Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good health news tomorrow....

Today's post: Tuesday, 3-31-2009

There was a small news story recently; but that has truly huge value for protecting your health. So much so, it should have been front page news.

In the United States, starting tomorrow, there will be less cigarette smoke.

If you smoke it will become much easier to quit. If you smoke and make no effort to quit, you will likely smoke less at least.

And, whether or not you smoke, because many more people will quit successfully and those who smoke will smoke less, you will be exposed to less second hand smoke.

Why is that? And, how is it that this is a nationwide effect?

Here’s the small story. Tomorrow, 4-1-2009, the Federal Excise tax on cigarettes will go up by a dollar a pack.

Historically, price jumps of that magnitude have caused a significant number of smokers to quit. It makes it less likely that children and teens will start to smoke. And, although the people who still smoke may not cut back as much as it would pay them to do, most will smoke less.

Recently it was in the news that a community which banned smoking in public places had a quite significant reduction in heart attacks within the first 3 years they had that policy. This strongly suggests that not only does smoking cause heart disease, exposure to smoke whether you smoke or not, acts as a heart attack trigger.

When you combine less second hand smoke for everyone with fewer people smoking & those people smoking less, this means there will be many less heart attacks because of this tax increase.

(Unfortunately few smokers realize that every cigarette they smoke or is smoked near them is causing heart disease in them and is doing so for sure, right then, to them. ALL smokers get cardiovascular disease because they smoke. The good thing about this tax increase is that by them either quitting or smoking less, their risk of heart attack and the amount of cardiovascular disease they have will go down -- or stop getting worse so fast, even if they never learn why.)

Second, smoking causes between 30 and 50 % of all cancers by itself. So this large reduction in smoking will mean fewer cancers in less people will occur over the next 20 years than otherwise would have.

Third, by combining the new money going the US Treasury and reducing medical care costs by reducing the amount of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and cancers, this new tax will improve our economy significantly.

My hope is that the government makes this $1.00 a pack increase an annual event & that they also begin to tax the components of food and drink that cause harm to people’s health.

The government needs the money; but also needs to avoid taxing things that contribute value to the economy. So taxing things that harm people’s health does double duty. It gives the government money without taxing things that add value to the economy—AND it improves health and lowers health care costs at the same time.

So all this means that the new $1.00 a pack tax on cigarettes is very good news indeed.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

7 ways to eat meat more safely....

Today's post: Monday, 3-30-2009

It was in the news last week that people who eat a lot of red meat are more likely to get heart disease and cancer. This was true of both men and women for heart disease. But even though it was true for both men and women for cancer, the increase in risk for cancer for women who ate a lot of meat was about double what it was for men.

Since many people like meat -- and the protein, iron, and B12 are essential nutrients to get, it would be nice to know how to eat meat safely.

1. The first way to eat meat more safely was in the study itself.

Simply eat it less often than some people do; & eat fish and chicken instead on the days you don’t have meat. The people with lower risk in that study ate meat 4 times a week or less and ate more chicken and fish. The people who ate meat 7 times a week or more were at higher risk. (They didn’t note what risk levels people who at meat 14 times a week or more had; but had they done so, it likely would have made the risk increases they found much larger.)

So, eat meat four times a week or less. (One benefit of that is that this enables you to get higher quality meat on the days you do eat it since you can save money by eating beans or lentils or nonfat or very lowfat dairy or eggs on the days you don’t eat meat & which cost less.)

Also here are several of the ways from an Early to Rise article earlier this month. (Given the recent release of the study that eating a lot of red meat can be harmful, I thought it timely to post on this topic. And their article is quite well done.)

Here’s their article.:

“This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com .” (It appeared on Weds, March 11, 2009.

Enjoy Grass-Fed Steak... With a Side of Spinach

By Kelley Herring

Do you have to abstain from juicy steaks and seared lamb chops to lower your risk of colon cancer? Maybe not. Enjoying antioxidant-rich side dishes when you eat red meat could do the trick.

Recent research shows that antioxidants have the potential to neutralize the health-harming effects of both the iron and the oxidized fat. In fact, a 2005 study showed that eating spinach along with red meat eliminated all irritation of the colon that can set the stage for cancer.

Along with enriching your plate with antioxidants, there are three additional things you can do:

1. Choose ONLY Grass-Fed: Grass-fed beef is 300-400 percent higher in conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) - a natural fat that promotes weight loss and reduces the risk of cancer.

2. Drink a Glass of Pinot: Drinking wine with your steak neutralizes the harmful cancer-causing agents formed when red meat is being digested.

3. Cook Slow & Low, & Marinate Well: Some of the most potent cancer-causing agents are heterocyclic amines (HCAs). You can avoid their ill effects by marinating your meat with antioxidant-rich spices and herbs and then slow-cooking it.

Most important, enjoy your healthy, grass-fed beef, buffalo, or lamb in moderation. That means about 3 ounces (a piece about the size of a deck of cards) a few times a week.”

X* X* X* X* X*

1. She also points out it makes sense to eat meat; but not every single meal or every day.

2. Eating the meat with antioxidant vegetables as she describes is very valuable.

It actually has several benefits. The antioxidants help since it’s the oxidized LDL that causes the most heart disease in your blood vessels. So taking antioxidant supplements such as 500 mg of vitamin C or 200 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid may also be a good idea. Eating a serving of vegetables with the meat also makes you more filled and able to eat one serving of the meat instead of two which also helps prevent gaining or keeping excess fat. Lastly, by eating some raw broccoli or other cruciferous vegetable that is known to prevent cancer, you can help prevent eating the meat from raising that risk.

3. Beef from cattle fed only grass also has more omega 3 oils and far less omega 6 oils and saturated fat than grain fed plus it is simply leaner and has less fat as well. And, between having less fat and NOT eating grain that has been treated with pesticides, YOU get a lot less pesticides and herbicides when you eat grass fed beef. Buffalo or lamb that is similarly fed ONLY grass or pasture fed has similar benefits. Lastly, naturally fed animals not penned up get sick so much less their meat is also dramatically less likely to have antibiotics that can make bacteria in your body antibiotic resistant.

(If you can’t get grass fed or pasture fed, you can get some of these same benefits by getting lean cuts of meat and very thoroughly remove as much of the visible fat before cooking as possible. The fat you do get is not great for you; but you CAN have the meat with only a third or a half as much of the fat you would otherwise eat by doing this.)

4. Slow cooking can slash your risk of getting cancer from eating the meat as she points out.
Using a crock pot is a great way to cook meat because it can be very slow and takes less energy than stove roasting although slow stove roasting can also work. Using a crock pot also works well because you can make a stew with vegetables as well as the meat by using a crock pot.

5. Drinking a single glass of red wine also helps by increasing your HDL that helps clean out any LDL cholesterol you do get from eating the remaining saturated fat in the meat. And, it contains resveratrol and other micronutrients that help prevent heart disease.

Here are two more.

6. Eating meat in a recipe that includes abundant garlic or onions or both tends to reduce the viscosity in your blood from any saturated fat you eat and tends to raise your HDL levels also. Done well, this also makes the meat taste good which I find to be a very enjoyable side benefit.

7. Eating meat with cooked with sour cherries has been shown to allow it to cook more slowly and evenly plus the soluble fiber in the cherries tends to carry away the saturated fat so you absorb less of it. Similarly, you can eat beans, apples, or apple sauce at the same meal or in the same recipe. Their soluble fiber will also help carry away the saturated fat in the meat.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

A way to drink and stay healthy....

Today's post: Friday, 3-27-2009

As you know, light moderate but regular drinking, particularly of red wine, 2 drinks a day or a bit less for men; & 1 drink a day or a bit less for women seems to have a favorable influence on most aspects of health. Even better, it raises your beneficial HDL cholesterol and helps to prevent heart disease.

Doing this seems to help prevent one kind of esophageal cancer it was even reported recently.

However, some men, particularly those with East Asian ancestors, who get facial flushing from a small amount of alcohol are more likely to get the other kind of esophageal cancer if they drink a separate report stated.

And, another report said that women who drink, even this lightly, seem to somewhat increase their risk of breast cancer.

So, it was of great interest to me when the Total Health Breakthroughs email recently had a story with evidence that taking folic acid supplements possibly and eating fruits and vegetables high in the natural form of folic acid for sure looks as if it prevents these negative effects from such light drinking.

Doing the other things that help prevent cancer such as eating raw cruciferous vegetables (which also are high in folic acid); taking at least 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D, and taking curcumin or eating curried food every day is also a good idea if you drink.

Or, you can get some of the benefits of red wine if you choose not to drink by vigorous exercise; taking resveratrol; drinking concord grape juice; & taking grape seed extract.

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A way to drink and stay healthy....

Why potato chips & French fries are unhealthy....

Today's post: Thursday, 3-26-2009

It‘s been known for some time that foods made with peeled potatoes are as high glycemic as refined grains because potatoes are so starchy. So potato chips and French fried potatoes would already be suspect for that reason. (Other kinds of chips and similar snacks ARE made from refined grains & are high glycemic for that reason.)

And, until recently almost all potato chips and French fries were made with transfats.

(Research has found that transfats are heart disease starters.

If you eat them, the research found, your dangerous small particle LDL will go up and begin to cause heart disease in you. You can tell this by measuring your blood lipids. Your beneficial HDL will go down & your triglycerides will go up because this happens when your dangerous small particle LDL goes up; & that’s further confirmed by your overall LDL readings going up.)

It’s better now, particularly for packaged chips & fries, as the manufacturers have reduced the amount of partially hydrogenated oils that contain transfats to 0.49 grams per serving; because that allows them to put 0 transfats on the label. But the “servings” can be a fifth of what most people eat. So not only is the 0 transfats not true, if you eat the normal five “servings”, you can be eating 2.45 grams of transfats !!

