth control.


Webb, JL, J Reprod Med 25(4) (Oct 1980) : 150-56.
Ahmed, F et al., Am J Clin Nutr 28(6) (Jun 1975) : 606-15.
Bermond, P Acta Vitaminol Enzymol 1982;4(1-2):45-54
Seelig MS, J Am Coll Nutr, 1993 12(4):442-58
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (194, 5:e35-e38, 2006).
Dreon D, et al. American Physiological Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, 2003.

[Ed. Note: James LaValle, R.Ph, ND, CCN, is the founding Director of the LaValle Metabolic Institute, one of the largest integrative medicine practices in the country. He was named as one of the 50 most influential pharmacists in the US by American Druggist magazine. Dr. LaValle is the author of more than a dozen books including the bestseller, Cracking the Metabolic Code: 9 Keys to Optimal Health..”

X* X* X* X* X*

I have two comments on this article.

First, both the doubling of the CRP reading & the depletion of vitamins B2, B6, and B12, folate, vitamins C and E, magnesium, & of CoQ10 have significant and known health risks.

So this information is a good bit more serious a health threat than it might appear.

Some studies have found that high CRP readings predict heart attack & cardiovascular risk a good bit better than total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.

In addition, depleting these vitamins increases homocysteine levels. This produces cardiovascular damage & accelerates aging.

(It may be the mechanism that causes the increased inflammation.) It definitely helps explain why smoking increases the risk of birth control pills since smoking also increases homocysteine levels. So women who both smoke and take birth control pills are being hit with two things that raise their homocysteine levels.

Second, this information may well reveal how birth control pills can be taken safely.

The good news is that taking a good multivitamin plus mineral and a good balanced B complex supplement and taking extra B12 of 1,000 micrograms and 1600 iu of folic acid and enough B6 to get the total taken to but not above 75 mg can help.

Also, if a woman is taking birth control pills, she can get her homocysteine level checked directly. Since levels of 9.0 and above tend to produce health damage, if hers are 9.0 or higher, she may need to add 500 or 1,000 mg of NAC & TMG a day each to bring it down – in addition to taking these B vitamins.

Magnesium & CoQ10 both provide essential health protection. So it may be wise for women taking birth control pills to take an extra 200 mg a day of magnesium and 100 mg a day of CoQ10.

Also, sharply increasing your intake of omega 3 oils from fish oil supplements, DHA supplements and eating wild caught fish & beef fed only grass -- plus sharply lowering omega 6 oils by eliminating refined grain foods and oils like corn, safflower, and soy and replacing them with some whole grain foods, vegetables, and olive oils and extra virgin olive oil is a known way to sharply lower CRP and to lower triglycerides. Both those effects reduce health & heart risks.

So, women who take birth control pills would be well advised to make these changes in order to have more omega 3’s and less omega 6’s.

(However, some fish, tuna is one, it’s wise to eat much less often as it’s a bit too high in mercury.)

The bottom line is that it may be safe to take birth control pills if you also monitor CRP and homocysteine and take these foods & supplements to compensate for these effects of the birth control pills.

It certainly looks as if it is NOT wise to take birth control pills if you do not take these protective actions.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 18, 2008

You CAN make small health improvements II....

Today's post: Friday, 7-18-2008

Yesterday we posted why it is that in upgrading your health habits and actions to protect your health it’s very important to begin with tiny changes you clearly can do with relative ease; to actually begin doing the small changes you decide are that doable; & to do this in several of the key areas at the same time.

We posted a very small list of ideas to try including try adding more things, even one initially, that will protect or improve your health. (Our earlier posts have dozens more including dark chocolate & unsweetened cocoa with no milk added.)

We also posted on two of the most powerful & beneficial to your health AND inexpensive supplements to consider begin taking if you do not take them now.

Here are some ideas to consider trying in several of the areas.

A. One of the best areas to try is to add MORE things to what you eat & drink that will improve your health. (See yesterday’s post.)

B. A delightfully easy area to work on that can have truly astonishingly large benefits is to take supplements. (See yesterday’s post for two ideas.)

Here are two more to consider adding if you don’t already take them.:

A good multivitamin plus minerals that’s reasonably easy to take is extremely important to include.

One that does a decent job including the most important & best known vitamins and minerals AND does it without tons of artificial colors -- plus it’s reasonably priced -- is the Daily One from & available at Whole Foods Markets.

It can be really easy to miss one of these vitamins and minerals in your food & other supplements; but it can really mess up your health if you happen to do it for too long a time.

Taking a good multivitamin plus minerals that’s reasonably to take will insure that you always have the basics covered. And, it’s no surprise that studies show people who take a good multivitamin plus minerals tend to be in better health than people who don’t.

So, if you don’t already take one, this is a great one to consider adding.

But what if you already take many supplements including the three we just suggested? One good way to protect your health is to watch for supplements that do things you particularly want done for your health. (We included some supplements in our post recently on optimizing your biomarkers for heart health for example.)

If you are a man who would like to escape prostate cancer, here’s one to consider.:
(Women might wish to consider it also as supplements that prevent all cancers or prostate cancer also tend to prevent breast & ovarian cancers as well.)

I recently read that studies have found that supplementing with the mineral boron has cut the incidence of prostate cancer in half.

Even better, based on a study I read long ago there is a chance that taking boron will help you be & stay more alert when you are tired or fatigued.

I’d already been taking boron for years for the extra alertness when I read the good news that I may also have been cutting my risk of prostate cancer in half.

The amount of boron in the capsules I take is 3 mg.

And, it too is reasonably inexpensive.

Note that for many of the supplements, each one will protect your health in several ways & have multiple health benefits just as the four I’ve suggested here.

So, it’s no surprise that studies find that people who take a good multivitamin plus minerals & several other supplements each day, “multi-supplement takers,” enjoy better health than people who do not.

And, I include it here because of that & that it’s so easy to get started doing.

C. Regular Exercise.

The good news as I’ve posted about quite often is that regular exercise has an incredible list of health benefits if you do it.

The bad news is that NOT doing regular exercise has the exact reverse list of health penalties –
AND in today’s world where our work, recreations, & transport all tend to be sedentary and our lives already a bit over scheduled, getting regular exercise each week can be quite a challenge.

