Friday, May 29, 2009

Very few know how tobacco smoke kills….

Today's Post, Friday, 5-29-2009

From the GSK (Glaxo Smith Kline) website yesterday I found out that this Sunday, 5-31-2009 is World No Tobacco Day.

“The World Health Organization created the annual World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), first held in 1988, to highlight the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease that tobacco consumption causes.”

They then state that GSK helps support and sponsor the event.

They then report this.:

“Each annual event, held on 31 May, has a theme. The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2009 is "Tobacco Health Warnings", with an emphasis on the picture warnings that have been shown to be particularly effective at making people aware of the health risks of tobacco use and convincing them to quit.”

Today, several health stories covered the WHO emphasis on putting pictures of damage from tobacco use on cigarette packs including the pictures or description. The picture posted of someone with coal black gums and the one described as a picture of a woman with a cancerous tumor growing out of the side of her neck are indeed quite frightening.

But the pictures are even more effective for another reason.

The reason for that is quite simple. Few people and even fewer smokers know how tobacco smoke kills.

Another news story today from AP on the WHO effort to put these pictures on all cigarette packs reported a study in China which showed that “barely a third of smokers knew they were at higher risk of heart disease and only 17 percent knew that smoking causes strokes ….”

That’s actually far higher than I would have guessed. I wonder how many of the people who knew they were at risk also knew that these cardiovascular diseases are the MAIN way that smoking kills?

I wonder if any at all of them knew that every smoker, even first time, young smokers begins to get cardiovascular disease with every single cigarette they smoke?

Did you know these things yet?

And, there’s more. Not only does every smoker begin getting cardiovascular disease, they can get their homocysteine levels checked and see they are being harmed already. (Healthy young people who have not been exposed to cigarette smoke tend to have homocysteine levels in the 6.0 to 7.0 range. People in the best health who tend not to get cardiovascular disease or some form of dementia tend to have homocysteine levels of 8.9 or less. By contrast, smokers tend to have much higher levels of homocysteine. Such homocysteine levels also tend to speed aging in every part of the person who has them. And other research shows that while nonsmokers tend to become older at something like 70, smokers tend to become older at 50.)

Smoking also lowers the amount of the protective HDL that helps keep this process of causing cardiovascular disease from happening and then makes what is left over ineffective.

If they have been smoking for years and can afford it, smokers can also get a test that shows the clogging of the blood vessels to their brain caused by this process of smoking causing cardiovascular disease.

And, this happens to every smoker! My guess is that not one smoker in 50 knows about this.

This is the main way smoking kills and the vast majority of smokers have no clue that this is happening to them.

What do most smokers know about smoking risks? They’ve heard that some people get lung cancer. But since many people who smoke do not get lung cancer, most smokers just assume they will be one of the ones who do not and keep right on smoking.

But there’s a great deal more to tobacco and tobacco smoke causing cancer – in addition to the fact that cancers are the LITTLE risk from smoking.

People who actually enjoy smoking instead of just having it be a stress reliever, tend to smoke more. And recently reported research has found in such people, out of every four of them, one will get lung cancer.

Would you play Russian Roulette with a four shot revolver that has a bullet in one of the chambers? Smokers who enjoy smoking do just exactly that. And just from the risk of lung cancer.

My guess is that so far, less than 5% of smokers who enjoy smoking knows this.

And, then there are all the other kinds of cancer besides lung cancer. I’ve read that about a third of ALL cancers of every kind are caused by smoking. One doctor I met once in a cancer ward in a hospital said he thought it was actually closer to 50 % based on what he saw there.

And, then there is being able to breathe.

One project tested the breath capacity of teen smokers and found they had the breath and lung capacity of middle aged people. Not many of the teens who were shown this quit. BUT it was twice as many as usually quit!

But for older people who get emphysema or COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it’s far worse. They feel like they are drowning even though they have only air around them. And if it gets bad, they have to tow a portable oxygen bottle around with them to stay conscious.

By the time that you add all the parts, smoking is very much like playing Russian Roulette with 5 or 6 of the 6 chambers in a revolver loaded.

One way smokers can load all 6 chambers and double or triple their risk of getting lung and other oral cancers is to use a cigarette lighter. Tobacco smoke is loaded with carcinogenic compounds; but the carcinogenic compounds caused by the high temperature flame of a cigarette lighter are far more numerous and more deadly. The Science Fact article in the magazine Analog once showed two graphs. The number of smokers as related to the number of lung cancers. That one looked like a 40 or 45 % correlation. And, the sales of cigarette lighters as related to the number of lung cancers. That one looked like a 95% or higher correlation, almost the same curve exactly.

Most smokers in the United States light up with cigarette lighters today.

What does that tell you? The health news and implications are NOT good.

Then there is the effect of second hand smoke.

It’s about like smoking what the smokers near them are smoking but only half as bad. That means the health damage of a smoker who smokes often around other people may be ten times as much as that smoker gets because of how many people are exposed to the smoke.

But, what if you avoid smoking but chew tobacco to get your nicotine fix instead? You do get to escape some of the cardiovascular risk and damage to your ability to breathe. But you actually increase your risk of getting oral or head and neck cancers.

Have you ever met someone who had to have their voicebox or larynx removed due to throat cancer? They have to use a sound generator they press to their throat or burp on purpose to talk.

That’s why WHO decided to have their annual event called.: World No Tobacco Day.

People who are not in the group that truly enjoys smoking or who are either less addicted to nicotine or mentally tougher in over-riding their addiction can and do quit cold turkey and have it stick.

But most smokers don’t fit that group. They either enjoy smoking for the dopamine rush we now know powers that which only some smokers get. Or they are seriously addicted to nicotine. Or they desperately need the tiny bit of stress relief they get from smoking.

But we now know ways to get them what they need without having them smoke.

Smokers who get that help from their doctors in the early to middle stages of quitting are dramatically more successful in quitting.

A drug with two names, Wellbutrin and Zyban turns off nicotine addiction and acts as a similar antidepressant to nicotine which is apparently how it works. (Zyban is the trade name for the version sold directly as a smoking cessation drug. But my understanding it that the two names are actually the same drug.)

And, there are several kinds of nicotine replacements available which allow you to get some actual nicotine so you can get it without any smoke or tobacco at all. Many of these are now over the counter.

The most effective system is to use Zyban plus a nicotine replacement just before and for a good bit after you quit.

And, my strong suspicion though I’ve not yet seen a study of it is that the nicotine inhaler that best mimics the on demand feature of smoking is most effective. You can now get nicotine gum and patches over the counter. But for Zyban and the nicotine inhaler, you need a prescription from your doctor.

I’ve not yet seen a program tested to add some form of dopamine booster and help getting another kind of stress relief to these two drugs.

But regular exercise does both to some degree. And people who exercise every week during the quitting process DO have double the success rate of people who do not.

(Full disclosure.: I found out one of the reasons that GSK sponsors this yearly event and has the extremely well done and informative article about the dangers of smoking that it did recently. They are the maker and provider of Wellbutrin and Zyban.)

So in summary, to have the best luck quitting, learn the real dangers of quitting and get tested to see they are already happening to you. Make a list of family members and friends you have smoked near but who you would prefer to protect from the effects of smoking.

See your doctor for the two prescriptions and use them as directed. And be sure to exercise during the quitting process even if it’s just some regular 20 minute walks.

It also has helped some people to attend group stop smoking sessions. The American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association and many hospitals and HMO’s -- possibly including the one in your health plan -- provide such sessions.

Quitting cold turkey does work for many people.

But if it didn’t work for you or you suspect it won’t, try the combination of methods we just described because it is four times or more likely to work for you than quitting cold turkey.

Lastly, quitting smoking for many people is like learning to walk. Even though many don’t succeed the first time, they do learn from the experience of trying -- just like a toddler learning to walk. And if they keep trying using what they learn each time, they do manage to quit.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Five critically important health habits….

Today's Post, Thursday, 5-28-2009

These 5 critically important health habits work with the three basic strategies.

1. Avoid things that harm your health.

2. Do things that support and protect your health.

3. Do enough of each of the first two things to be effective.

That’s why some recent news on the 5 critically important health habits is scary.

You might be very well advised to do better than most people now are doing by making a special point to be one of the few people who manage to do all 5. Doing all 5 tends to prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, and all kinds of cardiovascular disease -- & increases your life span by up to 25 years. That means that you not only live 20 to 25 years longer, your healthy years go up even more. The amount of a quality life you get to live goes up sharply

Yesterday, & other news services reported on an article published in the June 2009 issue of The American Journal of Medicine based on a survey they reported of Americans from 40 to 79 in age at two different time periods. slightly mistitled it as “American Diets Getting Worse.”

The real story is that fewer people in the United States did most of the five key health habits they surveyed and fewer did all five of them. In fact the percent of the people who managed to do all five dropped from 15 % to 9 % between the survey of 1988-1994 & the one done 2001-2006.

The five habits were:

1. Get regular exercise or comparable physical activity each week—at least 12 times a month.

2. Eat a total of 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruit or more on the average.

3. Moderate alcohol consumption (14 drinks a week or less with more than two a day infrequent for men and 7 drinks a week or less with more than one a day infrequent for women.)