So, to NOT eat transfats, you not only have to not eat anything that has a transfat reading of anything more than 0, you also have to read the label & NOT eat anything that has any kind of hydrogenated oil in it.

Unfortunately, except for places like New York City that have banned the practice, many restaurants still fry foods in transfats because they are cheap to buy. So, to avoid transfats, you have to ask what they fry their fried foods in.

So we already know that chips and French fries are made with high glycemic foods and often fried in transfats.

Now, it seems they are unhealthy for yet a third reason. When you fry starch, which is what potato chips and French fries are made of, it produces a carcinogenic by product, called acrylamide.

In addition, a study was done which found that people who ate a surprisingly small amount of potato chips or French fries not only likely had more of the small particle LDL, it was the most dangerous kind as they were measured as having their oxidized LDL go up, which makes it even more reactive and damaging. These people were also measured as having their CRP inflammation go up. (Elevated CRP inflammation readings are predictive of heart attacks. And, other studies, show that if you lower such readings your risk of heart disease decreases.)

That’s just about absolute proof that eating chips and French fries is a reliable way to cause heart disease. And, unfortunately, microwave popcorn, and popcorn at the movies, is a very similar food.

Here’s the Early to Rise Health article where I found this new and even more incriminating information.:

“This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com .”

"Edible Cancer Sticks

By Craig Ballantyne

You are not going to like this, but I refer to French fries as "edible cancer sticks." Here's why...
Polish researchers studied the effect of potato chip consumption on otherwise healthy volunteers. Potato chips and French fries are close cousins. Both contain relatively high concentrations of acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic compound found in starchy foods that have been cooked at a high temperature.

Fourteen subjects consumed 160 grams of chips daily. That's about 3/4 of a large bag, containing 157 mg of acrylamide. At the end of four weeks, they all had increased levels of oxidized LDL and C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation). They also had a significant increase in free radicals and a massive immune system response. It was as if their bodies were being attacked.

The researchers did a follow-up on the subjects four weeks after they stopped eating the edible cancer sticks. Their systems were starting to come back to normal, but hadn't yet fully recovered.

Nasty stuff.

If you eat fries or chips every day, even if you are eating just a small amount, you are killing yourself slowly. As the Polish study shows, not only are you consuming a potentially carcinogenic substance, you are increasing your risk of heart disease. Now that's a two-for-one special you should pass on.

[Ed. Note: Extending your life and living out your years in tip-top health is really a matter of making simple lifestyle choices - like choosing salad or fruit instead of chips or fries….]"


This is very important stuff to know if you eat out for lunch at all often. Most restaurants that serve sandwiches automatically serve a small bag of some kind of chips with them.

And, since most people don’t yet have a clue how dreadful these chips are for their health, I still find servers are astonished when I firmly decline the chips that are offered with sandwiches or even guacamole, which is otherwise a health promoting superfood.

Their attitude is clearly, “Why on earth is this man turning down part of the food he has already paid for?”

Obviously most people don’t know why.

Now YOU do know.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to escape type 2 diabetes....

Today's post: Tuesday, 3-24-2009

My wife was eating better than many people do. And, although she got less exercise than I thought she should, she was doing some.

Then her doctor asked her to get a routine blood screening test of the few most useful risk factors. Her direct heart risk measures such as LDL cholesterol were OK to excellent; but the very accurate HBA1C test for blood sugar levels over the past 60 to 90 days came in at 6.1 or 6.2.

Since they begin to consider you to have low level type 2 diabetes at 6.0 on your HBA1C, that has triggered a lot of expense on our part in extra check ups and for one prescription and for ongoing blood sugar tests at home. (Aim for 5.8 or less to stay safe.)

The bad news is that it did that & got her classified as diabetic -- which can complicate your life in many ways since the average risk of being diabetic is so high because most people who are classified as diabetic have so much higher readings. So you are then considered high risk by association.

The extremely good news is that by catching this early, my wife has been able to eat enough better, primarily by no longer eating ANY refined grain foods made with wheat flour and by doing a bit more exercise, she has been able to avoid the multiple drugs she would had to take otherwise, some of which have significant bad side effects.

Today, I learned, is a National Diabetes Day. And, the CDC released a story that many people fear getting diabetes; but still do the things that make them very likely to get it.

YOU can escape that by doing a small list of things that take a bit of getting used to if you haven’t been doing them; but which are doable and not that hard to keep doing once you get used to them.

Even better, we now know that adding just one more extra effort to doing the 3 basics, may multiply your chances of avoiding and escaping type 2 diabetes by as much as 38 times !!

Better yet, doing the 3 basics and this one extra thing also will also dramatically reduce your risks of heart disease, senility, and cancer in addition to helping you escape type 2 diabetes.

Here are the basics that we’ve been posting here on how to eat right and exercise.

1. Eat real foods such as a variety of vegetables, whole fruit, wild caught fish, nuts, beef fed only grass, and the other foods that support your health such as extra virgin olive oil.

2. Virtually stop completely drinking any kind of soft drink except club soda; stop eating refined grain and foods made from it, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and meat from grain fed animals and farmed fish; and eat foods with sugar rarely instead of many times a day.

3. At least do two sessions of strength training and 3 sessions of interval cardio each week even if your sessions are as little 10 to 15 minutes long and done at home. And do that virtually every week.

It’s pretty simple. If you do those 3 things, you’ll avoid or turn off the insulin resistance that causes type 2 diabetes and now also looks to cause both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease too.

But by just tweaking the basics a bit, you can apparently multiply your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by as much as 38 times. Wow !!

I just read that yesterday in the Early to Rise health article for yesterday, 3-23-2009.

Here it is with the details in it describing this discovery.:

“This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com .”

"Concerned About Diabetes? Go Organic

By Kelley Herring

Eating conventionally grown produce and meats and farm-raised fish? If so, you may be 38 times more likely to develop diabetes. A recent study published in Diabetes Care found a strong relationship between Type II diabetes and the body burden of six pollutants:

a PCB: hexachlorobiphenyl

2 dioxins: heptadioxin and OCDdioxin

2 pesticides: oxychlordane and trans-nonachlor, and

a pesticide metabolite: DDE, a metabolite of DDT

These contaminants were detectable in more than 80 percent of the study participants. And compared to participants in the lowest-exposure category, those in the highest-exposure category were almost 38 times more likely to have diabetes.

Don't think you're at risk? Think again. The average American takes in nearly a gallon of pesticides per year by eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.

Reduce your risk of diabetes (and many other chronic illnesses) by choosing only organic produce and meats and wild fish.

[Ed. Note: One of the best ways to stay healthy and live longer is to eat good foods. ....]"

X* X* X* X* X*

She doesn’t mention that most of the risk of being too high in these things comes from eating the fat of animals that have bioconcentrated them in their fat or that organic produce is dramatically higher in the most important nutrients that protect your health than conventional or pesticide treated produce.

So, that means to make a special effort to buy organic produce when you possibly can.

But you avoid the most pesticide exposure by eating meat from animals eating only what they evolved to eat. Beef fed only grass, poultry that has been only pasture fed and wild caught fish avoid that problem since it’s the grain fed animals and farmed fish that eat the grain that has been sprayed with these chemicals and so the fat from them has the most such chemicals in it.

So, if you can’t get such protein foods, at least eat less of the grain fed kind; and try to eat lowfat versions as much as you can. That way of eating right that has less meat and more raw nuts and beans, contains nonfat or very lowfat dairy, only lean cuts of meat & poultry, and some wild caught fish has been named the DASH diet and also prevents or lowers high blood pressure.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Nuts are good for you but processed nuts are harmful....

Today's post: Monday, 3-23-2009

Most people aren’t allergic to nuts. (Unfortunately, some people are allergic to tree nuts.)

However, if you are in the majority and not allergic to them, eating raw nuts regularly is so good for you that people who eat a small amount daily have been found to live as much longer than people who don’t as people who avoid tobacco smoke are than smokers!

Nuts are a superfood that contain nutrients, particularly minerals and trace minerals that strongly enhance health. And, they make you enough less hungry that people who eat them very likely eat far less junky snacks that harm health. Lastly, nuts have heart OK or heart beneficial oils and people who eat them likely eat less butterfat and fatty meats as a result.

But I buy raw or dry roasted nuts in bulk at Whole Foods for two reasons. First, nuts cost a LOT less that way. Second, I’ve suspected the quality of the oils the oil roasted nuts are roasted in, plus those are harmful due to the excess added salt they usually have.

So, when I saw last Friday’s article on the subject, I thought I’d base today’s post on it.

Here it is.:

“This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com .”

Nuts: From Natural Treasure to Man-Made Trash

By Kelley Herring

Nuts are undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Research shows that nut noshers have the slimmest waistlines and a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

But the benefits don't end there. Nuts are packed with life-essential minerals, including magnesium and selenium. And they are a concentrated source of brain-nourishing and blood-sugar-balancing fats.

Still, manufacturers have found a way to meddle with the nut and muck up Mother Nature. In fact, the "Diamond" brand has been turning treasure into trash by adding genetically modified corn oil and BHT to its walnuts, hazelnuts, and other naturally pure tree nuts.

Protected by their shells, nuts are a relatively "clean" plant food - unadulterated by pesticide toxins - even when grown conventionally. But add corn oil - which is high in inflammatory omega-6 fats as well as being genetically modified almost 90 percent of the time - and you've completely changed their lipid profile and biochemical nature.