One way to find time for it is to not only watch less TV but to substitute exercise for some of the times you now watch TV.

A second is to get a stationary exercise bike or treadmill for while you watch some kinds of TV programs or to watch at the gym as many set up to make this easy to do. This is a great way to watch sports that interest you but aren’t playoff games where your favorite team is playing. It also works for routine news and weather and for lighter entertainment shows.

A third way is to do several bits of 5, 10 or 15 minutes at more than one time each day. Research has found that this is often easier & more doable than trying to only do 30 minute sessions AND, even better, it gets the same or better health results as 3o minute or longer sessions if the short bits add up to that many minutes.

A fourth way is to do your exercise or some of your most important exercise early enough in your day in the morning that the demands of the day won’t de-rail you.

And, just a few short sessions of exercise each week that you do regularly can total 500 calories or more which will give you a full forty percent of the health benefits of an ideal exercise program of SEVEN times that much.

Even better, it’s much easier & more doable to get that level from not exercising at all than to doing a LOT more. That means you are more likely to start doing it & keep doing it.

Once you do that, you can also gradually begin trying more strength training or interval cardio or simply doing more exercise.

Here are just handful of ideas you can try.

Take a 5 or ten minute walk on your lunch hour--or right after you get home from work.

Twice a week turn off the TV for half an hour and do exercises.

Try what I once read Clint Eastwood did when his schedule got busy, simply take a few two or three minute breaks a few times each day and do a set of a few push ups or crunches.

Exercise with dumbbells that are a bit light for you & do a few exercises such as push ups (or push ups from the knee), half squats, or crunches that use your body weight. Then do 3 fifteen minute sessions for your upper body & on alternate days do 3 days for 15 minutes of leg exercises. And, do this early each morning.

This is a bit more advanced than just adding a bit of walking here and there to your week. But, as I’ve previously posted, I find it very doable and extremely reliable even when my weeks are super busy & over scheduled.

D. Begin to eliminate harmful foods and drinks from your life & take in less of the things that aren’t that good for you.

As our regular readers know, this is one of our most frequent post topics. The reason is that:

far too few people know the information on what things are now known to be truly harmful, how many of these things are in the foods & drinks they might otherwise take in because they are now so routinely available everywhere;
& how many people who are competent at their jobs or even otherwise well educated, still keep ruining their health and running up future medical & prescription bills by continuing to eat & drink this stuff.

Once you get into it AND you know how horribly bad for you these things are, it’s not that hard to do.

Why this stuff is so harmful is in many of our other posts & in articles by other health experts and doctors & that HMO’s are now giving their patients.

But here are some ideas.

One of the most important, if you haven’t done it already, is to simply stop buying or drinking soft drinks whether regular or diet

Then, instead, drink water, green tea or tea with no milk, or even coffee if you avoid adding nondairy creamer or too much milk fat or sugar to it. Or drink club soda or Perrier water if you crave the carbonation. Also, if you do it in moderation, real fruit juices and real vegetable juices and low fat and non fat milk also work.

This one can knock ten or twenty pounds off of you with no added feeling of hunger if you have been drinking soft drinks daily.

A second is to eat fresh fruit or vegetables instead of snack foods that contain mostly refined grains and salt or sugar.

A third is to read all the labels of the food you buy at the store including foods such as ice cream, bread, jams and jellies, pancake syrup, & peanut butter that you tend to think of as real foods with normal ingredients. (Unfortunately, you almost don’t even need to read the labels on pie crusts, cakes, commercially baked goods, and any kind of packaged snacks, the ingredients they are made of are so bad today.)

Then, the first week you simply throw out & permanently stop buying any food or drinks that contain high fructose corns syrup.

Then, the second week you simply throw out & permanently stop buying any foods or drinks that contain any partially hydrogenated oils or have a trans fat reading of anything other than zero or that contain something called interesterified fats.

A fourth one is to stop buying or eating any foods made with refined grains. You might want to save this one for last as so many foods we’ve taken for granted are normal foods are made with refined grains. It means usually tossing the bun on hot dogs and hamburgers AND tossing the bread on sandwiches you buy for lunch and eating them Atkins style, for example.

We now know that people did not evolve to eat grains.

Most people who eat only whole grain foods or eat only whole grain foods 80 or 90 percent of the time and get plenty of regular exercise & who aren’t fat can get away with eating grains healthwise.

But refined grain foods tend to make you fat and sick. For most people it’s a more advanced step. But if you haven’t been exercising or just began doing regular exercise or you are at all fatter than you would like or fatter than you should be, it’s one we recommend highly.

Now for the key part.

Write down your ideas as to what you can try within the next few days in each of these areas and try it.

Then do this adding a bit more once a month.

This is doable. You can do it. And, it will pay huge health dividends.

It may even protect you from getting a cancer you would have otherwise gotten, having to take diabetes drugs, or having a heart attack.

To recap, the areas are.:

1. Add some good for you foods.

2. Add some supplements or new ones that do things you want done.

3. Begin or continue doing regular exercise.

4. Stop eating & drinking things that contain ingredients that will make you fat and sick.

It sounds simple. And, once you get used to it, it IS simple.

But, until you do it, your health is at risk; and you’ll be sick from things you could have avoided; plus you’ll be a good bit fatter than you’d like.

If you haven’t started already, take a piece of paper or open a new word processing document & write down what to try next week in each of these four areas.

You’ll be glad you did.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You CAN make small health improvements....

Today's post: Thursday, 7-17-2008

In any given part of the actions that protect your health, you may be a total beginner or even really used to doing the opposite.

If it was super easy to make massive changes in the actions you now take by habit that impact your health for good or for bad, everyone would do it.

In the same way, although it’s quite possible to become fluent in a language you don’t yet speak or learn a martial art to a black belt level or any other skill, it’s usually not possible to do it in a week.

What DOES work is: to learn the background information of the important parts of a new skill; & to begin immediately making small but immediately DOABLE progress on several key parts of the skill.

It can also help to get support for your efforts, new relevant infomation that supports your efforts, &, information on tips to help you successfully learn to do each part.

That’s precisely what we try to do with each of our posts.