4. Maintain a healthy weight (staying at a weight unlikely to mean more than 10 or 20 pounds of excess fat) – normally a BMI of 26.0 or less -- & for sure less than 30.

5. Not smoking.

And, three of the five saw declines.

1. Get regular exercise or comparable physical activity each week, at least 12 times a month –
went from 53 percent to 43 percent.

2. Eat a total of 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruit or more on the average–
went from 42 percent to 26 percent.

3. Moderate alcohol consumption–
went from 40 percent to 51 percent.

4. Maintaining a healthy weight– adults aged 40-74 years with a body mass index less than 30 went from 72 percent to 64 percent. (The article doesn’t say so; but the percentage of people at 26.0 or less also dropped as we know from other reports that show more people are now in the 25.0 to 29.9 category and fewer are below that.)

5. Not smoking–
went from 26.9 percent to 26.1 percent.

Even though these findings may partly reflect the aging of the baby boomers, the trends are so bad, clearly there are other causes.

Incredibly, the study also found that people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or risk factors for those conditions, were no more likely to do these 5 things than people without such risk factors.
These people literally were not taking action even when they began suffering because they had not done so.

(Part of that is due to the fact that their doctors simply have not been trained to ask them to, show them how, or help them do so or don’t even see that as their job or don’t find it doable given what they know and have time for.)

There are really only three things here.

Don’t smoke or stay where there is second hand smoke.

Follow the lifestyle that keeps you healthy, fit, and free of excessive body fat.

Follow the lifestyle that keeps you healthy, fit, and free of excessive body fat well enough that the scale and tape measure show you are doing it well enough to do the job.

A. Since Sunday, 5-31 is World No Tobacco Day 2009, tomorrow’s post will be on why to avoid tobacco smoke, second hand smoke, and tobacco with some tips on doing so. Of the habits it comes close to being the most important one to keep good health.

B. Here’s a few ways to follow the lifestyle that keeps you healthy, fit, and free of excessive body fat so that the scale and tape measure show you are doing it well enough to do the job.

1. Try to get in some walking each week; do at least two sessions of strength training each week even if you just do 20 minutes each with light weights; do at least 3 interval cardio workouts each week. And do the exercises with some extra effort and intensity once you get used to doing them.

2. Drink no soft drinks of any kind; discontinue ingesting any hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup; stop eating virtually all refined grain foods; eat sugar or foods containing it a few times a week or less rather than several servings every day; follow the guidelines on moderate drinking or drink a bit less.

3. Eat at least 3 servings of green or nonstarchy vegetables each day and more than 5 if you can manage it; eat at least one serving of fruit each day; and drink a glass of real fruit or vegetable juice each day but not more than 2 glasses of fruit juice. And eat organic produce to the best of your ability instead of pesticide and herbicide treated produce.

4. Eat healthy fat and oils only, avocados, raw or dry roasted nuts, extra virgin olive oil, and omega 3 oils from purified supplements or wild caught fish.

5. Eat healthy protein foods only, beef fed only grass, pasture raised only poultry, whey protein supplements, wild caught fish and seafood from unpolluted waters of kinds that do NOT over-accumulate mercury AND only eat nonfat or extremely lean meats and poultry or dairy products to the extent you can.

6. If you find you are too fat or too heavy or both, eat more vegetables, drink less alcohol, and ingest less sugar, or be more strict about eating only health OK things if needed, and increase the amount of exercise you get until you lose some of it. And keep track at least once a month to be sure you catch it if you start adding fat weight.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Foods that protect your heart….

Today's Post, Tuesday, 5-26-2009

I got an email with the theme of foods that will reduce your cholesterol level.

But reducing total cholesterol is not sufficient to protect your heart.

You have to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while INCREASING your HDL cholesterol. And you also need to prevent both kinds of cholesterol from oxidizing.

So you need to do way more than just lowering your total cholesterol.

But the email I got also noted some very key points about the foods they included. Their food list itself was great. Many of the foods they included do protect your heart because they do one or more or even several of the things on the list of things above that WILL protect your heart.

So, I’ve used their list and upgraded it a bit here.

1. Eat green and nonstarchy vegetables every day. Eat some of them raw and uncooked. Two a day is a minimum. But five servings a day is better. Here’s why that protects your heart. Many vegetables contain sterols and many contain soluble fiber. Both sterols and soluble fiber lower LDL cholesterol or prevent it from getting too high in the first place. And such vegetables are a great source of both.

But there’s even more protection from eating green and nonstarchy vegetables every day:

They contain several kinds of antioxidants in combinations that sharply reduce oxidation of your LDL and HDL and protect your heart that way.

Eating green and nonstarchy vegetables every day also has very few calories and fills you up. So when you eat them every day, you eat LESS of more fattening foods since you are much less hungry for them. So you’ll be less fat, be less likely to get type 2 diabetes, and much less likely to get high blood pressure. And every one of those effects protects your heart.

2. Eat two or three pieces or servings of whole fruit each day. Almost all kinds of fruit contain the antioxidant vitamin C plus many kinds of antioxidants in combinations that sharply reduce oxidation of your LDL and HDL and protect your heart that way.

Whole apples and dark berries are particularly good for your heat.

Apples are both high in soluble fiber that lowers your LDL and eating whole apples helps with fatloss or prevents you from becoming fat just like eating green and nonstarchy vegetables. Adding even one apple a day has been shown to help people lose fat weight.

And eating dark berries is astoundingly heart protective because they are very high to extremely high in antioxidants; they have been found to increase your protective HDL; & they also lower HDL. In addition, berries contain micronutrients that work with vitamin C to keep your arteries inside surfaces, endothelium, intact, smooth, and resilient. And those effects directly prevent heart disease and help prevent high blood pressure.

Plus berries give you a sweet taste WITHOUT giving you type 2 diabetes from blood sugar spikes, increased bodyfat, & increased triglycerides.

Eating sugar for a sweet taste does all those bad things TO you if you eat it too often. And high fructose corn syrup is at least that bad for your heart. Plus at least 30 % of it in food and drinks still has mercury in it as far is known as of today’s date. (See our post from Friday last week for details.)

So, if you eat berries instead of sugar or high fructose corn syrup for your sweet tooth, you protect your heart double!

3. If you can possibly manage it, eat beans or lentils or both several times a week. They are high in soluble fiber. So they lower LDL cholesterol

They provide protein without any bad fats. They are inexpensive and are convenient to eat each day once you cook up a batch with a week’s servings. And, even though beans can be a bit higher on glycemic index, other than lentils which are low, beans and lentils are so high in fiber, they also help keep off excess fat just like apples and green vegetables.

4. Eat raw and dry roasted nuts. (Note that oil roasted & salted nuts are bad for you though!)

Nuts contain sterols and fiber that lower your LDL cholesterol. The oils they contain are monosaturated oils just like olive oil that does the heart protective double of increasing your protective HDL while lowering your LDL cholesterol. Walnuts also have a mix including an omega 3 oil that has been directly shown to be heart protective. Nuts taste really good without the triglyceride boost you get from sweet or refined grain snacks. So nuts are a great substitute for junk food snacks.

Nuts contain many minerals that support your health and which help prevent high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Plus, like green vegetables and apples, nuts are so filling, they tend to prevent you from eating more fattening foods. This effect is so strong in fact that people who add nuts to their daily foods either gain no weight or lose it. Given the high fat and oil content of nuts, this is NOT what most people expect.

In fact, nuts are so good for you if you aren’t allergic to them, people who eat nuts most days outlive people who don’t by as much as five years!

5. Discontinue eating refined grain foods or foods made from refined grains totally to the best of your ability. If you eat a grain food, eat whole grain foods only at least 98% of the time. Refined grain foods increase your triglycerides, spike your blood sugar, and are known to help cause type 2 diabetes and obesity all of which harm your heart.

Eating some whole grain foods is OK due to the much greater natural nutrition and the fiber in whole grains.

Lastly, perhaps the most heart healthy of the whole grains are oats. Oatmeal made from rolled or steel cut oats – NOT the instant cooking kind that is refined enough to not be a whole grain – has so much soluble fiber, people who eat that kind of oatmeal often not only have lower LDL cholesterol, they have fewer heart attacks.

So if you eat “Old Fashioned” oatmeal and some whole grain foods and stop eating all foods made with refined grains, you protect your heart twice!

6. Eat wild caught fish or pasture raised chickens or beef fed only grass as protein foods or extract as close to all the fat from grain feed meat as you can manage.

Wild caught fish contain omega 3 oils that lower your triglyceride levels and your level of CRP inflammation and protect your heart directly. So does taking omega 3 supplements made from algae or from purified fish oil.

Pasture raised chickens or beef fed only grass have some omega 3 oils also.

But of perhaps most importance, they have very little bioconcentrated pesticides, herbicides, other pollutant chemicals, and very little omega 6 oils that increase CRP inflammation and saturated fat that increases LDL cholesterol.

Grain fed meat animals, chickens, and farmed fish tend to have the reverse qualities and cause heart disease. At this time, farmed fish are too high in pollutants to consider at all. But with grain fed poultry and beef, you can minimize their bad effects by choosing lean cuts, removing all visible fat and skin, and cooking in a way that removes still more of their fat.