Corn oil itself is a preservative, but Diamond adds BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) to ensure shelf stability. BHT prevents oxidation. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. It is banned in Australia, Japan, Romania, and Sweden due to its carcinogenic activity. In the United States, BHT is prohibited only in infant formula.

Avoid inflammatory corn oil and carcinogenic BHT by reading the labels before you buy. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find that many inexpensive brands of nuts are free of these unnecessary additives. They contain only one simple ingredient: "nuts."

Just take a few moments to pick the treasure... and leave the trash.

[Ed. Note: One of the best ways to stay healthy and live longer is to eat good foods. Nutrition expert Kelley Herring ....]”

She writes on food and nutrition for Early to Rise and for www.TotalHealthBreakthroughs.com where she also regularly provides health supporting recipes.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Higher protein lower carb diets DO help....

Today's post: Friday, 3-20-2009

Recently there was a report that you could be successful in losing fat whether you ate a lowfat higher carb diet or low carb higher protein diet.

As we’ve posted on however, this study was quite misleading in a way. Every one of their groups ate more vegetables; had virtually eliminated the junky semifoods that tend to be most fattening; had virtually eliminated eating lots of fatty meat; and they all ate less total calories each day and exercised regularly.

So this study didn’t really prove no food group was best or worst for fat loss as the related headlines claimed.

What they proved is that if you do a great job on all the basics of fat loss and eating right to support your health and do regular exercise, it matters much less on the scale how much weight you’ll lose with what food components you eat most of within those guidelines.

But there is a lot of evidence that leaning towards a higher protein, moderate intake of health OK fats and oils, and lower carbohydrate intake is better.

Day before yesterday, Weds, 3-18-2009, a study was announced that I think supports that well enough to be the definitive word on the subject!

An article they titled. “Moderate-protein diet may beat high-carb diet” by Amy Norton, Reuters Online Health news on Weds, 3-18-2009 announced some research that had been reported in the Journal of Nutrition, for March 2009.

This study found that a reduced calorie diet with some extra protein was most effective at fat loss. And, even more important, it was best at producing the key improvements in increasing HDL and lowering triglycerides.

And, as our readers know, THAT means it was dramatically the best at reducing the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

(In case you’ve missed it here or elsewhere, researchers have found that the ratio of HDL to triglycerides is an extremely accurate measure of the small particle LDL that causes heart disease because they literally are small enough to fit into the tiny molecular spaces in the walls of your arteries where they build up over time like layers of glue and reduce blood flow and can have pieces break off that then close the narrowed artery which causes a heart attack or stroke. To simplify, high HDL and low triglycerides means your small particle LDL is quite low as is your cardiovascular disease risk. And, if your HDL is low and your triglycerides are high so is your risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease because you have enough small particle LDL to be sticking into your arteries and creating cardiovascular disease in you.)

That means that this finding that lower carb and higher protein, reduced calorie diets do BOTH of these at the same time means that in addition to helping you lose fat and reduce your belly fat best, lower carb and higher protein, reduced calorie diets are dramatically the best for protecting your heart and lowering your cardiovascular disease risk.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, suggest that trading in some carbs for protein may do dieters good.

In the study, the higher-carb, reduced calorie diet, aimed for 15 percent of calories from protein; 55 percent from carbohydrates; and & percent from fats. The higher protein one aimed for 30 percent of calories came from protein -- including lean meat, low-fat dairy and nuts; 40 percent came from carbohydrates; & 30 percent from fats.

After one year, the average weight loss in pounds was only a bit higher for the higher protein & lower carb diet 23 pounds while the people in the lower protein & higher carb one lost 19 pounds.

But of far more value and importance was that this study found that, the higher protein group lost significantly more FAT, & had greater increases in HDL & decreases in their triglyceride levels.

They quote lead researcher Dr. Donald K. Layman, of the University of Illinois in Urbana as saying, “The extra protein at each meal helps dieters preserve "metabolically active" muscle mass.” . He also told the Reuters Health reporter that, the diet's lower carbohydrate content means lower levels of the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin. And that was the reason more actual fat was lost.

They report him as also saying that the greater reduction in triglycerides was mostly the result of cutting carbs, raise triglyceride levels.

That’s quite important because to reduce calorie intake over what you were eating before, you have to reduce something. This fact means that reducing carbs instead of protein, not only helps you lose more fat and a bit more weight, it gives you dramatically better protection for your health.

Dr Layman also noted that a high protein lower carb diet made it much easier to not eat between meals while the lower protein and higher carb people had to eat many small meals as they were virtually always hungry in between meals if they didn’t.

In the real world where people have to work in between meals and can be tempted to eat really fattening stuff if they are quite hungry between meals means that a higher protein lower carb style of eating is much more practical and easier to stay on.

The article also pointed out that since most people eat a protein food at dinner, the higher protein plan added more protein at breakfast and lunch.

Bonus point. Strength training and interval cardio exercise have very similar effects to eating a higher protein diet. They build and preserve muscle mass so the pounds you lose are fat instead of some fat and some muscle. They increase HDL, lower triglycerides, and directly reduce small particle LDL. Even better, they burn enough calories while you do them, and for up to several hours after you stop doing them, that you get similar fat loss results with less calorie restriction so you can eat more and still lose fat.

That makes it much more likely you can keep doing it which means you’ll lose more fat and be much more likely to keep it off.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

“Veggie Viagra” already available....

Today's post: Thursday, 3-19-2009

Our recent posts that have been pretty serious. Here’s one on having more fun.

(This post does have a serious side too; but good sex is fun. It’s always pleasurable; but sometimes it’s so pleasurable it’s wonderful!)

Earlier this week the AFP online news, from news accounts reported Monday in newspapers, released a story that German researchers tested an impotency treatment for men made using only natural ingredients which they found in many cases worked even better than Viagra.

"In clinical trials, 50 men had much better sex afterwards, more fun in bed and just generally felt better about themselves.” Olaf Schroeder of Berlin's Charite hospital said.

"Their libido was even higher than the control group taking Viagra," he said.

They gave the men these three supplements at the same time: tribulus, maca, and grape juice extract.

The actual German supplement tested won’t be available for some time according to the NewsMax story on this same news.

But that’s irrelevant because not only are each of the components available separately now, there are also other effective ways to do what the 3 components do.

1. Tribulus is readily available as a stand alone supplement. It increases testosterone. It does seem to work; but there are two other things that do that you can add.

a) You can increase your level of free testosterone available in your blood, the kind that actually affects you, by taking the supplement DIM that is derived from broccoli; & you can eat broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables directly and often, once or twice a day or more. Eating them raw helps prevent cancers and aggressive cancer of the prostate in particular. Eating them cooked with some extra virgin olive oil increases your intake of mixed carotenoids which has other health benefits. And, eating those vegetables helps you to get and stay trim or at least less fat.

b) Strength training and interval cardio also increase testosterone. Doing them both regularly every week also helps you to get and stay trim or at least less fat plus you are stronger -- and more fit so being very active during sex is far easier.

2. Maca apparently increases dopamine and in some other ways allows your pleasure nerves to conduct better. Maca does have that effect. So when you have sex or do sexually stimulating things it quite literally feels better.

So liking the person you are with or being gently playful and other things that put you in a good mood also can help. Sometimes eagerly anticipating sex and doing so in advance can have this effect as well. Note that this also means that drinking more than two drinks before sex is counterproductive as it tends to have this reverse effect while one, or perhaps two, may actually help cause this effect.

Also, exercise we now know, enhances brain circulation, prevents damage to your brain cells, and grows new ones. So regular exercise, particularly strength training and interval cardio enhance this effect by ensuring your brain nerves receive the pleasure feelings well from your sensory nerves.

3. Grape juice extract has the effect of improving your blood vessels’ health and ability to relax and respond when needed. And, THAT allows better blood flow to your sexual areas -- including the blood flow that causes erections.

But you don’t need to wait for their version of grape juice extract to become available because grape seed extract, bilberry extract, and resveratrol have this effect as well. (And eating blueberries and other berries and cherries may also have this effect.)

But three things do this job even better than those 3 supplements. (I take all 3 of those supplements for their other health benefits by the way.)

a) One of the most effective ways to improve your blood vessels health and ability to relax and respond when needed is regular exercise. It’s been shown to be quite effective. And, if you exercise and improve your blood vessels’ health and ability to relax and respond they also found that if you stop exercising for more than a few days, this effect stops.

b) Taking 6 to 9 grams a day of l-arginine has been found to cause nitric acid release to increase. And, since that tiny amount of internal nitric acid release causes your blood vessels to relax this also has been found to sharply improve your blood vessels’ health and ability to relax and respond. In fact, if you take 7 to 9 grams of l-arginine before bed, you may wake with a morning erection from this effect.

c) If you follow a health supporting lifestyle including eating right, virtually never drinking soft drinks or eating junky foods, doing regular exercise, completely avoiding tobacco smoke, and taking the supplements that lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and help you avoid high blood sugar, you’ll literally have much clearer and more responsive blood vessels. (See our multiple previous posts on these subjects.)

And, if you have ANY need for better erections, let alone a lot, it’s diagnostic that you have NOT been doing this set of things or doing them all or doing them well enough. And, THAT means, in addition to doing them to improve your sex life, you should do ALL those things because your life may depend on it. Doing them all will not only sharply improve your sex life, it will prevent heart attacks and strokes or make them much milder and happen 10 or 20 or 30 years later than they otherwise would have happened.

So, there is no need to wait for the future release of the German “veggie Viagra.”

You can easily do as well or better right now with this set of things that are already available to you.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Exercise & eating right critical to saving your brain....

