Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Way to massively reduce heart disease risk....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 9-29-2009

In the NewsMax Health Alerts email I get, one of the stories yesterday, Monday,
9-28, had the title: Green Tea Slashes Risk of Disease

Green tea was found to help prevent heart disease related deaths. Researchers at Japan’s Okayama University found that in the 12,000 Japanese men and women between the ages of 65 and 84 that they studied, those who drank large amounts of green tea reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by an average of 76 percent. In addition, their risk of dying from colorectal cancer was reduced by 31 percent.

The study lasted 6 years. By the end of the study, a bit over 1,200 had died, but researchers found that the more green tea they drank, the less likely they were to die.

Compared with those who drank less than a cup of green tea each day, those who drank 7 cups or more lowered their risk of dying from heart disease by an average of 76 %. Men cut their risk by 70 % & women cut their risk by 82 %

The researchers believe these effects were due to the polyphenols, which are antioxidants, in green tea.

Why was this effect found for green tea instead of black tea? The news story said that green tea has between 30 & 40 % polyphenols while black tea, the tea more commonly drunk until now, only has between 3 & 10 % polyphenols.

Since those drinking the higher amounts of green tea did it on their own, the researchers suggested the large reductions in death risks in their study were likely due to consuming green tea over a lifetime. (The people drinking a lot of green tea were likely doing it for many years before the study in other words.)

Many other studies that have shown green tea to be good for your health.

One recent study found that tea drinkers may have younger biological ages than non-tea drinkers enough so they will likely live about 5 years longer.

This recent Japanese study also found a reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
“To our knowledge, this is the first study that shows the inverse association between green tea and colorectal cancer mortality,” said the researchers.

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

Since it is oxidized LDL that creates the most damage in your blood vessels and plaque build up that results in cardiovascular disease, this study suggests that green tea polyphenols or other ingredients in the green tea are antioxidants that tend to be unusually effective in protecting your LDL from becoming oxidized.

It’s less clear how the reduction in colon cancer and deaths from it was caused.

But it is clear that green tea does have some extra health benefits!

When I drank coffee, I often drank enough that the excess caffeine prevented me from getting as good a night’s sleep as I should have.

So, when my reflux caused me to not drink coffee, I’ve found that the same multiple cups of green tea, still help me wake up but without the sleep disruption or increase in anxiety the multiple cups of coffee were causing.

So, if you need maximum caffeine to wake up and for your workday, one way to do both would be to drink a cup of good quality, good tasting coffee when you first get up. But then switch to green tea after that. Another similar plan would be coffee when you first get up & coffee right after lunch and several cups of green tea otherwise.

I’ve not yet found the amount of guaranine or Guarana seed extract in Dr Sears choline punch. But his choline and guaranine “Choline Punch” apparently acts as a time release caffeine pill with built in recharger so that you get the optimum amount of sustained alertness boost. At least so he says. I’ve not yet tried it.

(See www.alsearsmd.com .)

Because the guaranine does have a sustained release over several hours, you do NOT want for safety or your mental status at work to overdo it. But since this product is a drink, it may be possible to start with a few ounces for a few days and gradually try more until you find the amount that works best for you.

So for waking up well while also drinking green tea, you could use this choline punch in a slightly reduced amount and drink several cups of green tea a day also.

The other possibility is that taking a green tea extract supplement may also work. That was NOT tested. But if the polyphenols in the green tea are causing the effect, the concentrated amount in the supplement might work very well indeed.

So there you have it. Green tea and very likely green tea extract supplements can add substantially to your heart protection and longevity.

They also apparently will add to any colon cancer protection you’ve gotten by taking vitamin D3 and turmeric and staying away from tobacco smoke and eating raw and cooked cruciferous vegetables.
Mix and match green tea with coffee or with careful experiments with Guarana seed extract to find what works best for you & you can be maximally alert and mentally quick when you want to be and have your health protected too.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Promising way to prevent stress from harming you....

Today's Post: Monday, 9-28-2009

Since today and at many times in history, many people simply are too stressed even if they have good coping skills and are initially in good mental health, if there were ways to avoid that stress causing health harm, it would be dramatically valuable!

So, imagine my delight at discovering that two things I already have been doing have that effect!

In the email I got last Thursday, 9-24, Dr Robert J Rowen’s Second Opinion Health Alert had a very important article that reveals a way that apparently does exactly that.