What sometimes happens is that people who begin to take action to protect their health make one of three mistakes.:

1. They try to do or achieve so much more than they are as yet capable of doing in an area of it that they burn out or feel like a failure at the effort & then quit.

2. They see some high level way to succeed at some part of taking action to protect their health they aren’t in a position now to do & plan to do that someday – BUT, having done so, they do NOTHING AT ALL NOW.

3. Or, they completely underestimate the combined effect of tiny changes in several of the key areas at the same time or presume they cannot handle dealing with more than one area at a time.

The solution is essentially to do the reverse in each case.

1. Think through in key each area some step you clearly could begin to do within a few days. It can even be a truly tiny step that hardly would be an effort at all for you to do.

The critical point to remember is that once you are doing this step or effort regularly, you can then take other additional & easy steps or gradually improve on each one. Once you have some experience & have begun well at an easy level, you can make careful efforts to achieve doable improvements by aiming at worthwhile improvements that would be moderately difficult but which would be achievable with a bit of extra effort.

This plan IS doable. YOU can do it. And, it WORKS & will improve your health.

2. Decide to start doing the things you realized you would find doable & decide when you will begin -- & DO it.

It can be fun to imagine what wonderful things you’d do for your health if you had the money & time to do them that you do not have now.

But, even if that does happen for you some day, your health will be impacted between now and then by what you actually do between now & then to protect your health.

So, DO the things you CAN do & start now.

That way if you do get to a time where you can do all the things you’d like to do that cost money, you’ll have good health between now & then; & you’ll still be in good health when that happens; and you’ll stay alive until that time.

3. Do this process in EVERY key area right away. Since in every one of the areas, you are taking an action that you find easy & quite doable, there really isn’t any good reason why not.

The benefits are truly astonishing for doing this.

For any ONE of the small initial things you do, the health effect may be quite small at first; but if you do five or six different kinds, the combined & interactive effect of your new actions may be surprisingly powerful.

But, by far of most importance, is the impact on YOU & your feelings that you are beginning to successfully be in control of your health and to see yourself as someone who takes regular, effective action to protect your health. Doing one tiny thing for a few weeks might not have this effect. But doing one thing in four or five different areas WILL produce this effect.

And this effect is enormously powerful. Once it happens, you’ll find more useful information you can use & begin to see opportunities to improve and feel comfortable trying them.

It’s quite literally like successfully retargeting a missile; & you will be on your way to MUCH better health. Taking charge of your health will become your normal course of action that becomes part of your self concept. And, you’ll see yourself as someone who does that.

Here are some ideas to consider trying in several of the areas.

A. One of the best areas to try is to add MORE things to what you eat & drink that will improve your health.

Start with even one you like or think you might like or one you find doable.

Eating blueberries will boost your HDL levels & protect your heart and has proven to be protective of your brain & even will often restore some capacity if you are older. You can get frozen blueberries at most grocery stores. Bring them home & thaw them in the refrigerator and begin to eat a package of them each week. I started putting them on my oatmeal three times a week instead of brown sugar. I now really enjoy them. And, I probably added 5 points to my HDL level too.

Since avocado is both incredibly good for you & contains virtually all heart health OK monosaturated oils, try having some guacamole as a snack.

Add a single serving of some kind of vegetable to your lunch or your dinner each day.

Any one such step is easy. But once you have tried a few more & kept the ones you liked or found doable, you can even build up to several dozen over each week. THAT has a huge effect. But it all starts with doing one.

The trick to get started is to begin doing just one right away.

B. A delightfully easy area to work on that can have truly astonishingly large benefits is to take supplements.

If you haven’t been taking them, even adding one or two of the most valuable can have such effects.

And, if you already take some supplements already, adding one that you discover has benefits you want or need can help also.

It’s long been thought that taking 500 mg to 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C is good for your health & will protect your heart. This turns out to be quite true. Taking this much vitamin C has lowered blood pressure by a few points in people where it was high. And, I read recently of a study that found that taking this much vitamin C lowers LDL cholesterol AND increases HDL while lowering triglycerides. (If you read our post earlier this week on managing your blood biomarkers of health, you KNOW how heart protective these effects are.)

And, 500 mg of vitamin C is inexpensive enough to be quite affordable, almost cheap in fact.

Taking 1,000 iu of vitamin D3 once or twice a day may have even more powerful health effects recent research has found. Taking this much vitamin D produces improved mood, stronger bones, probably less colds and flu, a lower chance of getting ANY & ALL kinds of cancer and a lower chance of developing autoimmune diseases.

And, just like vitamin C, 1,000 iu of vitamin D is inexpensive enough to be quite affordable, almost cheap in fact.

Am out of time today so I’ll finish this post with a part II tomorrow.

We’ll have a couple more supplement ideas & ideas for exercise & what to STOP eating and how.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Statins for children NOT a good idea....

Today's post: Tuesday, 7-15-2008

Children as young as 8 years old with high cholesterol should be put on statins, according to a recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

This is NOT a good idea at all in any way.

In adults, statins only address a small part of the causes of heart disease. (See yesterday’s post for details of the five measures one needs to optimize to prevent heart disease.) They only lower LDL cholesterol. They do not lower homocysteine or blood sugar readings that are too high. They don’t lower triglycerides. And, though some of them apparently do raise HDL cholesterol, they don’t increase it as much as niacin & other methods do.

Worse, they have significant harmful effects; & there are other quite effective & far safer ways to lower LDL cholesterol. Statins sometimes cause liver damage, nerve damage, & serious damage to muscles. And they ALWAYS lower CoQ10. When you add to that the fact that far less than 100 % of doctors know to prescribe CoQ10 of at least 100 mg a day with statin drugs or how extremely important that is to the health & quality of life of their patients, it’s not at all clear to me that more than 5 to 10 % of the ADULTS now taking statins should be on them.

And, worst of all, they allow doctors & patients to think they do NOT need to address eating right & discontinuing the consumption of things harmful to the heart such as transfats & high fructose corn syrup & that they do not need to address adding regular exercise or losing excess fat if in that patient it’s an excessive amount.

Every single one of these things is an even stronger argument against giving statins to any child who doesn’t have such high cholesterol readings that it’s clear there is a genetic problem of some kind. (Pediatricians already prescribe statins for such children.) This report suggests that if a child has only a high reading, not an incredibly high reading, that statins be prescribed.