Today's post: Tuesday, 3-17-2009

It’s now beginning to look like NOT exercising and eating high glycemic foods at the same time is even worse for your brain and your ability to think and remember than anyone had ever imagined before.

We now know that this combination makes people fat. It tends over time to produce heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Even worse, if even young people watch a lot of TV which burns fewer calories than sleeping and eat a lot of high glycemic foods too, even older kids and teens can get heart disease and type 2 diabetes from NOT exercising and eating high glycemic foods at the same time.

But recent research shows the problem is much more frightening than that. Not only will we have a generation of fat and sick adults and kids from this combination, they may be considerably less competent people in their personal lives AND at work.

And, it doesn’t stop there, those people are at a high risk of developing vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease this research suggests.

It’s one thing to have a lot of fat and sick people and have to pay high health care costs that could be avoided. But if those same people cannot work well or gradually have trouble with memory skills on the job, we’ll not be able to pay even more for their care later in life when they are unproductive at work for years before that too.

AP online news had this story today.: “More evidence links diabetes to Alzheimer's risk
Tue Mar 17, 3:02 AM ET
WASHINGTON - You've heard that diabetes hurts your heart, your eyes, your kidneys. New research indicates a more ominous link: That diabetes increases the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease and may speed dementia once it strikes.”

This story had several more points that were even more important. When people don’t get any regular exercise, particularly no regular vigorous exercise, and eat a lot of high glycemic foods, they rapidly begin to develop something called insulin resistance. This is even before the insulin resistance gets bad enough to cause type 2 diabetes.

The scary thing is that this story says that even at this early stage, there is now some evidence to show that insulin resistance begins to lay the foundation for vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And, here’s the smoking gun. Tests of people at that stage show they already do not think or multi-task or remember as well as people without insulin resistance do.

You may have thought it would be NICE to be less fat but still have not given up soft drinks, foods with high fructose corn syrup, refined grain foods, and lots of foods with added sugar AND you still don’t do any exercise in part because you have trouble finding the time for it.

This study is different. It says that if you want to think and remember well enough to keep your job; and to live outside a nursing home and avoid being a burden on your kids in a few more years, it’s critical that you give up these foods and drinks and exercise every week.

You need to give up these high glycemic semi-foods entirely and MAKE time to do at least a few minutes a day of vigorous exercise.

Similarly, it reveals that if your kids watch a lot of TV and eat this junk and get no exercise, they will have even worse problems and worse lives than you have as they get older.

So, it’s important for their future quality of life that you limit their TV watching time; help them avoid these junky foods and drinks; and get regular exercise.

(If you are unfamiliar with what to eat instead, check out many of our posts. It’s so important, we cover it often. “Cut back food less & still lose fat.... Thursday, 3-5-2009” is one such post.)

But, because insulin resistance turns off or down so much from regular vigorous exercise, & such exercises can be done in minutes a day, the most important thing you can do is to do at least two sessions of progressive strength training and two of interval cardio every week. And, if you have children, make sure they know how to do these exercises safely and do them also.

But, you may well ask how to find the time to do these exercises. It IS challenging for most people.

Here are three powerful answers.

1. Strength training and cardio produce more benefits in far less time than more moderate by longer exercises do such as walking for an hour a day. So make sure to do those even if you cannot fit in more.

2. Make time to work out most days by doing it at home.

With just a few dumbbells and your bodyweight you can do more than you might think to strength train at home. And with either a jump rope or an Urban Rebounder, which costs less than $160 new, you can do first rate interval cardio at home. Working out in a more equipped gym may be better; but you do have a round trip added travel time to consider unless your work provides you one there. So, exercising at home is one key to fitting in 10 or 15 minutes a day for these exercises.

3. Work out in the morning.

Your day may give you time slots later in the day that work for you. But most people are literally TWICE as likely to exercise regularly and keep doing it if they do their exercise in the morning.

Today’s Early to Rise health article has a first rate explanation of why you not only are more likely to exercise regularly if you do it in the morning, the exercise will give you more and better results in the same amount of time.

THAT, I did not know before. And, it’s welcome news indeed.

“This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com .”

"Another Reason to Exercise in the Morning

By Craig Ballantyne

Back when I trained clients full-time, I always wondered what possessed them to get up at 5:00 a.m. and work out. Couldn't they at least wait till 7:00 or 8:00?

But now that I've grown older, and busier, it's easy to see why. First, it gets the workout done before other people and problems can get in the way. Plus, recent research shows that you will have a better workout when you are "mentally fresh."

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers put subjects through a cardio workout to exhaustion after performing one of two mental tasks. The first task was cognitively demanding. The second task simply required them to watch a documentary.

Results showed that the mentally fatiguing task significantly reduced the amount of exercise the subjects could do. They tired out much more quickly if their minds were already fatigued.

[Ed. Note: No matter when you exercise, you don't need hours of cardio to get into tip-top shape. Learn how you can get fit with three 45-minute workouts a week with Craig's Turbulence Training program....]"

It's at: www.TurbulenceTraining.com .

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

It’s simple. If you exercise BEFORE your life begins to throw the variable challenges of the day at you, over 95% of the time you can get it done. Later in the day you may be lucky to get to 60 % and zero for the week is possible.

The new information that you’ll actually do better and get more out of your exercise by doing it early in the morning is a very nice bonus.

The key thing is that good things happen to you when you exercise; very bad things happen to you when you do NOT exercise; and doing your exercise early in the morning has been found effective to be sure you exercise each week.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Really fat bellies increase death rates....

Today's post: Monday, 3-16-2009

For quite some time we’ve known that one of the fastest and cheapest health tests is to simply measure waist size.

(It’s super cheap and requires no blood tests or lab or hospital visit or assistance by a doctor to do. It’s actually quite powerful and diagnostic as well, so it’s value for its cost is off the charts on the high side.)

And, it’s been reported that men who have 40 inch or more waist measurements an women who have 35 inch or over waist measurements are more likely to get heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

There is a reason for this. In our sedentary world today, as you get older, you have to stop ingesting bad for you foods; eat foods that support health instead; & get some exercise each week to avoid being fatter than that and having a too large waist measurement.

(Our past posts have covered all 3 of these areas: what to stop eating or drinking; what to eat and drink instead; & why to exercise and the most effective two kinds.)

But yesterday, I read some new information.

Given what causes a too big belly and the effects of that lifestyle on causing diseases that have a death rate in their victims, it certainly is no surprise. But it definitely shows that even bigger, fatter bellies are worse even than bellies that are too big but smaller. And, it shows that such really large, fat bellies indicate a very high degree of health risk and likely future high medical bills.

The information was in yesterday’s Parade Magazine Sunday supplement section for Sunday, 3-15-2009.

“A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that….Measurements of more than 44 inches in men or 41 inches in women were associated with 25% higher mortality rates.”

Such measurements tend to happen in people who are 40 or more pounds overweight & who are diagnosed as obese, the fancy medical term for people who are really fat. This research shows being that fat is a life-threatening health emergency.

The three pieces of good news are that for most people, being that fat is reversible; it’s reversible without starving yourself or being hungry all the time; and those people who make the necessary lifestyle changes and simply become enough less fat to shrink their belly fat will see their capacity to have a good sex life go way up. They look better; they move better; they feel better; they have more energy; and their testosterone & libido goes up.

For those who don’t read our blog yet or haven’t read our blog before or often, here are the basics.:

1. What to completely stop ingesting to be less fat.:

All soft drinks; all refined grain foods; potatoes and other highly starchy, high glycemic foods – including popcorn, unfortunately; high fructose corn syrup; any artificial sweeteners; any hydrogenated vegetable oil; and any combination of these. These foods either add calories without making you less hungry; or they harm your health; or they spike your blood sugar; or they make you hungrier right away or later; AND they tend to NOT give you much if any actual food or nutrition. For other reasons, it’s also best to avoid fatty meats from grain fed, penned up animals or at the very least to avoid eating very much of the fat from such animals.

Many of these things taste good and are or seem relatively cheap to buy; they are still universally available and, even worse, considered normal things to eat or drink by people who don’t yet know how damaging they are – plus they are heavily advertised on TV.

Since none of these foods are necessary to support life or even to enjoy it, and, if you have a very large waist measurement, it’s quite likely you have been taking in quite a lot of them, you not only can lose as much as half or more of your excess fat by never ingesting them again without being any hungrier, you can quite literally save hundreds of dollars a month on your “food” and grocery bills by simply no longer consuming any of them.

(It also helps lose excess fat and to protect your health to dramatically reduce eating foods that have a lot of sugar or salt in them. Many people eat such things several times a day. A few times a week or a month is far safer for your health; and people who cut back or only have eaten that little of such foods are much less fat and have smaller waists as a result than those who eat several of these foods a day.)

2. What to eat and drink instead: Real food that has been grown and harvested the way it was done until about 200 years ago:

organic produce, particularly nonstarchy and green vegetables, garlic, onion, and other plant based spices and some whole fresh fruit; nuts; beans and lentils;

for people who already are moderately trim and who exercise regularly, some whole grains; but not a lot;

eggs, preferably from pasture fed chickens;

meat and poultry from only pasture and grass fed animals;

wild caught only fish and seafood;

nonfat and very low fat dairy products; tea; green tea; coffee; unsweetened cocoa; and water;

and extra virgin olive oil; and avocados.

(Small amounts of fermented and traditional forms of soy may be OK for some people; other forms of soy or large amounts of soy tend to cause health problems and are NOT as good for you as some health advisors have said.)

Even better, these foods tend to be great at turning off your hunger and keeping you well fed with quality nutrients. Plus, if they are combined by good cooks or eaten fresh, they can be remarkably enjoyable to eat.