His title was: “Tasty extract stops stress-induced liver damage.”

The study he report was done on mice. But as you’ll see, we have ample evidence it works in people also.

In the study, researchers restrained a group of mice -- which frightens and stress them. That stress caused lipid peroxidation in their livers as measured in their blood by checking their levels of alanine aminotransferase, ALT, where high levels of ALT indicate serious liver damage. And, all of the stressed mice had ALT levels indicating likely liver damage.

Then the researchers fed the stressed mice bilberry extract. Their oxidative stress was lower and they had lower ALT increase than the mice that didn't get bilberry extract. In addition, a key chemical marker of cellular damage, malondialdehyde, was significantly lower in mice that got the bilberry extract.
Now here's a real pearl.

Restraining the mice also caused them to have much lower levels of vitamin C (173 mcg per gm) in their tissues compared with the mice that were not restrained (400 mcg per gm). But the restrained mice that got the bilberry extract, had vitamin C go back to 347 to 451, or about what the unstressed mice had!

X* X* X* X*X*

He also suggests that eating blueberries may well have similar effects in people. Since blueberries do have many studies that support similar effects – in people -- and bilberries are a kind of blueberry, I’m virtually certain he’s correct.

Eating blueberries has been shown in people to not only slow mental aging but to actually regain lost mental abilities in older people.

And, vitamin C tends to prevent your telomeres from unraveling. Since that is perhaps the way cells age, that makes adequate blood levels of vitamin C very important in slowing aging.

It’s well known that excessive stress tends to shorten telomeres and increase the rate of aging.

But now we know that taking bilberry extract and eating blueberries can largely prevent this effect by keeping your blood levels of vitamin C at good levels!

So, take at least 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C. Eat organic vegetables and some whole fruit daily. Take a bilberry supplement. (Nature’s Way makes a bilberry supplement that adds the flu fighting elderberry extract add virtually no added cost.) And, eat blueberries often.

(Both Whole Foods and many old style supermarkets sell inexpensive packages of organic blueberries now.)

I buy two 10 ounce packages a week and eat a third of the 20 ounce total on my oatmeal three times a week. It tastes good and may be one of the smartest things I ever started doing according this research.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foods & supplements that lower high blood pressure and protect your heart....

Today's Post: Friday, 9-25-2009

I just read this in "Questions about high blood pressure? Ask Dr. Rowena" which is sponsored by the company, Intercure, that makes the Resperate relaxation and breathing device that has lowered high blood pressure for many people.

She wrote.:

"Q: What vitamins can be used for high blood pressure and cholesterol?
The question was what vitamins help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

And, she answered.:

"A: Niacin, also known as vitamin B3 has been shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. Recent research suggests that Vitamin C may help with blood pressure. Since both these vitamins are found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, it makes more sense to eat healthily rather than to rely on supplements."

My reply to this was.:

A. The good news first.

1. Niacin not only lowers LDL, it lowers triglycerides, increases HDL & actually reduces mortality rates I've read. So noting that it has been shown to be helpful for lowering cholesterol is good.

2. Eating lots of nonstarchy vegetables, some raw & some cooked, and some fresh fruit daily helps prevent many kinds of cancer, helps the DASH & DASH II diets lower high blood pressure, helps prevent or reverse obesity -- which also helps lower high blood pressure, also reduces mortality rates, and may be the most valuable part of the Mediterranean diet except its use of olive oil instead of less health OK oils and fats.

So, recommending eating that way is a good answer.

B. Oops. Some of her answer is either incorrect or badly misleading or both. Ouch!

1. It would have been better to have added a link with more info on niacin for those interested. Fruits and vegetables, as dramatically good for people as they are -- including having some sterols and soluble fiber that reduce LDL cholesterol also, are still a very poor source for niacin.

You need to take at least 300 or 900 mg a day of niacin to be effective in optimizing cholesterol. Many people need to take more than that; but those that do, need to have their liver functions regularly checked by their doctor. And, even the good food sources of niacin don't provide enough to have these effects. You have to take niacin as a supplement to get them.

2. Vitamin C does a much better job at lowering high blood pressure directly and in preventing heart disease and the related inflexibility of your blood vessels that is a cause of high blood pressure in doses of 500 to 2,000 mg a day -- in addition to eating the fruits and vegetables she recommended than just eating the fruits and vegetables she recommended. (Doing both works best since you get both enough C along with the phytonutrients that multiply its beneficial effects.)