The two worst things about this recommendation for children are these.:

1. In addition to all the risks of side effects that it is NOT necessary to take to prevent heart disease in adults, since children are still growing and developing, there is an additional risk for children taking statins that their normal growth & development may be screwed up.

Since damage to mitochondria from the C0Q10 depletion statin drugs cause is common & such damage produces lack of energy & aging effects, it’s also possible the children may have less energy for their educations to work out well & might even experience accelerated aging over their lives.

2. But the very worst problem with this recommendation it that it totally ignores treating the causes of the problem. And, if these causes are addressed well in children, those children not only will have their high LDL cholesterol levels go down & be far less likely to get heart attacks, they will avoid obesity, type II diabetes, high blood pressure & become less likely to get heart disease since the other causes of it will be addressed.

If a child has high LDL cholesterol, they very likely are also fatter than they should be & on track to get heart disease & all these other health problems. But that’s because the CAUSES of those conditions have not been addressed.

If a child watches TV for too many hours each week & never gets any exercise & never exercises regularly, as many do now unfortunately, THAT is the thing to get professional help to change NOT taking a drug & leaving that alone.

If a child often & regularly eats the snack foods advertised often on TV that contain refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, & trans fats AND that child also drinks several soft drinks a day, as far too many today do unfortunately, THAT is the thing to get professional help to change NOT taking a drug & leaving that alone.

As you can see from yesterday’s post all of the things is these two categories cause negative health effects in all five of the factors we posted on yesterday that DO cause heart disease.

Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics is right to recommend that if a child has high LDL cholesterol something effective should be done & begun right away.

But to ignore treating the real causes & to advocate a symptom treatment that has serious side effects & ignore the real causes is extremely ill advised.

And, since the parents of these children very likely do NOT yet know that these things are causing their children AND the parents themselves to get all these diseases, what they need & should get is an effective education on why these factors produce disease and how to live differently.

And, since the parents of the children their child goes to school with likely don’t know either or the parent’s resources may be limited in time and money, the parents or the child or both may well need some kind of ongoing support group that the doctor can refer them to.

One book that many parents would find helpful in this area is Dr David Ludwig’s book,
Ending the Food Fight:
Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/ Fake Food World.

Dr Ludwig’s book would have been a MUCH better & more effective tool for the American Academy of Pediatrics to have recommended to their doctor members & for parents of children who have high LDL cholesterol than statin drugs.

Dr Ludwig has researched the causes of heart disease in detail. He knows what lifestyle changes prevent it. And, for parents even better, he has successful experience working with parents & teen aged kids to put those changes into place.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 14, 2008

10th way to health & longevity....

Get your blood biomarkers tested regularly & know how to correct bad readings and do it if bad readings do turn up.

Today's post: Monday, 7-14-2008

One of the nice things about being willing to take charge of your health is the long list of things that have been proven to work that you can do or do more of.

We posted on 9 of the promised 10 ways last Friday, 7-11, in our most recent post.

That post also listed yet two more posts we have done on this general topic, lists of ways to stay healthy & live a long and healthy life.

One of those two, the one from Friday, 3-14-2008, had this:

“Get key health biomarkers, particularly those testable by blood tests, checked regularly. And, learn & use foods, supplements, & other lifestyle upgrades such as exercise that optimize any that are even somewhat too high or too low. Many of these other 20 methods have worked for thousand of years. This one is relatively new. But it’s extremely powerful. We’ve done many posts on it. Blood glucose, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, & homocysteine levels that are too high will age you rapidly; cause cardiovascular disease, tend to make you senile, & /or kill you. So will having too low a level of HDL. If you know these measures, know what levels you should shoot for, & optimize them, you WILL live longer & be healthier every year you live.”

This is the 10th way to health & longevity.

In our view, it is most effective and safer by far to improve these measures with eating right, exercise, & the appropriate supplements than it is to use drugs.

And, if you do use drugs to regulate them, which may be necessary if they are at the truly dangerous & extreme levels, you’ll only get the health protection you need if you ALSO improve these measures with eating right, exercise, & the appropriate supplements that can be used safely with the drugs in question.

In addition, you can avoid drugs & getting to dangerous levels, if you improve any of these measures with eating right, exercise, & the appropriate supplements if it goes above the desirable or at least the almost OK level.

Our many posts on these measures contain many of the foods, exercises, & supplements that will improve them.

And, we are about to release an eBook on reducing high blood pressure without drugs that will cover many of them in detail.

In order to reduce high blood pressure without drugs best, you need to move many of these measures into the desirable or at least OK levels. And, if you have high blood pressure, many of them are very likely in the not really OK to the dangerous levels. The effects of the bad readings may well be causing the high blood pressure & often are.

It would help you to read our other posts & other sources to become fully informed on this subject as it is so very large.

But we summarize some of the most important information in this post.

And, you CAN get the most important measures done in virtually one pass if your doctor or HMO will work with you. (I’ve had good luck with Kaiser myself.) And, as the power of these becomes better known & how fast they can get worse or better becomes better known, I think getting them done at least once a year will become more common, available, & supported.

Here are some of the measures and the desirable & not OK numbers.

There are others; but these are some of the most important.

1. Homocysteine should be 8.9 or less. Higher levels tend to produce mental decline & cardiovascular disease. Most people over 40 & virtually all smokers tend to be well above 10.0 & many are above 12.0.

Staying away from cigarette smoke as close to 100 % as possible helps keep homocysteine levels down. Taking optimum amounts of vitamin B-Complex, & in particular, folic acid, B6, & B12 will lower homocysteine one or more points. Many people will also need to take the supplements NAC & TMG to get to or even close to desirable levels.

2. HDL should be 45 or more. And, more than 60 is even better. Levels above 60 tend to be found in people who are unusually long lived.

1,000 calories a week of exercise each week, some of which is strength training or interval cardio that is quite vigorous is one of the best & most health producing ways to increase HDL. The main supplements that increase HDL include niacin, chromium, B-Complex vitamins, choline, & supplements like grape seed extract & bilberry extract. Drinking moderately several times a week, preferably of red wine, raises HDL. Foods that contain these ingredients raise HDL, particularly foods containing choline such as egg yolks & wheat germ. And, recent studies found that eating blueberries, blackberries, etc also raises HDL.