Traditional Mediterranean and Oriental cuisines tend to be great sources of such recipes. But, by editing out the bad ingredients, and including the good ones, most recipes can be made in a good tasting version from such foods.

3. How to lose fat and keep it off while increasing the amount you can eat and still do so.:

a) Each week, do two or three days of time efficient and progressive strength training with a day or two off in between sessions (or, even better do 4 to 6 sessions with upper body sessions alternating with leg exercise sessions.) These can be as little as 7 to 15 minutes a session and done at home to make them even more time efficient. Even two 20 minute sessions a week can help a lot.

b) Do 3 or 4 interval cardio sessions each week with a day or two off between most sessions.

Even two or three 10 minute sessions a week can help a lot if you build up to doing them vigorously.

c) It’s likely not necessary to lose much of the fat that eating the wrong things has added to you to exercise more than that.

But to lose the fat faster, to lose most of it, and to keep it off the best, it’s ideal to do enough strength training, interval cardio, and less intense but active things such as walking or gardening or housework or tai chi to burn 3500 calories a week. That takes more like an hour a day seven days a week

But it’s not realistic for many people. So, particularly at first, focus on the first two kinds of exercise; and gradually add what you can of extra walks and physical activities.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Bad health habits slow US & World economy....

Today's post: Friday, 3-13-2009

Three recent news stories are more than a bit scary for the US and World’s economy, particularly now that we are fighting to overcome a world wide recession.

Taken together they show that bad health habits are now slowing US & World economies. And the problem is getting worse; and will get much worse soon.

1. Rates of obesity and related diseases, notably type 2 diabetes, are climbing in most countries in the world.

2. The age range of 65 and older is when the average person most needs expensive medical care. The average health habits of most people in the United States have been worse for people turning 65 now then they were for people who turned 65 20 years ago. So there will be an increase in medical care spending in the United States because of this. But it will be an unusually steep increase in medical care spending because the huge baby boom generation is just beginning to turn 65.

3. The United States now pays more per capita than other countries while people here tend to NOT be as healthy. So it looks like our medical care system is not that great.

But of most importance, it means that the United States is literally competing with the other countries in the world economy at a significant cost disadvantage. It’s quite literally like trying to win a boxing match with one hand tied behind your back or win a race while carrying a 95 pound backpack your competitors don’t have.

The medical system in the United States can do much better than it does now by addressing the real problem causing all this. But it’s not THAT much worse than the medical systems in the other parts of the world.

The real problem is that the United States has the worst health habits and the worst food and drink, healthwise in the world. And, as I’ve posted about before, we are the most sedentary.

To be sure, there are a large absolute number of people in the United States who do know what good health habits are and who practice them every day. That includes me and many people reading this. But we are too much of a minority so far to move the average enough to change the overall picture.

Here are the areas we need to address to change this horrible situation.:

The United States is home to many of the world’s most economically successful food and drink companies. They have done well by making convenient food and drink that looks and tastes good at a low, or seemingly low, prices – and which has a high shelf life and is uniform in apparent quality. And they’ve done a great job in marketing and selling this food and drink. So most people in the United States think it’s normal and desirable and are used to that kind of food and drink and almost nothing else.

The problem is that providing food and drink that avoids causing health problems and which is nutritious and supports good health has simply NOT been any kind of consideration in this development. In fact, since doing these things increases costs; often reduces shelf life; and must be done often with more skilled and better paid people, those considerations have been the enemy to be fought off in many cases.

The news stories above show, conclusively as far as I’m concerned, that even if we don’t care about the avoidable illness, suffering, and early death these things cause individual people, we simply cannot afford to allow this situation to continue because of the huge braking effect it puts on our economy.

And, unless we change this food and drink system dramatically, we will simply be unable to tweak our medical care enough to matter economically even if we do the tweaking well. The analogy of re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic comes to mind.

The good news is that we DO know which foods, drinks, and their ingredients cause these problems. We DO know what foods and drinks tend to avoid health harm and to support good health. AND, we know three ways that work that can make this situation change.

Refined grain foods are bad for human health. Compared with whole grain foods or beans, nuts, and/or vegetables they are much higher in glycemic effect while being lower in nutrients and fiber that support health and turn off hunger. As a result, they tend to cause obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Sugar and more shelf stable and/or artificial sweeteners have proven to be bad for human health even though relatively light consumption of foods with real sugar by people in good health who exercise regularly is not.

Fats from grain fed and/or penned animals are harmful to human health even though fats from animals that can move freely and eat their natural diet tend not to be harmful in part because those animals are much leaner with less total fat and in part because the fats in grain fed and/or penned animals has bioconcentrated antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticide and herbicide residue while this is NOT the case or dramatically less the case with naturally fed animals that can move freely and been well tended.

Organic produce has been repeatedly shown to be more nutritious and health supporting than produce grown with herbicides and pesticides in addition to not having residues of those things in the food produced.

Although one day there may be farmed fish that is different, farmed fish today have all the problems of grain fed meat while wild caught fish usually do not. Farmed fish may even have MORE health damaging pollutants than grain fed land animals.

And, hydrogenated and otherwise chemically processed oils, particularly those high in omega 6 oils have been found harmful to health.

Soft drinks are literally the worst kind of thing made to drink in terms of their impact on human health. The standard kind adds calories while in addition to not making people less hungry initially tends to make them hungrier a few hours after they are drunk than the people drinking them would otherwise be. Diet soft drinks have virtually the same effect in practice mostly because the bodies of the people drinking them demand the sugar fix from other sources that the sweet taste causes them to expect. (And, as we posted about yesterday, many of the artificial sweeteners used may cause disease directly in some people.)

So what are the fixes for this problem?

I. Businesses, particularly the most competent ones, will make the most profitable products they can. That is the reality and NOT a problem in and of itself. So one solution is to tax the bad stuff enough that the safer and more nutritious alternatives can be delivered for less money to the customer and more profit to the providers.

Some health harmful foods such as hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup that contains mercury should simply be outlawed world wide. Cigarettes also fit here in part because the second hand smoke severely harms people who did not choose to smoke them

But for very bad but less harmful foods and those that should be outlawed but have not yet been outlawed, we CAN tax them very heavily. Cigarettes fit here until they are outlawed as do many kinds of food. All soft drinks clearly fit here. Highly salted foods and refined grains fit here.

And, for less harmful foods that can be eaten in small quantities occasionally by healthy people who exercise regularly such as sugar or such as alcoholic drinks that are actually beneficial but only if you go easy on how many you drink, they can be taxed less but should be taxed enough to cause high amounts of consumption to be too expensive for most people to pay.

II. The tax breaks and other incentives now given producers of the kinds of food that cause health harm should be withdrawn though this may have to be a very gradual process to avoid economic harm and effective political lobbying to prevent it.

But, we can and should give very strong incentives to producers who produce foods that are safe and which do support human health right away. That way some of the better businesses will switch to providing such foods where they would have paid to avoid turning off their existing incentives to produce the bad stuff.

III. The one interest group that is now usually part of this problem but which has the most incentive to solve it is employers.

In the United States, employers pay much of the unnecessary and avoidable health care costs that solving this problem would eliminate.

And, in all countries, when employees are out sick or out at daytime visits to the doctor or hospital for treatment, they are NOT at work being productive.

In addition, when employees think less well, have less energy, feel rotten or are worried about their health problems or how to pay for their medical care, or begin to have trouble thinking well or remembering, they are clearly far less productive than they otherwise would be.

Last but far from least, if a key employee dies on the job, gets a terminal illness, or becomes incapacitated by health problems, it can cause severe dislocations and problems to their employer. Good health practices at the workplace can help prevent these problems

Meanwhile employers all over the country do these things NOW that help CAUSE the problem:

They often provide or OK the placement in their facilities of vending machines with soft drinks, dessert treats, and snacks made virtually 100 % from things that are harmful to human health.

They condone the use of foods that are again made of things that their employees should not eat at all or eat often in the social events held in their businesses or actually provide them free at business meetings.

Such foods and drinks do look and taste good; and NOW when most people don’t really understand how harmful they are to consume and they are considered normal indulgences that “everyone else” consumes and thinks normal, only the best informed and most health motivated of their employees avoid this stuff.

It costs employers about ten times or more as much in future avoidable health care costs and lowered competence and productivity in their employees to do this.

But until our largest and best known employers completely stop doing these things and know WHY to do so and publicize how much their health care costs drop and their productivity rises, this situation will remain the same.

So, in summary, the best way to improve the productivity of medicine and lower its costs is OUTSIDE of the practice of medicine and how it is paid for.

We need to tax the foods that harm health to consume or over consume until they cost more than those that support health. We need to tax extremely harmful foods so heavily they are rarely consumed or outlaw them.

We need to immediately give incentives and tax breaks to the providers and sellers of foods and drinks that support health and very gradually withdraw it from providers and sellers of foods and drinks that harm health.

And, we need all employers to switch from enabling the consumption of health harmful foods and drinks or providing them directly to banning them from their workplaces and providing alternatives.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Important alert for diet soft drinkers and more....

Today's post: Thursday, 3-12-2009

1. There have been some negative articles about artificial sweeteners.

Each of them either has had people who claim negative health effects or there is reason to think that such negative health effects do exist but we aren’t sure what they are yet.

Given that and the fact that people who drink diet soft drinks or use artificial sweeteners often have been found to have the same problems with getting and staying fat and related health problems as people who drink regular soft drinks or often eat foods with high fructose corn syrup or sugar, that’s enough for me. (And, as you may know, natural low calorie or zero calorie sweeteners may also cause rebound hunger for sweets. So only substituting them for half the sugar and simply eating sweet things much less often is their likely best use.)