Since vitamin C supplements are also quite inexpensive, it seems silly to discourage their use.

3. There are also other vitamins, some minerals, and other supplements that lower high blood pressure.

For those interested, check out the book by Mark Houston, MD, the hypertension specialist at Vanderbilt who researched it in detail,
"What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypertension: The Revolutionary Nutrition and Lifestyle Program to Help Fight High Blood Pressure."

I actually used their form to send the above message to her.

Other related information for you.:

1. Dr Houston’s book is available on Amazon in paperback.

Dr Houston has found that a combination of taking the right supplements, eating a DASH II diet with both lots of fruits and vegetables and virtually no junk food or soft drinks plus moderate salt restriction, regular exercise, and not smoking or being around second hand smoke, can prevent high blood pressure -- or keep it low but allow people to stop taking drugs to lower their blood pressure -- or keep it low but allow people to use fewer of the drugs in lower doses to dramatically lower their side effects.

2. Practicing tai chi daily or almost every day or using the Resperate device that often can and has lowered high blood pressure as much as one or two of the most effective drugs. They have also reduced high blood pressure in people where the drugs alone were NOT getting the job done. One test found Tai Chi lowered high blood pressure an average of 17 over 11. (It’s both a way to relax and an exercise at the same time.) The Resperate used that often is almost that good for high blood pressure as it has averaged about 16 over 10 in reductions.

3. Apples and unsweetened apple sauce, beans and lentil, non-instant oatmeal, oat bran, and nuts – and some fruits --are high in soluble fiber that helps keep LDL cholesterol low. And nuts and many fruits and vegetables are high in sterols that also keep LDL cholesterol low.

Taking beta sitosterol supplements or other sterol supplements lowers LDL cholesterol with no side effects I’ve heard of also.

4. Regular exercise, regular vigorous exercise, on most days of each week increases HDL. So does eating extra virgin olive oil and NOT eating or cooking with other vegetable oils. So does eating blue berries, taking bilberry extract supplements, drinking moderate amounts of red wine often, eating nuts, and NOT eating junk foods, particularly those that contain trans fats or any hydrogenated oils.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Apparently testosterone does benefit men’s hearts....

Today's Post: Thursday, 9-24-2009

Testosterone definitely makes men more interested in sex and enjoy it more. So when older men begin to have less, many men have an interest in regaining some of their earlier and higher testosterone levels for exactly that reason.

Three things have been shown to increase your effective levels of testosterone.

1. Regular exercise is perhaps the best one to use because it produces so many other health benefits and has been proven to improve the sex lives of both men and women who do it -- particularly vigorous or more intense exercise such as interval cardio or similar exercises such as jumping rope; and progressive strength training. So such exercise improves your sex life and protects your heart in other ways in addition to increasing your testosterone levels. So, it’s possibly the most valuable method to use.

2. Taking the herbal supplement tribulus also increases testosterone.

3. Lastly, the amount of effective testosterone in your blood depends on whether or not it stays in testosterone form or is converted to something called DHT. If you are exposed to some estrogen simulating chemicals from pesticides or plastics or your milk or meat contains real or artificial estrogen, your body changes more of your testosterone to DHT and your usable testosterone is less.

So, if you use glass or metal food containers for storing or cooking foods instead of plastics, that can help. It can help to stick to eating meats only from animals fed only grass or only pasture fed and not eating the cheaper grain fed kinds as well as drinking only organic milk or milk from a dairy that does NOT use estrogen on its cattle.

But since some of that is out of your control or those things are already in your body, the really good news is that substances in cruciferous vegetables detoxify and reduce excessive estrogen and estrogenic compounds. And, since eating raw broccoli and or cauliflower cuts the incidence of the dangerous kind of prostate cancer in half, eating any cruciferous vegetable tends to prevent all cancers, and eating these nonstarchy cruciferous vegetables helps people avoid excess fat gain or to lose any they already have, eating cruciferous vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your effective testosterone levels. And, like regular exercise, it has many other health benefits.

In addition, it’s thought that the substance in cruciferous vegetables that does most of the detoxifying and reducing of estrogen and estrogenic compounds is DIM. That stands for Di-indole-methane, if I remember correctly. And, DIM is available as a supplement.