3. Triglycerides should be 100 or less. And a measure of LESS than your HDL is ideal. It turns out that triglycerides are a more important measure than LDL since the amount of the dangerous small particle LDL that you actually need to keep really low, is found by the ratio of HDL to triglycerides.

If you have 200 or higher triglycerides & your HDL is 40 or less, you have LOTS of the dangerous small particles of LDL. And, you don’t even need a direct measure of LDL to know this. If you do have such readings as many people do, you have or are developing cardiovascular disease. So, if you do, it’s critical to your health to both increase your HDL and to lower your triglycerides.

1,000 calories a week of exercise each week, some of which is strength training or interval cardio that is quite vigorous is one of the best & most health producing ways to lower your triglycerides & to reduce the dangerous small particles of LDL in your blood. Note that it improves BOTH your HDL & your triglyceride level at the same time.

The other thing that reduces triglycerides is to eat very few if any junk foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, to eat very little if any refined grain foods, to be moderate to sparing in the number of times a week you eat regular sugar, & to eat a lot of nonstarchy vegetables.

The third way to lower triglyceride levels is to eat wild caught fish or beef fed only grass that are high in omega 3 oils & or take DHA and omega 3 supplements from algae or purified fish oil.

The good thing about these 3 things is that they all have other health benefits. Exercise also grows new brain cells & improves your circulation directly; helps keep excess fat off of you; keeps your blood glucose levels down to desirable levels; & improves your sex life.

And, eating very few of the listed bad carbs & eating a lot of nonstarchy vegetables helps keep excess fat off of you & keeps your blood glucose levels down to desirable levels.

Note that the previous 9 ways we posted about on Friday contain this kind of eating right & exercise.

But measuring HDL & triglyceride levels may show you need to do a better job on eating right & exercise &/or add the appropriate supplements to move these two indicators into the safe or desirable levels.

4. LDL should be 129 or less for sure. And, LDL of 100 or a bit less may be even more desirable.

If your HDL level is greater than your triglyceride level and you eat a lot of fruits & vegetables, which contain antioxidants & take antioxidant vitamins & supplements, getting below 100 LDL total is not as important as it is for people with the opposite situation, It’s the oxidized and small particle LDL that harms you. So if you do a great job of minimizing THAT measure, total LDL is less critical.

That said, if your LDL is 130 or more, particularly, 160 or more, it’s good idea to bring it down.

Doing so will also help lower the oxidized and small particle LDL in your body. However, doing this by eating right, taking niacin, & taking sterol supplements will do the job for most people & is dramatically safer than taking statin drugs and has virtually no side effects compared to taking statin drugs.

5. Blood glucose measures are critically important. Your fasting glucose reading should be 99 or less & your HBA1C reading should be 5.8 or less. 89 or less on the fasting glucose reading & 5.7 or less on your HBA1C reading is ideal.

Readings on the HBA1C test of 6.0 or greater are now diagnosed as type II diabetes. 7.1 or higher HBA1C are dangerous & will tend to cause your doctor to prescribe drugs because of this.

Such readings dramatically increase your risk of heart attack & harm your blood circulation all over your body a lack which has reliably caused people to get mental decline, ruined kidneys, go blind, & have their feet amputated from lack of circulation.

And, fasting glucose readings of 100 or more, particularly over 110 or triglyceride levels of 150 or more are warning signs your HBA1C will likely go over 5.9 unless you take action to lower your blood sugar levels to the desirable range

Three things bring down blood sugar readings that are too high.:

a) Exercise does it best. And since most of us have sedentary jobs & commuting methods, it is critical to do regular exercise each week. And, no surprise, 1,000 calories a week of exercise each week, some of which is strength training or interval cardio that is quite vigorous is THE best & most effective way to do this.

If you measure your blood glucose before such exercise & ten or so minutes after, you can see dramatic drops in blood glucose. Even better, if you do such exercise regularly, your body will process the sugars you do eat enough better, the pre-exercise readings will be lower also.

b) Almost as important is to eat very few if any junk foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, to eat very little if any refined grain foods, to be moderate to sparing in the number of times a week you eat regular sugar, & to eat a lot of nonstarchy vegetables.

c) The supplements alpha lipoic acid & chromium help keep blood sugar readings where they should be also.

As you can see, getting these 5 blood biomarkers tested may well show you if you have been eating right & exercising well enough to protect your health. They begin to show WHY eating right and exercise have the health protective effects they do.

But they also may well show you that you need to take much stronger action than you had realized. And, they may well also show you that in your particular case, there are certain supplements you need to begin to take right away if you want to stay healthy.

I include this 10th way to stay healthy because it enables you to see – and correct -- problems with your health well before they start to do your health serious harm if you do these tests every six months or so

And, in most cases, you’ll be able to correct them before they do you serious harm or put you at levels where your doctor will be sure to write you a prescription for drugs which all too often have harmful or quality of life ruining side effects.

NOT getting them is like driving your car on the freeway without being able to see where you are going.

I can attest from personal experience that this is true even if you are practicing most of the other 9 ways to stay healthy.

I didn’t know that a fasting glucose reading of 115 was dangerous. When my blood test showed that reading, my doctor knew to tell me I needed to reduce it. I was already eating right mostly, exercising, & taking many of the supplements to protect my heart, including chromium polynicotinate.

But, I’d allowed myself to use more brown sugar on my oatmeal than was good for me & to eat my daily applesauce serving using applesauce with sugar added.

I immediately renewed buying & eating ONLY applesauce with no sugar added. I cut my modest intake of brown sugar in half, I began taking 200 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid, & I added a good bit of cinnamon with the brown sugar I still used. (Cinnamon buffers & reduces the blood sugar boosting effects of eating sugar.)

My subsequent readings have been below 100 & often below 90.

But had I not had the test to know & taken these corrective actions, I might have developed low level type II diabetes before I knew I had a problem.

In addition, when my LDL tested as 130, I added a bit more niacin each day & began taking 3 tablets a day of the sterol beta sitosterol each day. Then when I’ve been tested since, I’ve seen readings like 96 or at or just above 100.