The bottom line is that all artificial sweeteners may have very unpleasant bad health surprises in at least some people; and using them at all often tends to cause obesity and the diseases fat people get more of. For me that’s enough.

To me that means that anyone who values good health and NOT being too fat, will completely avoid ingesting soft drinks of any kind and all artificial sweeteners. That’s right: always and completely avoiding them is by far the best policy. It’s easy to remember; and it is easy to do once it becomes habit.

Important alerts and health news.:

>>> 2. Not long ago, we did a post on the finding that 30 to 50 % of brand name foods tested just last year that had high fructose corn syrup also were contaminated with mercury
that apparently came with the high fructose corn syrup because of the process used to make it.

We also have recommended people not ingest high fructose corn syrup. But even if you believe it is as safe as real sugar (We think NOT), until you read that such tests have been redone on virtually everything containing it and found zero mercury contamination, you would be very well advised to voluntarily eat or drink absolutely nothing that contains it.

>>>>> 3. I do not know for sure if the information in the email I am about to quote is accurate. But based on the information in it, it certainly looks likely to be the case.

Here’s the bottom line.:

You would be very well advised to never drink diet soft drinks or use the artificial sweetener aspartame in any of its forms or brands.

Here’s why.:

MS, multiple sclerosis, can be a horrible disease that makes its sufferers look like they are so retarded they cannot control the muscles in their face and removes so much mobility they are confined to wheel chairs while leaving them normal and the same person inside. It’s an autoimmune disease.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks and messes up different systems in the body in each person who has it; but it is nearly as horrible as MS.

The following email presents evidence that many people who have been diagnosed with either of these two diseases or who seem to have their symptoms since aspartame was introduced, have been poisoned by breakdown products of the aspartame they have ingested instead.

The good news is that the people for whom this is true who stopped ingesting aspartame have often had complete recoveries including literally no longer being confined to a wheel chair.

(It was sent to a self help group of people with diabetes who often have used artificial sweeteners; but I think it needs MUCH more circulation and publicity than that.)


In October of 2001, my sister started getting very sick.
She had stomach spasms and she was having a hard time getting around.
Walking was a major chore..
It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much pain.

By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and was on 24 various prescription medications.

The doctors could not determine what was wrong with her.
She was in so much pain, and so sick she just knew she was dying.

She put her house, bank accounts, life insurance, etc.., in her oldest daughter's name, and made sure that her younger children were to be taken care of..

She also wanted her last hooray, so she planned a trip to Florida (basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.

On March 19 I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and she said they didn't find anything on the test, but they believe she had MS.

I recalled an article a friend of mine e-mailed to me and I asked my sister if she drank diet soda?

She told me that she did.
As a matter of fact, she was getting ready to crack one open that moment.

I told her not to open it, and to stop drinking the diet soda!

I e-mailed her article my friend, a lawyer, had sent.
My sister called me within 32 hours after our phone conversation and told me she had stopped drinking the diet soda AND she could walk!
The muscle spasms went away. She said she didn't feel 100% but, she sure felt a lot better.

She told me she was going to her doctor with this article and would call me when she got home.

Well, she called me, and said her doctor was amazed!

He is going to call all of his MS patients to find out if they consumed artificial sweeteners of any kind.
In a nutshell, she was being poisoned by the Aspartame in the diet soda...and literally dying a slow and miserable death.

When she got to Florida March 22, all she had to take was one pill, and that was a pill for the Aspartame poisoning!
She is well on her way to a complete recovery.
And she is walking!
No wheelchair!

This article saved her life.

If it says 'SUGAR FREE' on the label;
I have spent several days lecturing at the WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE on 'ASPARTAME,' marketed as 'Nutra Sweet,' 'Equal,' and 'Spoonful.'

In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United States in 2001 there is an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus.

It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to be rampant.

I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.

I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous:
When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis... Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants.
The methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus.

Many people were being diagnosed in error.
Although multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, Methanol toxicity is!

Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers.

The victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit.
He or she continues its use; irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening condition.

We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken off diet sodas.

In cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, most of the symptoms disappear.. We've seen many cases where vision loss returned and hearing loss improved markedly.

This also applies to cases of tinnitus and fibromyalgia.

During a lecture, I said,
'If you are using ASPARTAME (Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting, pains, numbness in your legs,
Joint pain,
Unexplainable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss you probably have ASPARTAME poisoning!'

People were jumping up during the lecture saying, 'I have some of these symptoms..
Is it reversible?'


STOP drinking diet sodas and be alert for Aspartame on food labels!
Many products are fortified with it!

This is a serious problem. Dr. Espart (one of my speakers) remarked that so many people seem to be symptomatic for MS and during his recent visit to a hospice; a nurse stated that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence!

Diet soda is NOT a diet product! It is a chemically altered, multiple SODIUM (salt) and ASPARTAME containing product that actually makes you crave carbohydrates.

It is far more likely to make you GAIN weight!

These products also contain formaldehyde, which stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs. Formaldehyde is an absolute toxin and is used primarily to preserve 'tissue specimens.'

Many products we use every day contain this chemical; but we SHOULD NOT store it IN our body!

Dr. H. J.. Roberts stated in his lectures that once free of the 'diet products' and with no significant increase in exercise; his patients lost an average of 19 pounds over a trial period.

Aspartame is especially dangerous for diabetics.
We found that some physicians, who believed that they had a patient with retinopathy, in fact, had symptoms caused by Aspartame.
The Aspartame drives the blood sugar out of control.
Thus diabetics may suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are NEUROTOXIC when taken without the other amino acids necessary for a good balance.

Treating diabetes is all about BALANCE.
Especially with diabetics, the Aspartame passes the blood/brain barrier and it then deteriorates the neurons of the brain; causing various levels of brain damage,
Manic depression,
Panic attacks,
Uncontrollable anger and rage.

Consumption of Aspartame causes these same symptoms in non-diabetics as well.
Documentation and observation also reveal that thousands of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have had complete turnarounds in their behavior when these chemicals have been removed from their diet.

So called 'behavior modification prescription drugs' (Ritalin and others) are no longer needed.
Truth be told, they were never NEEDED in the first place!

Most of these children were being 'poisoned' on a daily basis with the very foods that were 'better for them than sugar.'

It is also suspected that the Aspartame in thousands of pallets of diet Coke and diet Pepsi consumed by men and women fighting in the Gulf War, may be partially to blame for the well-known Gulf War Syndrome.

Dr. Roberts warns that it can cause birth defects, i.e. mental retardation, if taken at the time of conception and during early pregnancy.
Children are especially at risk for neurological disorders and should NEVER be given artificial sweeteners.

There are many different case histories to relate of children suffering grand mal seizures and other neurological disturbances talking about a plague of neurological diseases directly caused by the use of this deadly poison.'

Herein lies the problem:
There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products and strong objection was made concerning its use. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, and still nothing has been done.
The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets.

Sadly, MONSANTO'S patent on Aspartame has EXPIRED!
There are now over 5,000 products on the market that contain this deadly chemical and there will be thousands more introduced..
Everybody wants a 'piece of the Aspartame pie.'

I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of Aspartame, knows how deadly it is.

And isn't it ironic that MONSANTO funds, among others, the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association and the Conference of the American College of Physicians?

This has been recently exposed in the New York Times.

These [organizations] cannot criticize any additives or convey their link to MONSANTO because they take money from the food industry and are required to endorse their products.

Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote and presented a bill that would require label warnings on products containing Aspartame, especially regarding pregnant women, children and infants.

The bill would also institute independent studies on the known dangers and the problems existing in the general population regarding seizures, changes in brain chemistry, neurological changes and behavioral symptoms.

The bill was killed.

It is known that the powerful drug and chemical lobbies are responsible for this, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting and uninformed public. Well, you're informed now!


Please print this out and/or e-mail
To your family
And friends.

They have a right to know too!”

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Supplements, antioxidants, lowering inflammation, & good health....

Today's post: Tuesday, 3-10-2009

There have been some negative reports recently about antioxidant vitamins not preventing cancer in large studies.

I already suspected that was because the supplements tested were the man made versions and not the natural versions; too little may have been used; and where the natural vitamin was part of a group of related compounds in the foods where it’s found only the best known or cheapest one of those compounds was tested without the others or the foods that contain them.

Also, we now know that lowering inflammation and reducing the oxidation of LDL in the blood helps prevent heart attacks, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Plus we know that gout caused by physically sharp particles of excess uric acid in the blood causes inflammation.

Today I got some very clear and useful info on all these issues.

It seems you CAN use antioxidant supplements to avoid these problems or turn them way down in ways that improve &/or protect your health.

First, many health experts have long recommended that people take over 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C for general health and to help protect their hearts and cardiovascular systems.

Other health experts have said that more than 250 mg a day of vitamin C was a waste of money.

Those experts turn out to be wrong!

Late yesterday, Reuters online health news broke the story that taking 1500 mg a day of vitamin C dramatically reduced the incidence of gout. (I just saw it this morning.)

“Men with a higher intake of vitamin C from food or supplements have a lower risk of developing gout, a form of arthritis from uric acid build-up that causes inflamed joints, researchers said on Monday.”

“Gout can lead to permanent joint damage…. and is increasingly common and afflicts 3 million people in the United States.”

“Among the men studied those with daily intake of 1,500 supplemental mg a day had a 45 percent lower risk of gout than those who took in less than 250 mg a day, said the team headed by Choi, who is now at Boston University.”