Grilling at moderate temperatures in way that allows all the grease to drip away from the meat you eat or cooking in water, refrigerating afterwards and the skimming the fat and saturated fat glop that forms on the top of the water both work.

Another way to get animal protein that has a good health track record is to eat and drink nonfat and very lowfat dairy products – or get your dairy products from cattle fed only grass. The same principles apply.

7. Eat health and heart OK oils in these two ways besides eating raw and dry roasted nuts.

Avocados (& therefore guacamole) and extra virgin olive oil are so heart protective it’s astounding.

Eating them protects your heart multiple ways. They increase your protective HDL cholesterol; they lower your LDL cholesterol, and they have antioxidants that prevent both your HDL and LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.

Avocados have even been shown to lower triglycerides directly. And by using them only, you avoid all the oils and fats that boost LDL cholesterol from saturated fat or boost inflammation from excessive omega 6 oils. (Plus you avoid using hydrogenated oils with trans fats, or transfats, that do ALL the reverse things that damage your heart. Those oils lower HDL cholesterol, increase triglycerides, and increase LDL cholesterol. Those effects make hydrogenated oils with trans fats a heart attack starter!)

So by getting your essential fatty acids from nuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and wild caught fish and some naturally fed animals instead of from heart damaging fats and oils, you again protect your heart twice! You give it food that makes it healthy. And you stop eating foods that make it sick.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Why totally avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup….

Today's Post, Friday, 5-22-2009

This post is partly a repeat of our many previous posts saying to totally avoid high fructose corn syrup to the maximum of your ability to do so.

But it adds some new information.

And, one of the reasons to totally avoid high fructose corn syrup is so important, doing so certainly is worth repeating for any of you reading this who have somehow missed it before here or elsewhere.:

Mercury is a toxin to nerves and brain cells. Getting too much of it both makes you feel sick with no clear reason why if you are unaware that you have ingested too much mercury –AND – it produces neurologic damage which can impair brain functions and mimic Alzheimer’s disease.

Mercury is now in 30 to 45 % of all foods that contain high fructose corn syrup including well known name brands.

So, it’s important if you want to be healthy and stay mentally able to never eat or drink foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.

This may change. But for right now, avoiding high fructose corn syrup is as important as NOT eating produce that still has dangerous amounts of pesticide on it because of this mercury contamination.

Worse, since children are developing their brains and nervous systems and are so much smaller than adults, avoiding mercury from high fructose corn syrup is really important for children.

The new information is that pregnant women should be even more careful to avoid high fructose corn syrup for this reason. Why set up your baby to be less able or defective due to the mercury in high fructose corn syrup when it is totally avoidable?

In addition, high fructose corn syrup is bad for you for all the reasons eating or drinking excess sugar is.

It may be worse for you than sugar though the people who make it have argued that it is more the same or very slightly worse than dramatically worse because the most used versions of it have only a bit more fructose than sugar. Fructose in quantity has been shown to cause heart disease and to help trigger type 2 diabetes and obesity more than regular sugar. So even a bit more fructose is not desirable. But their point may be valid otherwise.

Even if that’s so, by eating and drinking sweet things a few times a week or month instead of several times a day will improve your health. Since high fructose corn syrup is cheaper and easier to put in things than sugar, if you buy and eat those things that contain it, you will find more of them at lower prices which make it easy to eat more than five times too much for good health.

I work to avoid most sweet foods; but on a few occasions I’ve been tempted by something. By looking at the label first, I find that I indulge far less because most of them turn out to contain high fructose corn syrup. So avoiding high fructose corn syrup does help to avoid getting too much or too many sugary foods.

So if you fail to avoid foods and drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup you will likely ingest enough to be fat and sick. In fact this is now the case for millions of people in the United States who have ingested far too much high fructose corn syrup and sugar both.

That will remain true even if the food manufacturers manage to make all high fructose corn syrup used in foods and drinks to be mercury free.

So we believe the prudent solution is to read all labels and simply avoid buying or ingesting anything that contains high fructose corn syrup.

Here at my work today, I saw a loaf of bread that on its label advertised a cookbook with what recipes it said were recipes good for your heart. The recipes may be as advertised. But the bread was NOT at all good for your heart to eat. Its main ingredient was white flour, a refined grain, AND it contained high fructose corn syrup. That means that is was very high on glycemic index and has little fiber. So it does a bad job of making you less hungry and tends to cause blood sugar surges. Those kinds of foods help cause type 2 diabetes & obesity AND they increase your triglycerides which helps directly cause heart disease. Ouch !!

Note that you could easily avoid all that by simply declining to buy it as soon as you saw it contained high fructose corn syrup.

What triggered my doing this post today?

Here’s this morning’s Early to Rise health article which has some background AND makes it truly scary to think of having pregnant women ingest high fructose corn syrup.:

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

"Just Say No to Sweet Poison

By Melanie Segala

As bad as too much sugar is for you, its cousin is even worse. I'm speaking, of course, about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the sugary goo that's been added to soft drinks, salad dressings, cakes, cookies, and cereals for over 30 years. The darling of food manufacturers everywhere, HFCS made its debut as the ideal solution for extending the shelf life and reducing the cost of producing commercially sweetened foods.

While it might have been a magic bullet for manufacturers and retailers, it's been a bullet of a very different kind for consumers. According to nutrition expert Jonny Bowden, writing in Total Health Breakthroughs, HFCS comes with a veritable laundry list of associated health risks, including raising triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, reducing insulin sensitivity, and causing dangerous intra-abdominal fat (the kind that's a precursor to heart disease).

Not enough to make you think twice? Here's another frightening twist: mercury contamination!

Mercury can damage the heart, kidneys, nervous system, and immune system. In pregnant women, mercury can cross the placenta and affect the neurological development of the fetus. (Is it any wonder we're seeing so many cases of autism and ADHD?)

The latest news regarding the dangers of HFCS came to light in late January when several news outlets published the results of two eye-opening studies. In the first study, it was reported that, in 2005, an FDA scientist tested 20 commercial products containing HFCS and found that nine were positive for mercury. If that wasn't bad enough, the FDA, asleep on the job as usual, did not release these dangerous findings to the public until recently.

In the second study, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group, analyzed 55 commercial products containing HFCS that were purchased in the fall of 2008. They found that nearly 1 in 3 of the foods and beverages it tested contained mercury.

At this point you might be wondering what a toxic heavy metal has to do with high-fructose corn syrup. Was it an accident or shoddy manufacturing practices that caused mercury to be found in these foods? No. In creating the corn syrup, a mercury reagent is typically used with a caustic soda to separate corn starch from the kernel. In the process, the mercury cells can contaminate the caustic soda, which is then transferred to the corn syrup.

A spokesperson for the Corn Refiners Association claims that the industry has not used mercury reagents in the manufacturing of HFCS for several years and the study is therefore outdated. But can that really be true if the products tested in the second study were purchased off the shelf by IATP in 2008?

And even so, that feeble excuse cannot reverse the damage done to countless Americans who unknowingly ingested mercury-contaminated food for 30 or more years, clogged their arteries, and possibly affected the neurological development of their unborn children.

What's the takeaway advice here? It's obvious. Get high-fructose corn syrup out of your diet. The health dangers are just too alarming to ignore. Don't wait for the FDA or food manufacturers to do the right thing. If their track record is any indication, the wait will be a long one.

[Ed. Note: Melanie Segala is the Managing Editor of ETR's free health newsletter, Total Health Breakthroughs. You can learn more about food safety and natural health solutions from today's leading experts by subscribing now.]" For a complimentary subscription, visit .


Autism and ADHD certainly each have other causes. But additional neurologic damage from mercury certainly doesn’t do unborn babies any good. So in addition to avoiding high fructose corn syrup yourself, get this information to any women who you know who are pregnant.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vitamin D keeps your brain quick….

Today's Post, Thursday, 5-21-2009

The news on getting adequate vitamin D is beginning to be unbelievably good.

A recent news article quotes a study that found that in 3,000 European men from 40 to 79 years old, the men that had low levels of vitamin D got low scores on a test of mental agility.

(That’s scary because many people now get little sun exposure and even people who take vitamins only get 400 iu of vitamin D while the new studies show the real minimum requirement for vitamin D is closer to 2,000 to 3,000 iu. So a majority of people that age today are low or deficient in vitamin D.)

The much better news is that the men who had high levels of vitamin D, tested much higher on mental agility.

And the news article pointed out that other recent studies found that getting enough vitamin D3, the active form, has been found to: “protect against cancer, artery disease and tuberculosis.”

A bottle of 1,000 iu capsules of vitamin D3 costs less than $7 at the health food store. But the health benefits of taking two or three of them a day may be closer to $7,000 a bottle. That’s more valuable per ounce than gold!

So, if keeping your brain sharp and keeping up your productivity at work are important to you, you might want to consider taking 2,000 to 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3.

(And, as we’ve pointed out before, doing regular exercise each week is another proven way to keep your brain sharp & your mental performance high.)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Taxing damaging foods and drinks….