So, getting re-tested, I knew my corrective actions got the job done.

Here again, without the tests, I’d not have know I needed to take action. And without the rests, I would have had no way of knowing I’d succeeded.

These tests didn’t used to exist. But now that they do, they give us an incredibly powerful way to take control over our health & to protect it BEFORE it’s harmed.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 11, 2008

10 ways to health & longevity....

Today's post: Friday, 7-11-2008

One of the nice things about being willing to take charge of your health is the long list of things that have been proven to work that you can do or do more of.

Here are two posts we’ve already done with some of those lists.:

Proven long life strategies….Friday, 5-23-2008
(Strategies from the new Blue Zones book.)

& Fri, 3-14-2008, 21 ways to live to be 100)

It can be enjoyable & enlightening to read these lists. It’s fun & encouraging to note the ones you already do & do well.

And, it can help you to see things you do but need to do more or better & things you maybe never have heard of before you can do & even enjoy. (Our many posts on dark chocolate are a good example of that last category.)

Our post today has 10 ways to be healthier or live longer or both.

Nine are from an article in the email that I got earlier today from Total Health Breakthroughs.

I’ll quote the article here & add my comments plus a tenth one I think very powerful.

I like his article because he includes some things NOT on lists from other sources AND because he does an unusually good job on some of the short parts he writes on each habit..

"This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise's Total Health Breakthroughs, offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription,

“Friday, July 11, 2008

The Nine Habits of Highly Healthy People

By Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

For years, business and motivational gurus have known that there are basic habits that seem to predict professional success and excellence. Books like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by motivational speaker and business guru Stephen Covey, which has sold over 15 million copies alone, shows that people are hungry for the secrets of success.

We don't yet have the perfect formula for long life, happiness, and physical health, but a little careful distillation of the massive amount of research on health and longevity reveals that cultivating nine basic habits will significantly increase the odds of your living long, well, and happily -- in a robust, healthy, weight-appropriate body.

1. Eat your vegetables. No kidding --and I'm talking at least 9 servings a day. Unless you're following the most stringent first stage of the Atkins Diet, you should be able to consume 60-120 grams of carbs a day (depending on your weight and exercise level), and you'd have to eat a stockyard full of spinach to get to that amount. Every major study of long-lived, healthy people shows that they eat a ton of plant foods. Nothing delivers antioxidants, fiber, flavonoids, indoles, and the entire pharmacopeia of disease fighting phytochemicals like stuff that grows in rich soil.

2. Eat fish and/or take fish oil. The omega-3's found in cold-water fish like salmon deserve the title of "wellness molecule of the century." They lower the risk of heart disease, they lower blood pressure, they improve mood, and they're good for the brain. And if you're pregnant, they may make your kid smarter!

3. Connect. And I'm not talking about the internet. In virtually every study of people who are healthy and happy into their 9th and 10th decades, social connections are one of the "prime movers" in their life. Whether church, family, volunteer work, or community, finding something you care about that's bigger than you, that you can connect with and that involves other people (or animals) -- will extend your life, increase your energy, and make you happier -- always.

4. Get some sun. At least 10-15 minutes three times a week. Interestingly, a recent study showed that the four healthiest places on earth where the people were longest-lived, were in sunny climates.1 Sun improves your mood and boosts levels of cancer-fighting, performance-enhancing, bone-strengthening vitamin D -- a vitamin most people don't get nearly enough of.

5. Sleep well. If you're low in energy, gaining weight, grumpy, and looking haggard, guess what? Chances are you're not sleeping long enough or well enough. By sleeping "well," I mean uninterrupted sleep, in the dark -- without the television on, in a relaxing environment. Nothing nourishes, replenishes, and restarts the system like 7-9 hours sleep. Hint: start by going to bed an hour early. And if you've got a computer in the bedroom, banish it!

6. Exercise every day. Forget this 20 minutes three times a week stuff. Long-lived people are doing things like farm chores at 4:30 in the morning! Our Paleolithic ancestors traveled an average of 20 miles per day. Our bodies were designed to move on a regular basis. New studies show that merely 30 minutes a day of walking not only reduces the risk of most serious diseases, but can even grow new brain cells!2

7. Practice gratitude. By making a list of things you're grateful for, you focus the brain on positive energy. Gratitude is incompatible with anger and stress. Practice using your under-utilized "right brain" and spread some love. Focusing on what you're grateful for -- even for five minutes a day -- has the added benefit of being one of the best stress-reduction techniques on the planet.

8. Drink red wine or eat grapes. The resveratrol in dark grapes is being studied for its effect on extending life, which it seems to do for almost every species studied. (So does eating about one third less food, by the way.) If you've got a problem with alcohol, you can get resveratrol from grapes, peanuts, or supplements. (And if you're a woman, and you choose the alcohol option, make sure you're getting folic acid every day.)

9. Get the sugar out. The number one enemy of vitality, health, and longevity is not fat, it's sugar. Sugar's effect on hormones, mood, immunity, weight, and possibly even cancer cells is enormous -- and it's all negative. To the extent that you can remove it from your diet, you will be adding years to your life and life to your years.
This list may not be perfect and it may not be complete, but it's a start. As my dear grandmother used to say, "Couldn't hurt." Not one of these "habits" will hurt you, all will benefit you, and some may make the difference between life and death.

And it's never too late to start cultivating them.

Enjoy the journey!


1. Buettner, D, The Blue Zones, National Geographic Books, 2008; ISBN 1426202741.

[Ed. note: Dr. Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health. He's a board certified nutrition specialist with a Master's degree in psychology and the author of five books including The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. His latest book is The Most Effective Cures on Earth…..]”

X* X* X* X* X* X*

1. Vegetables.

As we posted about recently, eating a lot of the green, nonstarchy vegetables like salad greens, broccoli, green peas, green beans, & the green, nonstarchy vegetables that are other colors like fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, & cauliflower is on of the little known and most effective ways to get & stay trim and free from excess body fat.

All the cruciferous vegetables from radishes to kale, to broccoli help prevent cancer. And, raw broccoli & cauliflower also help prevent not just cancer but the most dangerous forms of it as well.