(Their article also notes info suggesting that if you limit your alcohol to one or two drinks a day; limit eating fatty meats and cheeses by eating lean meat and cheese a bit less often instead and eating wild caught fish, lean poultry, and beans, nuts, and lentils for protein instead of meat and cheese many days; and you lose weight if you get fat in part by exercising and eliminating refined grain foods and sharply reducing sweets and eating more vegetables that also tends to prevent gout as well. They state that heavy drinking, heavy consumption of fatty meats and cheese; & being fat all tend to be causes of gout. Those things tend to cause high blood pressure as well which is also associated with gout.)

Our recommendation is to do those things AND take a total of 1,000 to 1500 mg a day of vitamin C. You and your heart will be healthier plus it looks as if your chances of getting gout will drop dramatically.

Then today, the Total Health Breakthroughs email had two related stories.

Here they are.:

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

Inflammation -- Cut It Off at the Pass

By James LaValle, R.Ph, ND, CCN

Internal inflammation is now known to be an underlying factor in almost all chronic disease, for example heart disease. Control it and you should be able to drastically reduce your risk for not just one but several diseases.

Oxidative stress (OS) is a term used to describe internal inflammation and the free radicals produced as a result. Free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants. Thousands of articles over the last few years have carried the message loud and clear to consumers, "Make sure you are taking in enough antioxidants to help counteract internal inflammation."

Yet some recent studies that have looked at the disease preventive effects of taking antioxidants have had dismal outcomes. So people are getting mixed messages and are wondering, "Does taking in additional antioxidants do any good?"

There are two issues playing out here. One is that in these recent studies, the types of antioxidants used were very dated, and the dosages were low. A study just reported in the November 2008 JAMA gave some participants 400 IU of synthetic alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and 500 mg of a synthetic ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to see if it lowered cancer or heart disease risk compared to those who didn't take the supplements. It didn't lower any risks.

Unfortunately, this study was started in 1997, just before a 1998 study found that natural vitamin E was much better absorbed than synthetic forms.1 And further study has found that mixed tocopherols are even better at protecting us against free radical damage than just alpha-tocopherol alone.

Synthetic ascorbic acid is absorbed about the same as vitamin C contained in foods, so absorption may not be the reason no benefits were seen, but dosage may be. One study found that those who took in 700 mg or more of vitamin C per day had a 25% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease.2

So, the form of nutrients given and the dosages given MUST be considered to draw an accurate conclusion. From this study, we can conclude that when people were given low dosages of two synthetic vitamins, it was not enough to lower their disease risks.

That should not be surprising to anyone, because of the other big issue at play here, which is this -- the sheer quantity of free radicals we are dealing with is astronomical. If you don't do anything to reduce your oxidative stress or internal inflammation to begin with, it may not be realistic to expect a few antioxidant supplements to protect you.

The answer to inflammation and free radicals isn't simply to take in as many antioxidants as we can. A much wiser approach is to look at the causes of rampant free radical production and do all we can to address them. Here are some of the factors that raise inflammation, free radicals and oxidative stress:

Metabolic imbalances. For example, low thyroid function raises oxidative stress. A disease itself can cause oxidative stress -- for example, hypertension was found to be both a cause and effect of OS.3

Belly fat is a huge source of inflammation; it puts out inflammatory compounds like IL-6 and TNF-alpha.

Diet. Too many sugars and trans fats steer our prostaglandin pathways toward inflammation. In addition, sugars consumed in excess can "glycate" our tissues. Glycation occurs when a sugar molecule attaches to a protein molecule and causes biochemical damage. Glycated tissues cannot function properly and are a source of free radicals. Overheated oils contain free radicals that can increase oxidative stress in our body. If you combine these dietary factors with low antioxidant intake from fruits, vegetables and beans, you have a diet that promotes oxidative stress.

Chronic sleep deprivation. Research has shown that lack of sleep causes higher than normal blood glucose levels4,5 which again takes us back to glycation. Then you get a double whammy since sleep deprivation lowers production of melatonin, a potent antioxidant.6
Chronic stress can affect all these areas because it increases belly fat7 and disrupts sleep.8 Increased stress hormones can also disrupt thyroid hormone conversion, causing even more inflammation.
Pollution is another cause of increased free radicals in our body. Heavy metals like mercury and lead cause very high free radical production, which is one of the reasons they cause disease. Lead is associated strongly with heart disease, for example.

How high would our antioxidant intake have to be to counter all this? From my experience, it is pretty high. While antioxidants in foods hold great promise for reducing disease risks (see Laura's article), it only makes sense that we should reduce the free radical production where possible, as well.

Change the diet, manage chronic stress, and by all means be proactive in preventing or reversing metabolic imbalances like low thyroid or insulin resistance using supplements as the needs indicate. For instance, alpha-lipoic-acid (ALA), a potent antioxidant, has been shown to decrease blood pressure and increase insulin sensitivity.9

Don't be discouraged by the headlines on these studies saying that antioxidants don't work. You can address oxidative stress, but the best approach is to find a health practitioner that can help you measure your level of oxidative stress, look at all the factors contributing it, and develop a comprehensive program to address it.


1. Burton G, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;67:669-84.

2. Knekt P, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(6):1508-1520.

3. Hypertension. 2006;48; 828-829.

4. Lancet. 1999;354:1435-39.

5. Journal of Clinical Endocrine Metabolism. 2004;89(11):5762-71.

6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220332.

7. Epel E, et al. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2000(62):623-32.

8. Buckley TM and Schatzberg AF. J Clin Endocrin Metab. 2005.

9. Hypertension. 2002;39:303-307

[Ed. Note: James LaValle is the founding Director of the LaValle Metabolic Institute, one of the largest integrative medicine practices in the country. Dr. LaValle is the author of The Metabolic Code Diet: Unleashing the Power of Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss and Vitality and the Executive Editor of THB's The Healing Prescription…..]”

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

“#Nutrients & Health:

Antioxidants - Can You Get Too Many?

By Laura LaValle, RD, LD

As a result of an increased awareness of the damaging effects of free radicals, everywhere you turn someone has a high antioxidant supplement they want you to buy. They range from supplements containing vitamins C and E and the trace mineral selenium (give or take a few nutrients) to supercharged juices made from exotic berries, like acai berries. The prices are anywhere from about $10.00 all the way up to $70.00 for a bottle of juice; or $2.00 for one small square of acai-added chocolate.

One of the features used to market these products is their high ORAC value, and the manufacturers are now trying to outdo one another by getting higher and higher on their ORAC values. So what is ORAC and are these products really worth the high prices?

ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity.1 Researchers at the National Institute of Aging developed ORAC testing as a way to measure the level of antioxidant protection capacity of a product or food. If a product has a high ORAC value, it has the ability to neutralize many free radicals.

Diets that are plentiful in high ORAC foods are associated with decreased disease risks,2 and more recent studies are trying to clarify which compounds are responsible for those benefits. For example a study of several high antioxidant legumes (black bean, kidney beans, lentils and more) found that these foods have the potential for preventing the development of atherosclerosis (plaque formation) by inhibiting LDL cholesterol oxidation. The study found that the foods' phenolic compounds seemed to be most responsible for that effect, and that the foods' ORAC values correlated well with those effects.3

When most people think about antioxidant protection they tend to think about the well-marketed super fruits such as gogi berries (from China) and acai berries (from Brazil). Freeze-dried acai berry is indeed very high in antioxidants with an ORAC value of 161,400 units. Gogi berries have an ORAC score of 25,300, but there are many common foods that also have high ORAC scores that can be found at your supermarket right now.
Spices, for example. The ORAC value of ground cloves is very impressive at 314,416 units. Cinnamon and oregano are also right up there on the list of high ORAC foods. Unsweetened dry cocoa powder weighs in at 80,933 units. Pecans have a score of 17,940, and English walnuts which are known for their healthy omega-3 fats, have an ORAC value of 13,541. Kidney and black beans both have ORAC scores greater than 8,000.

A good website to visit for easy ORAC searches is http://oracvalues.com/sort/orac-value/. The values reported are for 100 grams of the food.

As Jim described, we find that the best way to lower oxidative stress is to address all the factors causing the increased oxidative stress to begin with, but for the dietary component we follow at LMI, we don't send patients out with acai drinks or pills. These products can be quite expensive and they only address one thing -- ORAC value. And believe it or not, we are still learning about all the effects of an excessively high intake of antioxidants, even those from substances like plant flavonoids. Some studies are showing they may have negative effects, like inhibiting key enzymes in the body.4

Researchers will continue to try to identify if there is a level of antioxidant intake that is too high. In the meantime, many people eat diets that are almost devoid of antioxidants, and in this polluted world, that is not good. So, I want to emphasize that the preponderance of the evidence does show dietary antioxidants are beneficial to our health, and even the researchers who are concerned, say that antioxidants are safe and beneficial even at amounts that would be consumed from a typical vegetarian diet, which is much higher than a typical low fruit and vegetable intake diet.

We try to put our patients' dollars to better use by choosing supplements for them that address their specific health needs. We find that a low carbohydrate, organic foods diet that includes plenty of high antioxidant foods like spices, beans, nuts, plentiful vegetables and 1-2 servings of fruit or berries each day can go a long way to reducing oxidative stress -- without the expensive super-high ORAC supplements that still need more research.


1. What Is ORAC? Found online at: http://www.oracwatch.org/what_orac.php.
2. Leighton F, et al. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 25:133-141
3. Xu BJ, et al. Journal of Food Science.
Found online at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118510071/abstract.
4. Skibola CF, et al. Free Radic Biol Med. 200 Aug; 29(3-4):375-83.

[Ed. Note: Laura B. LaValle, RD, LD is presently the director of dietetics nutrition at LaValle Metabolic Institute. Laura and her husband, Jim LaValle, R.Ph, CCN, ND have developed the powerful and life-changing Metabolic Code Diet - containing step-by-step, easy to follow recommendations for harnessing optimal metabolic energy and turning your body's chemical make up into a fat-burning furnace…..]"