Today's Post, Tuesday, 5-19-2009

The good news is that the recent efforts to reduce the cost of health care & to pay for it by the United States government now include proposed taxes on soft drinks and on alcohol.

The bad news is that the efforts may fail despite being one of the key elements in doing the job intended.

The average person in the United States drinks about a gallon of soft drinks a week. This makes the people who drink that much soft drinks, or more, fatter and helps cause a larger number of cases of type 2 diabetes and heart disease than the people get who drink no soft drinks at all. Drinking that many soft drinks per year also tends to cause bone loss while a recent study found that drinking more than that as many do lowers potassium in the blood causing still more health problems.

Unfortunately, as this huge consumption in part shows, 95% of these people still haven’t a clue that they are being harmed at all let alone that a good chunk of the high health care costs they are angry about or frightened by and experiencing go to treat the harmful effects of this soft drink consumption.

Other than the soft drink companies who are now getting paid to harm our health, taxing soft drinks is a superb way to raise money for health care that does NOT harm the economy as something like an income tax or general sales tax would do. (Taxing health benefits is totally nuts and should NOT be considered. It will increase real health care costs to everyone.)

And, without simply banning soft drinks immediately and bringing soft drink companies to instant ruin, only taxing soft drinks will cause the people who have to pay more to drink and buy less and fewer will get fat and sick than do now. That will lower health care costs. (Given the effects soft drink consumption has had and continues to have on making people fat and sick and boosting avoidable health care costs, the soft drink companies should be thankful that their products are not banned completely and only taxed instead.)

But since most people really don’t know how harmful and fattening soft drinks really are and everyone they know drinks them or even offers them to guests, it may be hard to get the taxes to fly politically.

So, even though taxing soft drinks is a brilliant and extremely desirable idea, I suggest some of the following steps be taken.

1. Make sure to pass some kind of national soft drink tax but make the initial tax small and have it start slowly. Then use some of the proceeds to publicize the health effects of drinking soft drinks. At first, even a penny per 8 ounce serving would help.

2. Then use the leverage gained by this increased knowledge by the public to increase the taxes until soft drinks become used about 5 or 10 % as much as they are now. A tax of one to two dollars per 8 ounce serving would be justified by the health effects; but even 50 cents per 8 ounce serving would reduce consumption by a good bit. (People have come to accept or even support taxes on cigarettes and tobacco in part because they do now know these products are harmful.)

3. Separately tax BOTH high fructose corn syrup AND sugar -- AND tax refined grains. Over-consuming these things has very similar effects to consuming regular soft drinks. This would have similar benefits to taxing soft drinks. In addition, by taxing soft drinks AND both high fructose corn syrup and sugar as well, regular soft drinks would pay not one but two taxes.

And, it would also sharply reduce consumption of the junk foods and snack foods containing these items which together produce as much harm as the soft drinks do.

4. Taxing alcohol is a good idea. But since, moderate consumption has health benefits and alcohol is already taxed, in my view the taxes on alcohol should be much more moderate.

Some taxes alcohol would raise badly needed revenue and help prevent the high consumption levels of alcohol that cause accidents and health problems. So it’s a good idea.

But not only should the initial taxes be very low indeed, the amount they should be raised is far less than for soft drinks and for health damaging food components.

On a personal note, if you want to be free of excess fat, never drinking soft drinks, never buying a product with high fructose corn syrup, discontinuing eating almost every food made with refined grains, and eating foods with sugar only occasionally instead of several times a day, will help do the job. It will save you money and help you lose fat or prevent gaining it without making you more hungry, particularly if you eat health OK protein foods or nonstarchy vegetables and drink water, tea, or coffee instead.

Then if these things are taxed, you’ll pay no more than you do now. And, if you have trouble doing this, the increased cost of these foods and drinks will make it easier to avoid them. So you’ll be less fat and healthier than you would have been otherwise.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Some chemicals can help make you fat….

Today's Post, Monday, 5-18-2009

The most important things to do and to know to do to avoid getting fat, lose excess fat, or stay trim are to:

1. NOT eat things that tend to make you fat such as regular soft drinks that add calories while Not making you less hungry or sugary foods or foods made of refined grains that produce fast blood sugar spikes that trigger insulin release and fat storage and then make you hungrier as soon as the insulin kicks in.

2. Do eat health OK protein foods both vegetarian such as beans and lentils or nuts AND animal proteins from naturally raised or wild caught animals only – OR using the leanest possible versions. Protein helps maintain muscle mass that burns calories and eating it turns down your hunger unusually well.

3. Do eat abundantly from organic and nonstarchy vegetables. They are extremely high in nutrients your body needs and fiber that helps keep you from being hungry AND they have virtually ZERO effective calories. Low glycemic fruit such as whole apples have a similar effect.

4. Do get regular exercise, particularly walking and varied and high intensity exercises such as interval cardio, jumping rope, working out on a mini-trampoline and progressive strength training each week. You burn more calories so you can eat more without being fat; your health improves dramatically; & research shows this means that any pounds you lose tend to be only fat. As a result, research shows that any fat you lose will stay off if you exercise and keep doing it.

5. DO eat some health OK fats and oils such as wild caught salmon, omega 3 supplements, and extra virgin olive oil. Go very easy on dairy fat. Eat nuts and avocados occasionally. Except for possibly coconut or nut oils, avoid virtually all other vegetable oils both in their natural form or worse if they are hydrogenated.

Eating some health OK fats and oils improves your health and makes it MORE likely you will continue to keep fat off than if you don’t. And, NOT eating the other oils helps keep you trim and avoids many health problems.

6. Practice some kind of restraint on your total calories whether from simply eating less on some days regularly or drinking less wine or eating a lot more vegetables and continue to do so. But do NOT overdo it. People who overdo cutting back virtually all give up the effort and stop doing most of the above steps. But cutting back just a little and putting most of your effort on the first 5 steps not only works, it keeps on working.

That produces 95 to 99 % of the effect needed to avoid being fat and to stay healthy.

But there are some supplements that can help.

The rest of today’s post though, are some chemicals to avoid as they tend to make you fat or keep you fat.

That’s important too. If you need to lose 40 pounds and only lose 30 pounds when you could have lost all 40, why not avoid those kinds of chemicals and lose all 40?

Here’s the ETR article from last Friday with some of that information.:

(I’ll add some comments after the 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 .”

"Are Obesogens Making You Fat?

By Kelley Herring

It's estimated that 300 million people in the world are obese.

While we know that eating too much food (and the wrong kind, at that) and not getting enough exercise are the primary causes of the obesity epidemic, researchers have discovered another factor: obesogens.

Obesogens are endocrine disruptors that affect the way the body uses fat. They also affect the distribution of fat and the development of sexual characteristics.

Here are the top three obesogens:

Bisphenol-a (BPA) - found in plastics with recycling codes 3 and 7 and in liners of cans
Organotins - biocides found in conventionally grown produce
Phthalates - found in personal care products like nail polish, shampoo, lotions, perfumes, etc., as well as plastics.

You may get only a small amount of these obesogens, but their effects are cumulative. To protect yourself, follow these rules:

1. Eat only organic foods that are not treated with pesticides.

2. Buy canned foods in BPA-free cans. Vital Choice and Eden Foods are two companies that certify their can liners are safe.

3. Drink spring water in safe BPA-free bottles or filter your water using reverse osmosis and store it in glass containers.

4. Read the labels on personal care products carefully, and choose organics. Better yet, put on your skin only products made with ingredients that you would put in your mouth.

5. Avoid plastics. The "new car smell" is a telltale sign that phthalates are present.

[Ed. Note: Kelley Herring - founder of Healing Gourmet - has created a revolutionary health transformation program called Your Plate, Your Fate. In this 7-part program you'll learn how to protect your health and optimize your weight by maximizing the nutrients in your food. Plus, you'll get 3 bonus books to help clear your kitchen of harmful ingredients, spot the nutritional deficiencies that could be setting you up for disease, and the 20 tests your doctor should perform (but probably hasn't) to guard your health. See .]"


Organic fruits and vegetables not only have less of these chemicals, we now know they are also surprisingly higher in the nutrients your body needs than those grown with artificial chemicals, particularly pesticides and herbicides.

Second, eating health OK protein foods both vegetarian such as beans and lentils or nuts AND animal proteins from naturally raised or wild caught animals only – OR using the leanest possible versions – is also very important to avoid ingesting these chemicals because grain fed animals eating grain that has been treated with these chemicals bioconcentrate the chemicals in their fat to such an extent, such animal protein fat is a far larger source than the produce you buy.

Lastly, vegetarian protein is less expensive than animal protein and comes with added fiber that helps turn down your hunger well. And even though the animal proteins from naturally raised or wild caught animals costs a good deal more than the animal protein from grain fed animals by eating less animal protein due to buying it less from the higher price helps to keep your calorie intake a bit lower.

The other chemical I’ve read to avoid is MSG. It’s used as a spice in many prepared foods. It may have some negative health effects in some people, particularly if it used heavily in a given dish. But I’ve read that in addition, it tends to increase hunger and calorie intake enough people who use it or eat it without knowing eat more and are fatter than people who do not.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

FDA & regulating foods and supplements….

Today's Post, Friday, 5-15-2009

I have seen two things in just the last few days on this issue.