So, if you are older, doing these 3 things can increase your testosterone and will tend to improve your sex life.

Many months ago, Dr Al Sears, from whom I learned part of this information, also said that keeping your testosterone levels high also tended to protect your heart in addition to helping you feel sexier and enjoying sex more.

But since that seemed too good to be true and I knew so many other ways to protect my heart, I simply thought, “That would be nice if it was true.” And, I let it go at that.

Now, earlier this week, he may well have been proved correct.

It seems that some men who have diagnosed prostate cancer are given drugs that lower their testosterone levels as a way to slow the progression of the cancer. Earlier this week a study was reported that such men who were given these drugs and had lower testosterone levels had far more heart attacks and deaths from heart attacks than men who were not given the drugs.

So, it looks as if Dr Sears was correct. Apparently testosterone does protect men’s hearts.

Lastly, and even better, in this list of ways to boost your testosterone, regular and vigorous exercise also protects your heart directly.

And, eating cruciferous vegetables, particularly raw broccoli and/or cauliflower every week, tends to prevent both all cancers and the kind of aggressive prostate cancer that such drugs are prescribed for!

So regular exercise and eating cruciferous vegetables every week both make you sexier -- and protect your heart and protect your health in other ways.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

People who are social have better health....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 9-22-2009

Yesterday we posted on 12 ways to stay healthy. One of the less known and appreciated surprisingly is that people who are social have better health.

We posted this yesterday.:

“People who are social, even if they aren’t unusually outgoing, have many regular acquaintances and friends they speak to often. Or they speak to family members often. Or they attend a church or other social networking event regularly.

They have more resources and tend to be much more resilient under stress and tend to have better health. They also are much less likely to develop mental decline. (This may be because conversing, it was recently discovered, is MUCH better mental exercise than it seems.) They are also less likely to get or stay depressed.”

I was reminded earlier today that we all have regular opportunities to practice these skills and benefit from them in a usually safe way.

Today, TIME magazine, in its online health articles, published an interview with one of the authors of a new book on how the people that we see regularly , even those we don’t know well or just a little bit, wind up being a very important part of our lives.

The new book is: Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem to Matter... But Really Do (W.W. Norton), by Melinda Blau, a writer, and Karen Fingerman, a Purdue psychology professor.

Most of us tend to be regulars at grocery stores. Or we are regulars at a health food store. Many of us go to gyms regularly and often get to know the people who work out at the same times of the same days. We get to know some of the people where we work.

The authors point out that these people are actually quite important in our lives. TIME quotes Melinda Blau, who they interviewed, as saying, “….it's important to look at your life as a cavalcade of people, not just a series of events, because then you get to see how all relationships matter and all relationships affect you.”

I discovered recently that a surprising benefit to using public transit is that this effect is quite strong because you ride a certain distance with people and often talk to them as being far less boring than staring off into space. So you interact with them more.

She also points out that people in our families and close friends, “think the way we think and they know what we know, whereas people who are what the sociologists call "weak ties" don't.

They're different from us, they link to other networks and different kinds of information, and therefore they are the place where we find opportunity.”

One of the wisest and best trainers ever in becoming more socially skilled was the self-help author, David Schwartz, who wrote the book, The Magic of Thinking Big. Some of the business ideas are quite dated since he wrote the book in the 1950’s. But his advice on noticing what you like about people and reaching out to people in a friendly way is the best I’ve ever seen.

So, ever since I decided to try his advice, I’ve done well using it in my life with the people I meet that this new book describes.

Some of these people are friendly and smile often. Some are extremely well informed. Many of them I remember also remember me.

And, just as the author suggests, some of them have very different views of the world than me or any of my friends and family.

This new book is well worth checking out as is David Schwartz’s book. Both are available on Amazon and his book is available in many libraries.

But even if you don’t read either book, it’s well worth noticing and reaching out to these everyday people in your life.

Your social skills will be better. You’ll be less likely to get or stay depressed. Your health will be better.

Best of all, this is a resource that’s free money-wise and readily available.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 21, 2009

12 ways to stay healthy....

Today's Post: Monday, 9-21-2009

This is an over-view of 12 ways to stay healthy. There are more. But people who do these 12 things have better health, live longer, and age more slowly than people who do not or who do the reverse.