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

Regular exercise, particularly progressive strength training and interval cardio, in people who get enough antioxidant supplements and foods also lowers excess inflammation and CRP readings.

So does daily tooth and gum brushing plus daily flossing plus regular dental check ups and teeth cleaning as these prevent the inflammation from gum disease by preventing gum disease itself.

Also, eliminating refined grain foods and eating far fewer sweet foods and eliminating soft drinks plus eliminating any hydrogenated oils and all added omega 6 oils in favor of vegetables, beans, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts if you aren’t allergic plus taking purified fish oil and eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils all help to reduce excess inflammation and CRP readings.

Lastly, a quick note, 200 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid is a decent preventive amount that will also help in addition to the standard vitamin A, mixed carotenoids from vegetables high in them, vitamin C as noted above, 200 iu daily of natural vitamin E with the other 3 tocopherols also included (Solgar makes that exact supplement.), and 200 mcg a day of selenium all are antioxidant vitamins.

If you take those and eat the real foods and use the spices Laura LaValle notes, your antioxidant intake will be high and, if you also stop eating the bad stuff and exercise, your inflammation will be low; your chances of disease will be very low; and your health will tend to stay good.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Outdated vitamin & mineral guidelines....

Today's post: Monday, 3-9-2009

I happened upon a news article with these statements.:

“Vitamins Can Be Dangerous In High Amounts” &
“Government Sets Tolerable Upper Limits”

The information in the article had several flaws.

1. Where several vitamins are listed on vitamin and supplement bottles in iu or “international units” each of these vitamins were listed in milligrams or micrograms.

That means that without knowing the conversion factors, the information, even if accurate, is useless. In addition, these conversion factors seem NOT to be online !!

As you’ll see below, I did manage to get the conversions. But it took some research.

2. Some of the information presented was accurate for some vitamins and slightly off for others; and one for one vitamin, vitamin D3, we now know that the Tolerable Upper Limit they list is about what the minimum daily requirement is while the optimum daily intake or allowance is about 50 % MORE than their Tolerable Upper Limit!

Since my time is limited as is yours to read this, here are the important items.

1. Vitamin A has two forms, retinol which comes from animal sources, and beta carotene, which is one of the many carotenes found in plants.

The daily value or RDA is 3,000 iu and 900 mg of retinol while the Tolerable Upper Limit of 3,000 mg is equal to 10,000 iu. Since you get some retinol in foods and you can begin to get bad side effects over 20,000 iu a day of retinol, staying at or under 10,000 iu of retinol from supplements is about right.

Since retinol does have toxicity in high doses and can build up over time as it is fat soluble, taking 5,000 iu or at most 10,000 iu as a supplement is about right; & 3,000 or 5,000 iu in supplement form plus getting more vitamin A by eating carotene containing vegetables is likely better for you.

Since beta carotene is water soluble the www.supernutitrionusa.com info sheet I got shows that you can take up to 40,000 iu a day of it. BUT, 5,000 or 10,000 iu a day in supplements and eating lots of different carotene containing foods does a dramatically better job of supporting your health and preventing disease than taking that much beta carotene. And taking more than 10,000 iu of it without eating the vegetables with the carotenoids may cause unbalanced nutrition and bad results. This did happen in one study that gave high doses of beta carotene only and not more vegetables with mixed carotenes also to smokers.

2. Vitamin D3 is listed as having a Tolerable Upper Limit of 50 mcg a day. That turns out to be 2,000 iu. Oops! We now know that our bodies will use 2,000 to 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 and, while your body can make up to 15,000 iu a day in abundant sunshine, our economy no longer has most of us outside everyday working as hunter-gatherers or farmers. In addition to the exercise we no longer get, most of us no longer get much vitamin D3 from sunshine. We work indoors and often spend our time off indoors`.

That means that 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 is the minimum daily requirement most people need and that the optimum daily intake or allowance is about 3,000 iu.

In addition, although 20,000 to 50,000 iu of vitamin D3 or more may cause some problems if anyone not badly deficient in it takes it for several weeks or more, there are no studies of which I’ve heard that find that 10,000 iu or more is a problem. So, I’ve been suggesting people take at least 2,000 iu and, unless they have had a blood test, showing deficiency of vitamin D3, less than 5,000 iu to be extra conservative. But clearly for something labeled the Tolerable Upper Limit, 10,000 iu is about right. Unfortunately, that is FIVE times what this report says the government set it at.

The evidence I’ve seen suggests this 2,000 iu Tolerable Upper Limit for vitamin D3 is so inaccurately low as to be incompetent. It might not be in small children. But in adults it’s a joke.

3. For Vitamin B6 they have the Tolerable Upper Limit about right from what I’ve read at 100 mg a day.

The www.supernutitrionusa.com info sheet I got says that 200 mg a day is safe and up to 450 might be; but I read that at levels of 150 to 300 mg many people begin to develop numbness from nerve damage in various parts of their bodies that wasn’t always reversible by discontinuing the excess B6. To put it mildly, nerve damage is NOT good. So, to be sure people avoid that, 100 mg a day is safe for everyone. To be fair, 200 mg is likely safe for most people. But the Tolerable Upper Limit SHOULD be set at the limit that is safe for everyone.

4. For folic acid, the synthetic form of the folacin that is in plants, they have a Tolerable Upper Limit of 1,000 mcg a day. 1,000 mcg a day plus 6 to 9 servings of foods high in the folacin form of folic acid is likely better for you than 2,000 mcg of folic acid.

But people who need to lower their homocysteine levels and should do so for avoiding the things that high homocysteine tends to cause, may need up to 2500 mcg of folic acid. So for this one, I think 2500 or 3,000 mcg is a better Tolerable Upper Limit than 1,000 while the www.supernutitrionusa.com info sheet has no reported problems up to nearly 400,000.

5. I’ve not seen the Tolerable Upper Limit for iron. But there is evidence that the RDA or daily value of 18 mg a day is likely to be about right for a Tolerable Upper Limit. And that is safer for people who are deficient or anemic and women who are menstruating and for people who take abundant antioxidants and eat abundant antioxidant containing fruits and vegetables. Excess iron in normal people can help cause heart disease and speed aging as it is an oxidant.

Further, some people have a condition where their bodies don’t remove excess iron and can build up dangerous levels of it.

So, 18 mg a day is likely the Tolerable Upper Limit for iron. And some people should simply not take any other iron than what they get in foods.

6. Copper is another oxidant mineral I’ve not seen a Tolerable Upper Limit for. But 3 mg a day may be about right. Like iron, some people find taking any copper at all toxic. That is unfortunate however since the body need copper to balance your zinc intake. AND, copper deficiency causes heart disease while adequate copper tends to prevent dangerous aneurisms where your arteries balloon in size and can split and rupture causing rapid death. So for most people 2 or 3 mg a day of copper is important. But also taking abundant antioxidants and eating abundant antioxidant containing fruits and vegetables is a good idea to combat copper’s oxidant effect.

7. Zinc has a listed Tolerable Upper Limit of 60 mg a day I think. That is about right. Up to 45 mg a day regularly plus 3 mg a day of copper to balance it, tends to keep your immune system strong, your body healthy including good sexual function, and keep your HDL high.

But, while taking about 30 to 60 mg extra zinc when you first come down sick can help, a daily intake of MORE than 60 mg a day of zinc on a regular basis WEAKENS your immune system. Plus it means to balance it you need more copper than is likely a good idea. So 30 to 45 mg a day is good while 60 mg a day might be OK and more than 60 is not.

8. Niacin, nicotinic acid, sometimes called vitamin B3, can cause liver problems in amounts of 1,000 mg a day or more. But there is good evidence that even though 300 to 600 mg a day in 300 mg doses is safe and is very effective in preventing heart disease and cardiovascular disease it does cause a “flushing” effect which feels like a mild but all over temporary sunburn if you take it on an empty stomach.

The 35 mg Tolerable Upper Limit listed is one that avoids this flushing sensation. But healthwise, it is nearly 30 times too low. If you know the flushing is harmless and may even be beneficial due to the stretching and expanding it gives your capillaries, 900 or 1,000 mg a day is the Tolerable Upper Limit for niacin that I think makes more sense. I suggest taking 300 mg once a day or twice a day after meals plus whatever you get in your multivitamin or B-complex of niacin or its nonflushing cousin niacinimide. And, 300 three times a day is likely safe for most people as liver problems tend to show up at 1,000 mg a day or more.

So this one they also got far wrong.

But niacin DOES have a real Tolerable Upper Limit at 1,000. If your HDL and LDL and triglyceride levels are all horribly bad, it may well pay you to take 1,000 mg a day or more of niacin. But it is only safe to do so if you get regular liver function tests and your doctor monitors you. (Note that while niacinimide has some real health benefits, it has none of the heart protective actions niacin has on LDL, triglycerides, and HDL. So, since I think most of us need those, I recommend taking both niacin AND niacinimide.)

Some of the other Tolerable Upper Limits I saw were a bit off. But these are 8 of nine that I think have real limits. And in two cases the stated Tolerable Upper Limit is way too low.

(The ninth one is vitamin E. But that one is a bit complex and less well tested. Plus I’m out of time. So, I’ll just say that 200 iu of natural vitamin E plus 30 or 50 iu of the man made alpha tocopherol acetate is likely safe while more than that may not be for everyone. It is also a good idea to eat some of the foods high in the whole vitamin E complex such as avocado, nuts, -- and wheat germ if your body processes wheat and gluten OK.)

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