One suggests the FDA is not quite bright or well informed on this issue.

The other is a legitimate looking argument for the FDA to be able to regulate supplements as if they were drugs. It does suggest a legitimate role for the FDA but does NOT show that regulating supplements as if they are drugs is at all wise. That is in fact demonstrably incorrect.

Given the knowledge of the FDA of the legitimate health effects of foods and supplements, as revealed by its actions at least, the FDA is simply not up to the job of regulating health claims.

And, since there are an extremely large number of foods and supplements that do strongly support health and prevent disease, it would cause massive harm to the health of many people if the FDA had the power to regulate supplements as if they were drugs.

However, the legitimate looking argument for the FDA to be able to regulate supplements might suggest a compromise position that WOULD benefit the public health without harming it.

1. Here’s the recent news item that suggests the FDA has an incompetent understanding of how to regulate health claims about food and should NOT at its current level of competence be given more power to do so.

They said that the General Mills cereal Cheerios must stop claiming that their cereal helps prevent heart disease. And, they said that in order to make that claim, General Mills would have to have this fact tested as if the food was a new drug to prevent heart disease.

To me this virtually proves the FDA in its current form is not up to the job of regulating health claims for food & should NOT be trusted to do so.

a) Cheerios probably does more to create than prevent heart disease. So, even if they don’t know why, and I doubt they do, the FDA likely may have had a good idea in asking General Mills to stop making that claim about Cheerios. (If the FDA DID know why Cheerios probably does more to create than prevent heart disease they could have done a LOT more good at dramatically lower cost by releasing that info as a very well publicized press release. They did not include that info, so I seriously doubt they know it.)

Although it’s old, and we now know dangerously incomplete data, very high total cholesterol readings to tend to indicate a greater risk of heart disease and high levels of LDL cholesterol even more so. Eating oats does tend to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol because of the soluble fiber in it. So, since Cheerios do have some oats and soluble fiber, the FDA might have researched the issue and required General Mills to say something like this on the Cheerios box.:

“Eating Cheerios may help some people prevent heart disease.

Cheerios has some soluble fiber from oats that can help lower LDL and total cholesterol somewhat for some people who eat it. Studies have found that lowering LDL and total cholesterol if they are high can help prevent heart disease. However, there are many other factors that influence heart disease, some even more strongly than LDL and total cholesterol. So eating Cheerios may or may not help prevent heart disease for any given individual.”

Each of these statements are careful and truthful. They make the case for Cheerios without hype that might lead a consumer to assume eating Cheerios is more beneficial than it actually is.

Had the FDA required General Mills to make that claim instead of the one they do now and issued a separate press release noting there are aspects of eating Cheerios that are NOT conducive to reduced heart attack risk, then I would think differently. But the FDA does not currently operate that way, so I don’t think they are up to the job and cannot be trusted to do it.

b) (The press release the FDA could easily have issued could have said that as a high glycemic cereal, eating Cheerios also tends to increase triglycerides and blood sugar levels and contribute to obesity. And since obesity also tends to induce high blood pressure while high triglycerides, high blood sugar, and high blood sugar all tend to CAUSE heart disease, many customers would do themselves and their heart health harm by eating Cheerios.)

Here’s why saying that a health claim for a food should require the kind of massive and expensive testing that drugs do would be quite harmful.

Some foods DO have health benefits with repeated research studies already published showing that they do. If people who sell those foods cannot say so that’s wrong two ways. It infringes on the right to free speech. (If a government agency can require you not to publish the truth, there is no free speech.) But it also harms the public health by withholding information that would enable them to better protect their health.

And, no food company can afford to have that kind of testing done, so saying they can only tell the truth in public if they do that testing is total incompetence on the FDA’s part and harms the public health the FDA is supposed to be helping to improve.

Since the actions of the FDA strongly suggest they don’t get that at all, I say they are not up to the job and should NOT be trusted with it.

2. The situation with supplements is quite similar. But there is one legitimate problem with supplements the FDA likely should be able to handle that would enhance the public health if the FDA had that job while NOT having the job of policing health claims for the supplements OR requiring them to be tested as drugs.

Can the FDA safely be given that limited job? If so, it might be a good idea.

Here’s one part of that legitimate problem.:

In the Medscape medical email I get I recently found this:

“FDA to regulate dietary supplements

Posted By: Bruno Oliveira, Rheumatology, 12:31PM May 1, 2009

From The Rheumatology News Journal (

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report ( in January of 2009 titled: "FDA Should Take Further Actions to Improve Oversight and Consumer Understanding." This document outlines the current state of affairs in which the FDA has little power, if any, over companies that produce dietary supplements. Even if the FDA finds a product to be harmful, they can only ask for a voluntary recall.

Ten glucosamine products were tested and four of them didn’t have any glucosamine. Only two in the remaining six products had the advertised amount of glucosamine.

Do you agree with the recommendation to increase oversight to solve this issue?

Do you think the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) industry should be regulated as regular medications/devices are?”

In the first part of this post, we show that the FDA should NOT be given the authority to regulate health claims for food or to regulate foods for which health claims or information exist as if they were drugs.

So there is no way I think the public would benefit if the FDA was given that right. In fact, I believe strongly the public health would suffer greatly if that were to happen.

For example, I’ve moved my own heart health indicators, by actual tests, into a very healthful range using supplements only. If the FDA were to make those supplements unavailable or cost six times as much or both my heart health and heart protection would drop like a stone.

And I’m far from being the only person for whom that’s true. This is evidence based and verifiable. But if the FDA regulated those supplement as if they were drugs, I would be deprived of them totally.

I’d prefer to be able to act to protect my health. If the FDA were to prevent me from doing so, which it WOULD do by regulating these supplements as if they were drugs, they would harm the public health. So I think they should continue to be denied that right.

However, what DOES look like a legitimate role for the FDA is shown quite clearly in the piece above that I found on Medscape.

Why not give the FDA the right to enforce that a supplement must have the ingredients stated on its label?

Similarly, some supplements have been found to contain actual drugs but with no listing on the label saying so to enable someone who should avoid those drugs to do so. And some supplements have been found to contain contaminants such as lead or bacteria that harm health.

I think the FDA should be able to enforce that a supplement have NO ingredient not listed on its label, including any and all undisclosed drugs. And I think they should be able to ban supplements that contain harmful contaminants.

So my conclusion is that to be sure that supplements are safe to take and contain what they say they do and only what they say they do, it might make sense to give the FDA that role but that role ONLY.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Exercise helps keep weight off....

Today's Post, Thursday, 5-14-2009

A study was done where several groups of people were given a health oriented and moderately calorie restricted diet.

After 6 months, all the groups were requested to maintain healthy eating but were no longer trying to restrict calories as much. In the first 6 months the diet only group lost about 6 percent of their bodyweight. The group that also did fitness exercises lost about the same or 7 %. The second exercise group who did light strength training on a vibrating device or a pillow like device that some gyms have now that requires you to use your core muscles to balance as you exercise, lost 11 percent of their body weight. (The control group that neither tried to eat better or exercise gained weight!)

But the really important two discoveries were what happened in the follow up after the second six months.

1. Both the exercise groups kept the weight off. But the diet only group gained it all back.

THAT to me is the big payoff from this study.

Why lose fat if you are destined to get it back?

And, if you can take off ugly and dangerous excess fat and keep it off why not get rid of it?

The difference in this study was from continuing to exercise in addition to eating slightly better.

That’s huge.

2. The second discovery was almost as important.:

The exercise group who were in the vibration group not only lost nearly twice as much fat weight, the added fat loss came off their bellies. And the researchers believe they lost “intra-abdominal” fat, the fat that is hidden inside instead of on the surface & that is associated with helping cause type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Clearly it would be motivating to lose twice as much fat and more than double your health improvement if you could do so.

But what if you don’t have access to a gym, let alone one that has this equipment?

No worries. There are several kinds of exercise that will do the same or very similar job as exercising on the vibrating platform did.

One of the least expensive ones is jumping rope. And another you can do at home that has similar effects on fat loss to jumping rope but is lower impact is using a mini-trampoline. The Urban Rebounder has gotten good fat loss results just as jumping rope has and is available new for less than $200. See . You can do these exercises at home so there is no travel time. And once you build up to doing them vigorously, even ten minute sessions work well.

Both of these exercises cause you to do three things that make them as effective as exercising on the vibrating platform. To do them well you need to jump which both requires quick muscle contractions and for you to lift your entire bodyweight quite frequently. And, third, no two jumps are exactly the same and you need to use your core muscle to stay balance and to lift your knees for each jump.

Lastly, you can do strength training for two to six sessions a week plus doing interval cardio with jumping rope or using the mini-trampoline for as little as 10 minutes each time for several times a week.

Both kinds of exercise, strength training and interval cardio are known to cause you to burn calories for HOURS after you stop exercising. This study suggests exercising on a vibrating platform has similar effects.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vitamin C DOES prevent heart disease

Today's Post, Tuesday, 5-12-2009

Many years ago Nobel prize winner, Linus Pauling, stated that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C helped keep you well including helping to prevent heart disease.

More recently this idea was picked up and expanded by a Doctor Matthias Rath.