You can try having seaweed soup with shrimp & mushrooms with oriental spice or kimchi with poached egg for breakfast or scrambled eggs with broccoli sprouts or an omelet with chopped onion & green pepper & chopped mild chilis for breakfast.

You can take a variety of raw vegetables with you to eat at lunch.

You can make many kinds of good tasting salads with some extra virgin olive oil or nuts or avocado or shrimp, feta cheese, or canned wild salmon.

And, steamed vegetables have more flavor than you might guess if you haven’t tried them & have more of their nutrition intact than boiled vegetables.

Lastly, research recently reported found that organically grown vegetables have even more of the nutrients he talks about than those grown with pesticides & herbicides.

2. Eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils is surprisingly high in them, including the DHA he highlights. And article later in the today’s issue has a recipe for cooking wild caught salmon that lists each 6 ounce serving as having 1,000 mg of DHA & notes a Tufts University study that 180 mg a day of DHA apparently cuts your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease by 47 %.

DHA is available in supplements that take it from the algae that fish eat to have so much of it.

And, Nordic Naturals & many other companies sell purified fish oil capsules with DHA, EPA, other omega 3 oils. Nordic Naturals’ supplement & those some other providers also include a natural orange or lemon flavor that over-rides any fishy aftertaste.

Lastly, it is now pretty well established that women who take DHA while pregnant & then while breast feeding, or use formula that has DHA added, wind up with measurably smarter kids.

Since people with adequate DHA are also noticeably less irritable & are easier to get along with than people who get way too little, they likely have easier to take, friendlier kids besides.

3. Talking with friends, colleagues, & family members often turns out to be extremely valuable for health.

People who are optimistic enough to see much of the difficulties with people as temporary & see reasons to like people & who notice and value the strengths in others do this better with even better results every way.

And, even better, recent research has shown just talking with people give your brain a workout as good as solving chess problems or doing crossword puzzle. Since it feels easier & is even fun sometimes, this effect is both surprising & very good news.

4. Get some sun. Most people today do not. There is some danger in too much. And, many people live in places where it is too hot, cold, or dangerous to do.

That said, doing so causes your body to make & release a surprising amount of vitamin D3.

And, getting at least some – even if it is in overcast looking winter weather at lunchtime for 10 or 15 minutes has been shown to prevent SAD, sunlight caused depression.

The wonderful news is that taking 1,000 mg of D3 as a supplement twice a day is cheap and has an astonishingly long list of health benefits that have only recently become known including preventing all kinds of cancers & immune diseases. To a large degree taking that much vitamin D will protect your health when you can’t get much sun.

Lastly, another very powerful reason for the good track record of getting sun exposure is that it often goes with walking, gardening, outside work, or playing some kind of sport. Since all or most of these kinds of exercise can be done inside, that also helps people who can’t get outside to get the benefits anyway.

5. Sleep well. I really like his approach. He notes that not only is enough sleep important but gives some great tips on how to set it up so you get refreshing & effective sleep during the time you have to sleep.

Three other points are worth adding. You sleep a LOT better if you exercise the day before. I find that a lot of exercise or activity or doing a vigorous strength training work out that day, are unusually effective in doing this. Second, it also helps enormously if you go to bed & get out of bed at the same time each day, or at least each weekday. Lastly, NOT watching the news on TV after about 9 PM unless something truly remarkable or important has happened will help you sleep much better. And you may get more sleep by not staying up to watch the news besides.

6. Exercise every day. Exercise is incredibly important for good health. It also improves your sex life. Surprisingly few people really know how incredibly important it is. As long as you don’t take too much time from working or parenting to do it or injure yourself, MORE & every day IS better than 20 minutes three times a week.

But a very important point he misses is that if each of those 20 minute sessions is 10 minutes of vigorous & progressive strength training & 10 minutes of vigorous interval cardio and a person does these sessions every week, they get close to half of the benefits of all the exercise he recommends.

And, you may HAVE 20 minutes three times a week but not have more time than that in your schedule now. Even better, if you do the 20 minutes three times a week each week, you will be easily up to doing a lot more exercise when you have the time. And, if you don’t do that much you very probably will not be.

7. Practice gratitude. I really like that he includes this one. Research has found that if you make even two minutes every day to remember something good that you already have or that happened to you that day, your mood and your perceived quality of life increase dramatically.

And, when you feel better, research shows, you are much more likely to exercise & make the extra effort to eat right and do these other things for your health. Your connections with the other people in your life will go better, for example.

It BELONGS on this list; & I’ve rarely seen it on other such lists.

8. Drinking red wine in moderation, eating red or purple grapes, & eating cherries & berries all have multiple & powerful health benefits BESIDES resveratrol that he does NOT mention.

To get the full anti-aging benefit of resveratrol, I think you need to drink red wine in moderation, if you can do so safely, and eat red or purple grapes or drink purple grape juice, & eat cherries & berries when you can – AND take resveratrol supplements daily.

But the evidence is that if you do that, you’ll live longer in better health & be notably less likely to get heart disease, cancer, or to begin to have no energy for life.

THAT is a powerful set of benefits.

9. Slash the amount of sugar you eat & drink.

Two points he left out are that:

a) learning how to NEVER eat or drink high fructose corn syrup and then doing just that & virtually eliminating refined grain foods from your diet are the most important part of cutting sugar & super high glycemic foods from your food supply.


b) the more exercise you do each week, particularly interval cardio & strength training, the better your body will safely handle the sugar that you do wind up ingesting.

Also, since many of us enjoy some foods that have sugar occasionally, I find it more doable to eat them much less often than to give them up entirely.

What clearly will harm you is if you eat tons of sugar or even worse, high fructose corn syrup, every day & never exercise.

I’m out of time today, so the 10th way to give yourself better health & longevity will be in our next post.

It’s more complex & high tech than many of these other 9 ways. But it is as powerful or even more powerful than they are.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New information to Double the fat you lose....

Today's post: Thursday, 7-10-2008

We’ve already posted many of the keys to losing excess fat and keeping it off here.

We’ll do a quick summary of those & then add the news from this week on a new study that shows a way to double the fat you lose on top of all that.

Then we’ll comment on it.