And, it’s a BIG difference from just these 12 between doing well on 12 & doing the wrong thing on all 12. Doing all 12 may enable you to live 30 to 50 years longer than someone with very similar heredity but who does the wrong thing on all 12. And, your years of healthy life may be 35 to 65 years more!

1. Multiple supplement takers have better health than people who take none. From people who take a multivitamin plus mineral, extra vitamin C, and extra vitamin D3 to people who actively take many more supplements to take extra steps to avoid cancer, heart disease, and mental decline, and to have greater energy, people who take many kinds of supplements tend to have far fewer diseases, age more slowly, and live longer than people who don’t.

2. Nonsmokers who also avoid other kinds of tobacco and second hand smoke live dramatically longer and in better health than smokers and people who get excessive exposure to second hand smoke. The nonsmokers are much less likely to get heart disease or heart attacks, less likely to get strokes, less likely to get mental decline, have dramatically better lung function, age more slowly and have fewer wrinkles in their face as they get older, and are much less likely to get all cancers. They also save money on NOT buying cigarettes – and, for virtually all their working years, they have far fewer medical bills and spend less on drugs. So they can cost employers less to provide with health insurance.

3. Regular exercisers enjoy much better health than people who never exercise in almost every way. They literally grow new brain cells and have better circulation to their brains, so they tend to perform better at work and not get any kind of mental decline. They also tend to age more slowly and live longer. They are stronger, more mobile, have more endurance, and tend to be less fat and look better. They also are far less likely to get heart attacks and type 2 diabetes. They also are less likely to get erectile dysfunction; & both sexes have better sex lives. They are somewhat less likely to get cancer. They are less likely to get high blood pressure; & if they do it will be less severe. They are also dramatically less likely to get depressed or stay depressed if they do. As a result, their quality of life is also much better.

4 Optimists who expect to be able to make things better, notice the good things that happen and expect more of them – and who are quite analytical and careful when things go wrong to understand specifically what happened at that particular time that might be avoided or prevented next time and to understand how to make things better if they can.

As a result, they also tend to be much more realistic about problems with other people and more optimistic that things can be made better. That makes them much easier to deal with and live with.

Martin Seligman, PhD did the pioneering work on this. And, people who are most optimistic by his definition enjoy much better health, have more friends, and even tend to make more money than people who are the reverse.

5. Educated people tend to have better health than people who aren’t. They know more and tend to learn more about how to take care of their health. They may not be rich; but they tend to be much less likely to be poor. They tend to be better and finding information and resources.

6. People who are readers tend to have better health than people who never read.

People who read nonfiction and real world information, which includes you or you’d not be reading this, have the same better health as educated people -- even if they dropped out of school at an earlier age than some educated people. They know more and tend to learn more about how to take care of their health. They may not be rich; but they tend to be much less likely to be poor. They tend to be better and finding information and resources.

People who read fiction they enjoy have a wonderful stress release that does NOT require a lot of money or use drugs or alcohol. And that has health benefits.

7. People who are social even if they aren’t unusually outgoing have many regular acquaintances and friends they speak to often. Or they speak to family members often. Or they attend a church or other social networking event regularly. They have more resources and tend to be much more resilient under stress and tend to have better health. They also are much less likely to develop mental decline. (This may be because conversing, it was recently discovered, is MUCH better mental exercise than it seems.) They are also less likely to get or stay depressed.

8. Married people have better health than single people. They’ve even found that most unhappily married people have better health than most divorced people! In addition to getting much more frequent social stimulation, married people automatically have more than twice as many real world resources than single people. They have their own resources and abilities, those of their partners, and those they can create by working as a team. This DOES work better in happily married people or at least those who are optimistic and have better social skills.

9. People who eat right have dramatically better health than people who don’t. People who eat a caveman or “Paleolithic” style which is mostly naturally grown animal protein foods, vegetables, and some fresh fruit; people who eat a Mediterranean diet that’s a bit heavy on vegetables and light on grains; and people who eat a DASH II diet that’s very heavy on vegetable, limits salt, and leans towards nonfat dairy foods all have much better health than people who eat very badly.

People who eat right are much more likely to be lean and far less likely to be very fat. They get far less type 2 diabetes and far less heart disease & enjoy much better general health. They are also less likely to get high blood pressure or to get it severely if they do get it. They are less likely to get any kind of mental decline.