(Mathias Rath, MD still has a website you can visit.)

This MD believes that heart disease is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C in the cells composing your artery walls.

Other animals can produce vitamin C in their bodies but humans do not; & humans who don’t get vitamin C in food or supplements develop scurvy as the English found in their navy hundred of years ago.

Dr Rath has says that the average person gets enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy but NOT enough to build and maintain healthy and resilient artery walls.

Then our bodies deposit a kind of glue on the microscopic cracks that develop because of this.

Then as this glue, or plaque, builds up & after many years it makes your arteries inflexible and narrowed which tends to cause high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, vascular dementia, & other cardiovascular diseases.

So he believes that taking 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C or more helps to prevent this process from happening.

And, since fruit and vegetables have natural vitamin C and many of the co-factors that make it work to keep your arteries healthy plus have many other nutrients with other health benefits, it also makes sense to eat them often every week.

I personally think his ideas are correct. He points out correctly that many animals that DO make their own vitamin C get no heart disease despite having much higher cholesterol than people do. (I take 1050 mg of vitamin C each day plus eating at least one or two servings of fruit each day & as many raw and cooked vegetables as I can that I think give me another 150 mg or so of vitamin C.)

But mainstream medicine has not adopted his theories.

However, there have been studies in the mainstream medical area that DO show that having a high level of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, are much more likely to get heart disease and heart attacks than people with low levels & other studies recently showed that people who had high levels of C-reactive protein as measured by the HSCRP test who were able to lower their level of C-reactive protein DID get fewer heart attacks.

But, guess what? Taking 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C lowers your level of C-reactive protein if it’s high! That means that even if Linus Pauling & Dr Rath are wrong, taking 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C DOES protect you from getting a heart attack by keeping your inflammation low alone.

And, since Dr Rath is likely correct in my view, that makes taking 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C quite important in helping you prevent heart disease and stay healthy.

Here’s where I found out that taking vitamin C lowers inflammation.:

Once again it was in an Early to Rise health 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 .”

"Slash Inflammation With This Vitamin

By Kelley Herring

Reducing inflammation in your body is one of the best ways to guard against chronic disease. In fact, inflammation has been linked with everything from Alzheimer's to cancer.

One way to reduce inflammatory factors (by up to 14 percent) is by eating just two servings of strawberries a week. Getting more fiber helps lower inflammation too.

Here's another way to put a damper on this cell-damaging process: Get more vitamin C.

A recent study of 400 healthy people found that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily reduced the best-known inflammatory factor - C-reactive protein (CRP) - by 17 percent after two months. What's more, the study proved that vitamin C was as effective as statin drugs in reducing inflammation... with none of the harmful side effects.

Here are some good ways to get your 1,000 mg of vitamin C:

Sip a smoothie. If you go with my favorite - Whey Advanced by Health-Fx - you'll get 1,000 mg per delicious serving.

Savor citrus. Make purified or spring water (in a safe, non-toxic bottle) with a squeeze of lemon your drink of choice. Enjoy oranges and grapefruits too - but stay away from high-sugar juice.

Be big on berries. Blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries all help you meet your "C" needs.

Choose crucifers. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and other members of the cruciferous family of veggies are all rich in vitamin C.

Pick a peck. Peppers are packed with antioxidant vitamin C. Chop and fold into omelets, slice over salads, or add to a stir fry.

Remember: Vitamin C is destroyed by heat. So keep it cool to tame the flames of inflammation.

[Ed. Note: Ed. Note: Kelley Herring - founder of Healing Gourmet - can created a revolutionary health transformation program called Your Plate, Your Fate. In this 7-part program you'll learn how to protect your health and optimize your weight by maximizing the nutrients in your food. Plus, you'll get 3 bonus books to help clear your kitchen of harmful ingredients, spot the nutritional deficiencies that could be setting you up for disease and the 20 tests your doctor should perform (but probably hasn't) to guard your health. Learn more here: .]"

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Flu cures and better health....

Today's Post, Monday, 5-11-2009

1. Flu cures

a) Black elderberry extract was reported to have sped recovery from flu by double or more plus cutting the intensity of symptoms while people were still sick in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. The lead researcher was Erling Thom, from the University of Oslo in Norway. Thom's findings were presented at the 15th Annual Conference on Antiviral Research; & the study was accepted for publication in the Journal of International Medical Research.

This was for type B flu. And according the report I read, it was effective for type A as well. Other studies have found similar results.

With the elderberry extract, people who got the flu were over the worst of it in two or three days while people without got over the worst of it in 6 or more days. And, with the elderberry extract, people needed less pain killers and other symptom removers.

Apparently elderberry extracts inhibits neuraminidase, an enzyme used by flu viruses to spread infection. And, the flavonoids, an antioxidant contained in elderberries, boost the immune system. Plus in the anthocyanins in the elderberry have an anti-inflammatory effect that likely helps reduce the symptom intensity.

The people in the group that got the elderberry extract took 15 milliliters of extract 4 times a day for five days.

The article I found quoted a health professional with experience using elderberry extract who said that it can be given to both children and adults, and has no known side effects or bad interactions.

Sambucol makes a liquid black elderberry extract I’ve found in most health food stores.

And, Nature’s Way makes a capsule with bilberry and elderberry extracts together that I’ve taken 3 a day of for its other benefits. This may also help prevent colds and flu as my wife gets many more of them than I do and does not take this supplement.

The antiviral medications that can help the flu require a doctor prescription and./or visit which delays getting them and recently have been out of stock at pharmacies. So far, elderberry extract is readily available and costs a good bit less besides.

b) Other helpful things that can boost your immune system or cut inflammation include:

3,000 iu a day or more of vitamin D. One doctor local to me even uses 50,000 iu a day for short periods of time to ensure desirable blood levels of vitamin D quickly. Taking 2,000 or 3,000 iu day may prevent the flu. Taking that much or more may help get over the flu faster.

c) 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C may not prevent the flu but does have significant anti-inflammatory effects.

d) Drinking LOTS of water during the flu helps you avoid dehydration, weakness, and dizziness plus making dangerous complications less likely. Doctors say to do this but mostly don’t explain that it increases your safety and keeps you from feeling horribly sick. So DO it.

e) Eating fruit and other foods with similar phytonutrients and antioxidants daily or several times a week also can help you avoid the flu or get over it faster.

Blueberries by the half cupful and other berries such as strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries have multiple health benefits. (I like mine with “Old Fashioned” oatmeal & milk while my wife likes hers with yogurt.)

And you do not need necessarily to pay more for expensive or rarer sources as this recent Early to Rise article indicates. Plus there are other inexpensive superfood fruits at your grocery store besides berries.

“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 .”

The Undiscovered Superfood

By Jonny Bowden

With all the hoopla over drinks made with "superfoods" like acai, goji, and noni, we forget that some of the best superfoods on the planet are right under our noses. Better yet, they don't cost an arm and a leg (like some of those overpriced juices).

The latest superfood to emerge is - get ready for this - plums.

Food scientist Dr. Luis Cisneros and plant breeder David Byrne judged more than 100 varieties of plums, peaches, and nectarines, and found that their antioxidant and phytonutrient content matched (or even exceeded) that of highly rated blueberries. According to Byrne, one inexpensive plum contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of blueberries.

"People tend to eat just a few blueberries at a time - a few on their cereal or as an ingredient mixed with lots of sugar," Cisneros said. "But people will eat a whole plum at once and get the full benefit."

The researchers didn't stop after measuring the considerable antioxidant content of plums - which, by the way, has been noted in other studies. (Plums consistently score near the top of the list of high-antioxidant foods.) They also tested the effect of the phytonutrients in the fruit on breast cancer cells - and found that they inhibited in vitro (test tube) breast cancer growth without adversely affecting normal cell growth.

"We suggest that consumers take seriously the recommendation to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables - or even more - every day," Byrne said, "and to make sure that plums are part of that."

[Ed. Note: For more information about natural methods that can improve your health - and help keep your weight down - check out nutrition expert Jonny Bowden's website, . ….]”

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

Another fruit with so many health benefits it can be called a superfood is kiwifruit.

2. Eating these kinds of fruit have many other health benefits besides preventing or helping cure the flu. Eating the dark purple fruit and berries such as elderberry or its extract and/or drinking concord grape juice or red wine also increases your HDL and helps prevent heart disease. More on that in tomorrow’s post.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

New way to turn off migraines....

Today's Post, Friday, 5-8-2009

The most encouraging thing I read about migraines before is that people who got them who did not exercise regularly, could cut the number of their migraines in half or more by beginning to exercise regularly and continuing to do so.

And, since exercise trains your blood vessels to expand and contract with the demands of exercise; & migraines are caused by atypical expansion and contraction of blood vessels in the brain, that made sense to me. (Our ancestors who we are all descended from virtually all got plenty of exercise over all the millions of years we evolved after all.)

So, even though this has been known for many years now, if you have migraines and want to have them less often and you don’t exercise, by all means begin to exercise every week soon & keep doing it each week.

Second, I read not long ago that people who get migraines were somewhat more likely to get heart attacks as they got older than people who didn’t. But even though this is consistent with the value of exercising regularly in preventing heart attacks, I wasn’t sure how knowing that might be useful.