A. Quick summary of ways to lose excess fat and keep it off that we’ve already posted about.

1. Never drink regular soft drinks.

For the same reason, read the labels on EVERY packaged food you consider buying & do not buy & do NOT eat any that have any high fructose corn syrup in them.
If you haven’t yet done this, you may be astounded at how many foods now contain this junk.

And, the data show you should also never drink DIET soft drinks.

Regular soft drinks, high fructose corn syrup, & diet soft drinks either cause you take in calories but NOT feel less hungry or even worse feel MORE hungry.

So, they quite literally cause you to get fat if you eat or drink them & prevent you from losing fat even if you do many other things that would normally take off fat.

Not surprisingly they also tend to cause type II diabetes & heart disease.

2. Eat some nonstarchy vegetables at almost every lunch or dinner you eat. They have so few calories & so much fiber Weight Watchers rates them as having ZERO points.

Organic vegetables not only have less pesticides & herbicides, recent studies show they are also dramatically more nutritious.

And, if you eat raw cauliflower, raw broccoli florets, or other raw cruciferous vegetables every week, your risk of all cancers, particularly prostate, breast, & ovarian cancers drops like a stone.

Doing this makes you MUCH healthier, fills your tummy & turns down hunger with very little net calories.

It’s so effective that BY ITSELF it’s one of the secrets of successfully losing fat weight & keeping it off.

3. Do at least two sessions of progressive strength training each week with at least one day off in between.

Do at least three sessions of interval cardio each week that alternates moderate effort & very vigorous effort after you build up to it several times each session.

This has all kinds of extra health benefits --.including growing new brain cells and improving your sex life, which it does in BOTH men & women.

By doing this you lose fat in three ways: a) When you eat, you begin to feed the newly added muscle weight it develops & stop adding those calories to your fat stores. b) This kind of exercise boosts your metabolism for HOURS after you are done exercising; so for that time you burn a LOT of calories you otherwise would not. c) The weight you lose on the scale will all be fat; otherwise you tend to lose some muscle & less fat when you lose weight.

Each of these effects reduces the amount you have to cut back to lose fat & by continuing to exercise, it allows you to lose fat & keep it off without getting excessively hungry.

4. Eat health OK protein foods every day. This helps lose fat since eating protein turns off hunger better than eating fats & MUCH better than eating carbohydrates.

Stop eating refined virtually all carbohydrate foods; eat only moderate amounts of whole grain foods or less; & cut way back on table sugar and foods that contain it.

Carbohydrate foods, particularly those with no fiber, only turn off hunger for a short time and then they turn hunger back on.

These foods tend to cause type II diabetes & sabotage your fat loss efforts by making you hungry when you would not have been if you hadn’t eaten them.

5. Watch less TV. Try NEVER to eat while you watch it. And, never allow a TV into your bedroom.

The more hours people watch TV, the fatter they are according to the many studies done on it.

You burn less calories watching TV than you do sleeping,

There are a lot of adds on TV for soft drinks, diet soft drinks, and for snacks and dessert foods that are mostly refined grains, sugar, & high fructose corn syrup. And these foods often contain bad fats too.

And, the more TV you watch, the harder it is to fit the exercise you need into your week.

If you do a good job on these five things, you will lose a good deal of fat & keep it off. And, you will be a LOT healthier than you might otherwise have been.

B. The very good news is that you can at least double the fat loss you get by following this program by keeping a food diary of everything you eat.

Here’s the story that appeared just this week.:

“USA Today - Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Using food diaries doubles weight loss, study shows

By H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY

Dieters in the study were instructed to follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which suggests consuming:

Nine to 12 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Two to three servings of low-fat dairy foods daily.

25% or less of total calories from fat.

A low-sodium diet, with 2,400 milligrams or less of sodium each day.

No more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women; no more than two drinks a day for men. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or half an ounce of 80-proof liquor.

Source: August's American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Dieters who write down everything they eat each day lose twice as much weight as those who don't, according to one of the largest weight-loss studies ever conducted.
This confirms the importance of keeping a food diary — advice that nutritionists and weight-loss programs have pushed for years.

Scientists at four clinical research centers recruited 1,685 overweight or obese adults who weighed an average 212 pounds. Forty-four percent were African Americans.

The participants were offered 20 weekly group sessions led by nutritionists and behavior counselors and encouraged to try to lose at least 9 pounds in six months. They were told to consume about 500 fewer calories a day, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, do about 180 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, and keep daily food and exercise records. The findings reported in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine:

•Dieters who kept their food diary six or more days a week lost an average of about 18 pounds in six months, compared with about 9 pounds for those who didn't keep food diaries.

•The biggest losers also attended most of the group meetings and did more exercise. Some did 300 minutes or more of physical activity a week, but the average participant in the study did about 117 minutes a week.

•69% of the participants lost 9 pounds or more, which is enough to improve some health measures such as blood pressure, joint pain and pre-diabetes.

•69% of black men and 59% of black women lost at least 9 pounds.

"There is a misconception that nobody can lose weight, but in this study, two-thirds of them lost enough weight to make a difference to their health," says Victor Stevens, senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute sponsored the study.

These weight-loss techniques work well with everybody, including African Americans, who are often underrepresented in studies and yet suffer from a high rate of obesity and weight-related illnesses, he says.

Food diaries are a "powerful self-management technique. They help you figure out where the extra calories are coming from," he says. It works best if someone else looks over your food record. "When you put yourself in a position where you are accountable for your behavior, it changes behavior."

Many people are getting lots of extra calories by eating large portions at restaurants, Stevens says. He is currently working with a client who was consuming 1,500 calories of fast food at lunch. The dieter is now bringing a 500-calorie lunch to work, saving 1,000 calories a day.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in Chicago, tells people that a food diary "is the best way to monitor every crumb, morsel, nibble, sip, swallow and bite you take."

X* X* X* X* X*

Note that the people who lost the most weight also kept a log of all the exercise they did each week.

Note also that keeping a food log each week is one of the key reasons that people lose weight & fat when they attend Weight Watchers meetings. And, it’s one of the reasons studies show that the Weight Watchers meetings are one of the most successful programs for losing weight & excess fat.

Labels: , , , , , , ,