The reverse things happen massively to people who drink soft drinks, eat salty foods, eat snack foods, eat commercial desserts, eat most kinds of candy, eat a lot of fatty cuts of meat from grain fed animals, eat a lot of dairy fat, eat most kinds of farmed fish, people who ingest high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners or who eat sugar often, who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or ingest trans fats or other hydrogenated vegetable oils. That kind of eating is a recipe for being fat and sick.

The bad news is that our medical care costs are going through the roof because more than half the people in the US still eat this way. And, this dangerous situation will get far worse unless most children and teenagers STOP eating this way.

10. People who have money have better health than people who have very little. They tend to get better medical care and eat better. And the kind of people who do the other things we list here are much less likely to be poor. The rich tend to have better health than the moderately well off. But the gap is huge between the moderately well off the people who are really poor.

11. People who are prudent not only live longer than people who are careless, over-impulsive, and have no self-discipline skills, people who are careful, prudent, well-organized, and self-disciplined, are more likely to exercise, eat right, and less likely to die or get sick from avoidable problems of all kinds. They’ve actually been shown to be less likely to get any kind of mental decline.

They are much more likely to make an attempt to drive carefully and to always wear their seat belt for example. They avoid things that are clearly high risk. And when they must deal with high risk things they tend to learn, in advance, how to do them safely.

12. And, as we posted about earlier this month, people who take proper care of their teeth and gums not only look better and smell better, they enjoy dramatically better health. (Gum health much more important than most know.... Thursday, 9-10-2009)

Poor gum health apparently tends to cause heart disease and oral cancers in addition to being the number one cause of tooth loss.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Interesting research on people who keep off the fat they lost....

Today's Post: Friday, 9-18-2009

In people that are too fat for good health or who are much fatter than they want to be there are several groups.

1. People who simply make no effort to lose any fat.

Some of those people simply don’t care. But many would like to do it but are unwilling to try unless they expect to succeed and simply don’t know what to do. And, there are people who have virtually no control over what they eat and literally have too little time to exercise at all. Lastly, there are people who simply have no clue anything exists that can help them change & lose fat.

2. People who try to lose fat and lose none.

Some of these people simply try things that don’t work or do things that can work but in such tiny amounts, nothing happens. And some people have things in their bodies that prevent methods that normally work from doing so, such as a drug they take that prevents fat loss or an undiagnosed, low level shortage of growth hormones or thyroid.

3. People who lose fat successfully but lose little and then gain it all back.

This may be the largest group. People often lose fat by eating a lot less but in ways that cause their bodies to react with the famine response – which is to make them dramatically hungrier and lower their metabolism so that fat loss stops. Then eating less produces no more fat loss; they feel lousy and are always very hungry & they virtually always give up and gain all the fat back that they lost.

4. People who lose all or most of the fat they want to lose or need to lose for their health and then keep it off.

This one is the best group to be in!

These people have made changes in their normal lifestyle. They are eating right as what they normally do and often don’t think of what they eat as a “diet.” They are NOT on a TEMPORARY program.

And, they virtually all exercise regularly. In fact, most of them exercise more each week than the average person who exercises regularly.

They also know how to make an extra effort if they find they begin to gain weight or fat and do so until they reverse the process or at least brings it to an early stop.

They do NOT feel excessively hungry. They have normal energy levels. And, their bodies are NOT in famine response mode.

Research I saw recently looked at what parts of people’s brains lit up when they saw fattening foods. They tested some obese people and then tested another group of people who had lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off.

In the obese people, the part of their brains that lit up were the pleasure and reward centers & virtually nothing else.

In the people who had permanently lost fat, the main response was in the parts of their brains that were engaged in people with self-control.

In other words, in the obese people, their brains were simply anticipating how good the food would taste.

In the people who had successfully lost fat, their brains were THINKING about what the food was and whether or not the consequences of eating it were OK or not.

That’s one of the reasons the posts here have so much information about the consequences of the different kinds of foods people eat.

If ALL you know or focus on when you see commercially baked donuts or cookies or microwave popcorn or the pie crust in a pie or a soft drink is that they are things many people eat and drink – and that you’ve enjoyed them before, you’ll have trouble staying healthy or losing any fat you’ll keep off.

But if the first thing you think about is that some of these things have refined grains, excessive sugars, and/or trans fats that will make you fat and sick and drive up your future medical bills and that you know NOT to eat them even if you once did and enjoyed them, you’ll either pass completely or eat very little.