But a few days ago, I was astounded to find out there is another connection. And, it’s one that can enable you to cut back the number of migraines you get even more.

A researcher found that giving people who got migraines a good B complex vitamin in addition to any more general multivitamin they were taking before got a lot fewer migraines. And, they then found out that it was the B6, B12, & folic acid in the B complex vitamins that did the job.

THAT is extremely good news AND helps explain the migraine and heart attack connection.

Those vitamins lower an animal protein breakdown product called homocysteine. If homocysteine is high it helps to cause heart disease and circulation problem related dementias – plus it speeds up aging. Perhaps the migraine connection is that by lowering it, you cut the amount of plaque build up in your blood vessels and improve the health of them and their inner layer called the endothelium. And that in turn allows your blood vessels to expand and contract more normally and with less pain when they do. (If your homocysteine is 9.0 or higher, and particularly if it’s well above 12.0, it is harmful & has these bad effects.)

Now, here’s why that’s such good news. While it’s true that taking 50 mg of B6, 1,000 micrograms of B12, and 800 to 1600 iu of folic acid a day will lower homocysteine, that’s just a start on what you can do to lower it to the 6.0 to 8.9 range that is much better for you. (You do have to be a bit careful of B6. Up to a total of 100 mg a day B6 is good for you. A bit above that may be. But 200 mg a day or more produces nerve damage in many people. So aim for a total of about 100 mg or bit less of B6.)

You can also take one or two tablets a day of 500 mg of TMG, Trimethylglycine, originally named betaine. (Jarrow makes an inexpensive TMG supplement that leaves out the HCL that gives some people heartburn and has no other active ingredients.) You can take one or two capsules a day of 500 mg of NAC, n-acetyl cysteine, in addition to the 3 B complex vitamins. Taking a multivitamin, a good B complex vitamin and the 3 B vitamins listed will lower homocysteine. Taking TMG will lower homocysteine. Taking NAC will lower homocysteine and increase a very powerful antioxidant called glutathione that has brain protective effects. If you do all three, you can lower homocysteine a lot.

But there is still more you can do to lower homocysteine. Cigarette smoke increases it by quite a bit. That’s one of the reasons tobacco smoke is do deadly by sharply increasing the amount of heart disease and stroke causing plaque to be built up in your blood vessels and speeding up aging. So, if you smoke and can quit that will help lower migraines as well. Similarly, getting skilled at avoiding all second hand smoke will help lower migraines.

And, there is still more you can do to lower homocysteine! Many people eat no green, unstarchy vegetables at all and not much fresh fruit. It’s long been known that people who eat several servings of green, unstarchy vegetables and some fresh fruit each day are in MUCH better health than people who don’t. (And we now know that organic vegetables are more effective in producing good health because they have more nutrients – NOT just because they have no pesticide residue.) Plus there is even more good news for using this method to lower homocysteine. People who eat several servings of green, unstarchy vegetables and some fresh fruit each day are significantly less fat than people who do not. (Regular soft drinks stuff you with calories that do NOT make you less hungry. Eating several servings of green, unstarchy vegetables and some fresh fruit each day makes you a LOT less hungry while providing close to zero net calories. That is a huge difference.)

Several servings of green, unstarchy vegetables and some fresh fruit each day don’t just provide a lot of folic acid, the most effective B vitamin to lower homocysteine, they provide the natural version your body actually uses directly. That means several servings of green, unstarchy vegetables and some fresh fruit each day is MORE effective in lowering homocysteine than taking folic acid supplements alone.

Lastly, if you begin to exercise regularly and do the things that lower homocysteine as well, having fewer migraines is just a small part of the health benefits you’ll get. In fact, fewer migraines may be only 4 or 5 % of the health improvements you’ll experience.

Since migraines mess up your quality of life so much, they do make a good motivator though.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

New way to reduce blood sugar & heart attacks....

Today's Post, Thursday, 5-7-2009

An interesting news story appeared saying that a study found that people who took a dose of a drug that mimicked dopamine every morning had a lower blood sugar surge after all their meals that day (which would also lower their HBA1C reading if they took this drug every day) and had a lower rate of heart attacks than a similar group that did not. (It seems that this might also help with jet lag as it was developed from studies on how migrating birds dodge jet lag & reset their biological clocks as they move across time zones.)

The drug did have some unpleasant side effects in some of the people who took it. And it may be a while before you would be able to get it prescribed to you as a way to control high blood sugar.

BUT, that’s OK since real dopamine may well also do the exact same thing.

And, there ARE things you can do to have higher dopamine levels in general and on demand first thing every morning – just like this drug does.

1. The things you can do generally to increase dopamine also help lower blood sugar and/or make a heart attack less likely, so we highly recommend them!

a) Eating good quality protein tends to increase dopamine. So a breakfast that features two boiled eggs or a protein drink with whey protein or wild caught fish will boost dopamine.

Eating high glycemic or fast carbs, such as refined grains, regular soft drinks, pancakes, jam, syrup, and sugar etc, tends to lower dopamine. Even whole grains are not a lot better. Avoiding the worst high glycemic carbs is critical to keeping a lower and healthier blood sugar level in addition to helping boost dopamine, so this step is very highly recommended. It’s virtually guaranteed to reduce high blood sugar readings.

Whole, organic fresh fruit and vegetables tend to be neutral.

Since that style of eating also tends to help you avoid carrying excess fat and to keep your blood sugar down in general; and eating that way at breakfast helps to reset you for a lower blood sugar all day according to this research, make a special effort to do so at breakfast. And lean towards eating that way all day.

b) Stress lowers dopamine.

Everyone gets stressed & many people more today than ever are stressed. But you can do what you find works to solve your problems better or prevent them.

You can also do tai chi or meditation or other stress relief practice each morning. You can get regular sleep at the same time or close to it each day & make an effort for it to be in a dark & comfortable room and to get at least 6 hours of sleep most nights (7 is close to ideal if you can manage it.) You can also keep in contact most days with friends and family you treat well. And, you can get regular exercise.

Those things make you resilient and raise your ability to overcome stress without it lowering your dopamine level as much.

c) As long as you don’t overdo, strength training and interval cardio tend to boost dopamine.

Even a 7 to 15 minute session most mornings can help. Since doing these two kinds of exercises also reduces or prevents insulin resistance, this is also highly recommended.

2. Here are some supplements that boost dopamine.

a) Every morning when I first get up, before I eat anything, particularly protein foods, or do anything else, I take two 500 mg capsules of l-tyrosine with water. I began this when I read that a study had been done that found that people who did this handled stress better and were more productive under pressure.

Guess what? In researching for this post, I found out your body makes l-dopa out of tyrosine & then makes dopamine out of l-dopa. So, I’ve been accidentally boosting my dopamine level & maybe lowering my blood sugar all this time without knowing it.

b) Other supplements that may boost dopamine I found online include:

Extract of the vicia fabia bean. I’ve never heard of it. But if what I read is accurate and you can find a real and safe supply, it’s said to contain l-dopa. Since that is the direct precursor to dopamine, you may find it worth checking out. For me, I find tyrosine inexpensive, available at virtually every health food store and know it has other benefits. So I’m sticking with that.

NADH. This supplement is better known and tends to increase your energy level AND apparently helps fight jet lag. It costs a lot more than tyrosine. But if you can afford it, this might be a good addition. The fact that it helps fight jet lag supports that it likely boosts dopamine.

Muira puama is said to increase dopamine also. And, since it apparently enhances libido effectively and boosting dopamine has that effect as well, this might be a good supplement to try. It tends to be sold as a libido booster. And some of the many other supplements sold for this purpose may also boost dopamine. Maca tends to enhance nerve transmission in sensory nerves; & tribulus gets its effect from boosting testosterone. So unless Maca’s effect comes from boosting dopamine or testosterone boosts dopamine, those may boost dopamine less.

However, it IS worth noting that since increasing dopamine increases libido, doing everything on this list that you can easily afford will not only lower your blood sugar if it’s high or keep it from getting high and protect you from heart attacks, it will also make you sexier!

Lastly, dopamine tends to make you feel better and more energetic without using caffeine or drugs to do so.

So, I found this new study of great interest.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

New research on memory loss from statin drugs....

Today's Post, Tuesday, 5-5-2009

A few weeks ago, I got to read the account of a doctor who was given a moderate or moderately low dose of a statin drug who promptly developed total amnesia of virtually everything that had happened to him since he was about 13 years old.

He forgot his wife, his kids, his work, and most of his medical education. Mercifully, when the doctor that put him on the statins took him off, his memory came back.

Since then he has documented that the percentage of people with memory or other brain impairments from taking statin drugs is far higher than is generally realized.

It’s somewhat better known that taking statin drugs reliably lowers CoQ10 which your body needs to keep your heart healthy in other ways and for energy. And, people who take statins without also taking 120 to 200 mg of CoQ10 or more each day, often to usually find themselves lacking energy and much more easily tired. This is under-reported since many people who take statin drugs are older and think their lack of energy and stamina is because they are getting older and not because of the statin they take.