So, if you want to lose fat, learn what NOT to eat and drink and stop doing it.

THINK about what’s in foods and drinks and what those things are likely to do to you BEFORE you make any decisions about whether or not you’ll have any.

It also helps to eat enough foods that are health OK that you aren’t starving hungry.

AND it also helps to know and eat many things you actually enjoy eating that either will add no fat to you at all or only will if you eat them too much or too often and then avoid doing so.

Here are some health OK foods and drinks many people like that you might also enjoy.:

Raw pecans, raw walnut halves or pieces, dry roasted almonds,

small servings of dark chocolate,

avocados and guacamole,

strawberries, a kind of apple you enjoy eating,

savory foods that you enjoy eating that contain mostly health OK proteins, health OK oils, and vegetables along with spices you like that are actually good for you (garlic & curry & ginger and “hot’ spices like chili powder or red pepper, & even cinnamon -- for example),

unsweetened, strong cocoa without milk, and one or two glasses of red wine that you like a few times a week.

This is a very incomplete list.

But the more foods and drinks YOU like that are actually good for your health or OK in small quantities that you’ve found that you actually have and enjoy, the easier it gets to pass on the junk that will harm you to ingest.

But the take home in this research is to know foods and THINK about what you eat BEFORE you decide whether or not to ingest anything.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New information on insulin resistance....

Today's Post: Thursday, 9-17-2009

In much the same way that too many fires for the available fire fighters to put out will make the fire fighters look inefficient, the main cause of insulin resistance is to cause so many more and so much stronger blood sugar surges than your body is programmed to overcome will make its insulin seem ineffective and your blood sugar will rise above desirable and health OK levels.

Our immediate ancestors that optimized and set our body’s digestion genetics tended to eat less than 3 teaspoons of sugar a day. They virtually always got that in fresh fruit that included some fiber that slowed the entry of that sugar into their blood. And, they all got lots of daily exercise. They had no TV and ate no free sugars other than honey on rare occasions. They ate no artificial sweeteners or refined grains.

So insulin resistance was extremely rare if it happened at all.

The American Heart Association just published data showing that the average adult American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and the average school aged child or young person eats 34!

(The largest source of this excess sugar is drinking regular soft drinks, they found.)

That doesn’t even include the massive increases in eating refined grain foods and lack of exercise.

(See our last post for Tuesday this week for ways to avoid these blood pressure surges. The two most important recommendations in it were to NOT drink soft drinks and to get regular exercise.)

But in addition to simply being swamped, insulin apparently also becomes less effective in other ways if the system is overloaded like this.

This insulin resistance results in excessively high levels of blood sugar that cause health problems which is diagnosed as type 2 diabetes if it gets too extreme. It also causes an excessive insulin level that begins to cause you to gain excess bodyfat. So it would be great to get additional ways to reverse prevent insulin resistance.

Yesterday, Health Day online news published a study that indicates that excessive saturated fat from fatty, grain fed beef and dairy fat also tends to cause or worsen insulin resistance.

In addition, that study found that this excessive intake of that kind of saturated fat causes leptin resistance. Since normally when you eat enough, leptin is released and that reduces your appetite enough you stop eating, that means that this excessive intake of that kind of saturated fat makes you fat in two ways! It causes you to overeat. And it increases your body’s tendency to store the energy in the food you eat as fat. Ouch!

How do you use this information to lower your insulin resistance and avoid being or becoming fat?

Eat meat up to two or three times a week instead of two or three times a day. Only eat meat from animals fed only grass or eat something else. Or, eat the leanest most fat trimmed meat you can and don’t eat as much of it or as large a serving when you do eat it.

Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter almost all the time.

If you eat cheese, eat it far less often in small servings and usually eat it with foods that have lots of fiber to muffle its effects. Some feta or blue cheese in small chunks in a salad a few times a week is one way to do that.

Eat skinless poultry, eggs, nuts, wild caught fish, some seafood, beans and lentils, and perhaps take whey or egg based protein supplements for most of your protein. Also eat very lowfat dairy products.

When you use dairy products use lowfat, very lowfat or 1% lowfat, or nonfat dairy products. Most nonfat and very lowfat cheese tastes dreadful and tends to stick to your teeth. So with cheese eat smaller portions less often mostly. But 1% lowfat milk and nonfat, plain yogurt aren’t bad.