Since you can lower LDL cholesterol with diet, taking sterol supplements, and taking niacin AND you can prevent heart disease much MORE effectively than statins by doing that list of things, particularly taking niacin -- PLUS doing other things that raise HDL and sharply lower triglycerides such as regular exercise and NOT eating refined grains and other sources of high glycemic carbs, it seems to me that statin drugs should be used only in a small minority of cases instead of something everyone gets recommended to take.

(One of the most powerful ways to prevent heart disease is to lower small particle LDL. Lowering total LDL does help do that some. But it’s indirect and not guaranteed since you may simply be lowering the safer kind of LDL only. But a combination of increasing HDL, sharply decreasing triglycerides, and NEVER ingesting transfats or foods that contain them, directly lowers the small particle LDL that actually causes heart disease. There are things you can do that have those effects. But statin drugs don’t do them except for generally lowering LDL.
Taking niacin has such a good track record because it does the triple – it lowers LDL, increases HDL, AND lowers triglycerides.)

But that case would be improved and we might be able to better protect those few people who do need statin drugs if we knew how and why statin drugs harmed memory.

The good news is that we may now know exactly that.

The research was reported in today’s issue of the TotalHealthBreakthroughs email I got.

Here’s that article.:

"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 ."

"Your Brain on Statins

By James LaValle, R.Ph, ND, CCN

I was recently made aware of huge news on statin drugs from the labs at Iowa State University, where a researcher has confirmed something I have long suspected regarding cholesterol-lowering drugs -- that they could seriously harm brain health.

The concern comes from simply knowing that brain cells, like liver cells, also manufacture cholesterol. Brain cells need cholesterol for a variety of functions. For instance, cholesterol is a primary component of the protective nerve coating called myelin. If your brain cells didn't need cholesterol, they wouldn't make it.

In the past it was assumed that statins primarily affect the production of cholesterol in the liver. However, as a pharmacist I have always thought it was naïve to think that a drug (statins) that circulates throughout the whole body would not affect other cholesterol-producing cells at all. My fears have now been proven correct.

Yeon-Kyun Shin, a biophysics professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at Iowa State, says his research shows that statins do indeed slow the production of cholesterol in the brain which then interferes with efficient brain function.1 His study will soon be published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences.

Shin found that too little cholesterol in brain cells significantly affected a protein that is needed for the release of neurotransmitters. Cholesterol is needed to change the shape of this critical protein, and in his words, "to stimulate thinking and memory."

I cannot overstate how important this information is, and how big a ripple this news will cause as it is more widely reported. At least, I hope it will be widely reported.

If you deprive the brain of cholesterol, you "directly affect the machinery that triggers the release of neurotransmitters," said Shin. "Neurotransmitters affect the brain's data-processing and memory functions. In other words -- how smart you are and how well you remember things."

As you probably already know, statins lower LDL, and while it is often reported that they can also help raise HDL somewhat, I frequently see people who cannot raise their HDL levels while they are on statin drugs, especially when they are on higher dosages. And other studies have shown that low HDL cholesterol is linked with memory loss.2

Ever since statin drugs entered the marketplace, some users have experienced severe memory problems from them. While it's true that the most pronounced of these cases has involved a very small percentage of people, some of us have been watching closely to see how wider usage of statins will end up affecting the cognitive function of people using them.

Dr. Shin's research conclusively confirms our suspicion that statins can be harmful to cognitive functioning. "Our study shows there is a direct link between cholesterol and the neurotransmitter release," he said definitively.

We have to be really careful in taking statins, especially with newer guidelines advising us that LDL cholesterol should be 100 mg/dL or lower. For people at high risk for heart disease, 70 mg/dL is the suggested level.3 But the bad news for our brain is that very often to reach these more aggressive goals, higher dosages of statins must be used.

Since statin drugs do have some anti-inflammatory actions, the trend in medicine has been to get more and more people on statins, but this could have dire consequences when it comes to long-term cognitive health. One group I am particularly concerned about is people with diabetes.

A person with diabetes is in the high-risk category for heart disease, therefore s(he) will be targeted for more aggressive cholesterol lowering. This group is already at high risk for cognitive decline due to blood sugar elevation. (I explained this connection in more detail in the February 10, 2009 issue of Total Health Breakthroughs.) To add further insult to a diabetic's cognitive function from statins could be very risky.

A study out of UCLA recently found that many people are having heart attacks even though their cholesterol is at or below the 100 mg/dL target. There is no doubt in my mind that this study will be used as fodder to encourage increased use of statins. This will be despite the fact that 21% of the people in the study were using statins, and still had heart attacks.4

The bottom line is this: In addition to their CoQ10 lowering effects, we can add this newest discovery to our growing list of concerns about statin drugs. Kudos to Dr. Shin for this much-needed research and thanks to Ross Pelton, my friend and the co-author of my drug-induced nutrient depletion books for the shout out on this very important discovery.


1. Iowa State University press release, Feb. 23 2008; .

2. Singh-Manoux et al. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

3. .

4. .

[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. ....]"

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

To me this study and this article do three things or make three points that I find valuable.

1. Statin drugs may reduce the number of people who get heart attacks; but they do not prevent them in everyone that takes statins. (Other studies find the percentage reduction in heart attacks is smaller than most people and most doctors realize.)

2. Taking statin drugs, particularly in high doses, is problematic to harmful to the brain in people with low HDL.

3. If a person must take statin drugs it’s vital they boost their HDL. And, it may not be at ALL advisable for people with low HDL to take statin drugs.

Since raising HDL while at the same time lowering triglycerides sharply directly lowers the small particle LDL that actually causes heart disease, this research is unusually important because it helps show that doing those two things is much more important for preventing heart attacks than taking statin drugs.

And, for those few people that must take statin drugs, since raising HDL looks to be necessary to protect the brains of those people, it’s quite clear I think that all prevention of heart disease should always start with raising HDL while at the same time lowering triglycerides sharply.

Not only does doing those two things directly prevent heart disease, the raising HDL part may make taking statin drugs safe to do if they are necessary to use. (Very high CRP inflammation levels and extremely high LDL levels of well over 160 even after using diet and sterols would be two such indications.)

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Monday, May 04, 2009

New ways to prevent foot & ankle injuries....

Today's Post, Monday, 5-4-2009

No one likes sprained ankles or foot problems or Achilles problems. Runners and hikers, some kinds of athletes, and ordinary people get them. If you want to get your life back after getting one of them, anything that will help you get rid of them and prevent them in the future is worth it’s weight in gold.

In the online health news though, there were two major ways to prevent foot and ankle problems that most people who have problems with their feet, ankles, or Achilles tendons might not think of as solutions because they have an indirect effect that is not immediately obvious.

The first one comes pretty close to being obvious though.

The really interesting one is the second one.

1. One report found that being too overweight tended to cause foot and ankle problems or make them easier to get and harder to get rid of. So, one solution, if you are more than just a bit overweight, is to find an effective way to lose some extra fat. Weight Watchers works. And, many of our posts have been about different ways to do this also. The good news is that losing even 5 to 10 pounds that you keep off can help. There is leverage involved, so being even 8 pounds lighter may take 160 to 200 pounds of stress off your food or ankle when you push off with your foot or put it into an awkward position.

2. The second one is much less obvious; but may be an easier fix! So if you are a runner or hiker ore even a basketball player who gets more ankle or foot injuries or overuse injuries than you’d like, it may well be worth trying.

It seems that the muscles in your hips stabilize your legs. If they are weak or not sufficiently strong, the slight lack of stability apparently tends to cause foot and ankle injuries &/or make them hard to get rid of if you get them.

The best way to strengthen your relevant hip muscles is to work with a trainer who knows the several exercises for each of the hip muscles. Once you know what the exercises are, you can continue them on your own. But you would need to find a trainer who has more detailed knowledge of this than most do; some money to pay them; & be able to go to a gym with the equipment for many of those exercises.

However, there are two exercises that you can do at home that may be almost as good.

I think the best of these two is to work out on a mini-trampoline. Until or even after you become proficient on it, it may be safer to have something you can hold onto or at least grab if needed. One of the best of these has been highly rated as an exercise and costs just a bit over $150 new. See: .

For even less money, you can skip or jump rope. The good news is that it’s a lot less expensive to get. The bad news is that it may exercise your hips less; & you’ll need to be much more careful to build up to doing it very gradually. Jumping rope is a good deal higher impact than the Urban Rebounder.

Why do these 2 exercises strengthen your hip muscles as well or maybe better than a complete set of hip exercises? Both of them, but particularly the mini-trampoline, use the part of your hip muscle that you use in a squat or jump directly; & since it’s the stabilizing muscles in your hips you want to target, the fact that every single jump in both of these exercises is slightly different than all the others, by doing dozens or even a few hundred reps, by the end of the workout, the stabilizing muscles in your hips will have been exercised at almost every angle.

Plus, it helps enormously that either skipping rope or using a mini-trampoline both are as effective or even more effective than running to help you burn fat and be superbly fit.

That means that using them also helps you lose weight from excess fat.

And, by alternating days between using them and running, you can literally run half as much and be just as fit as someone who only runs. Similarly, they can be a great exercise to use to stay fit if you cannot run or cannot do so temporarily. That’s particularly true of using the mini-trampoline.

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