And, since this response may be mediated by this excess saturated fat increasing your LDL cholesterol, it may also help to take sterol supplements such as beta sitosterol and up to 600 to 900 mg a day of niacin, taking 300 mg after a meal two or three times a day.

Eating foods high in soluble fiber such as apples, beans and lentils, and “Old Fashioned” rolled oat oatmeal or steel cut oatmeal can also help.

And, to come full circle, we also know that not eating refined grains and very little sugar also tends to lower LDL and increase HDL.

Lastly, note that one of the health risks from the excessive increase in blood sugar that insulin resistance causes is that it damages your blood vessels and makes heart disease and heart attacks much more likely. Since the methods to lower insulin resistance also protect your heart, that makes doing them twice as valuable.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ways to prevent or reduce blood sugar surges....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 9-15-2009

Yesterday, we posted on several ways you can boost your immune system even while you get older. We also did a related post last Friday.

We ended with this:

“7. Go very easy on sugar when you eat it; don’t eat it often; don’t use other kinds of sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners or refined grains or foods that contain them and get regular exercise, including some vigorous exercise without overdoing it when you are well.

Eating sugar and blood sugar surges tend to directly turn down your immune system.

That’s one the main reasons why diabetics have trouble throwing off infections.

Sugar and related foods such as refined grains cause blood sugar surges. Artificial sweeteners are likely bad for you directly AND they cause sugar cravings that cause most people to wind up eating more sugar and related foods. Exercise, particularly regular and vigorous exercise helps burn blood sugar directly & helps your insulin control it normally instead of ineffectively.

In fact, there are enough ways to prevent or reduce blood sugar surges, our post tomorrow will be about them.”

As you can see this section of yesterday’s post lists many of the ways to do that.

1. Sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and refined grains and many starchy foods, such as white potatoes and rice produce blood sugar surges. That’s particularly true if you don’t eat food with health OK protein, health OK fats or oils, and foods that contain fiber at the same time to buffer the effect. Artificial sweeteners are likely bad for you directly AND they cause sugar cravings that cause most people to wind up eating more sugar and related foods.

So, one of the most effective ways to prevent or stop blood sugar surges avoid eating foods or processed pseudo foods that contain these things. That specifically means to avoid ever drinking soft drinks, for example.

So, the best way to avoid blood sugar surges is to come as close as you can to not eating or drinking these things. You don’t have to put out the fire if you don’t light it in the first place.

Of course this puts a priority on eating health OK protein foods such as nuts, beef fed only grass, eggs from truly free range, pasture fed chickens, and wild caught fish; eating health OK oils from nuts, extra virgin olive oil, and avocadoes, truly large amounts of several kinds of nonstarchy vegetables, some whole grain foods if you aren’t trying to lose fat weight, and some whole fruit -- for most or all of your food.

These are the foods that humans evolved to eat and thrive when they did. Like it or not, your body is set to eat that way too.

2. Muffle the effect if you do occasionally eat things that cause blood sugar surges otherwise.

For example, if you eat raisins, which even though they have some fiber have enough concentrated sugars to boost blood sugar, eat some pecans at the same time. The pecans contain health OK oils, health OK protein, and fiber. So the combination produces far lower blood sugar spiking than eating just the raisins. It even tastes good. Or in other words, the combination of the high glycemic raisins with the very low glycemic pecans produces a moderate glycemic effect.

If very occasionally you eat apple pie, make sure it has plenty of cinnamon or add some to your piece. They tested the glycemic effect of apple pie expecting it to be high and found it was quite moderate & then found the cinnamon in the pie filling was the cause.

Or, if you want to have some croutons made from refined grain flour in your salad, be sure to add some extra virgin olive oil and some vinegar to the salad as the dressing and some chopped boiled egg or shrimp, or feta cheese.

The health OK oil in the extra virgin olive oil, the fiber in the greens, and the protein in the chopped boiled egg or shrimp or feta cheese are all low glycemic foods. And the vinegar slows the emptying of your stomach which has a proven lowering & slowing effect on the resulting increase in blood sugar.

3. Increase your body’s ability to handle it when you do boost your blood sugar temporarily.

Having adequate chromium and magnesium in your system has this health effect and others. So, you can increase your body’s ability to handle sugars without bad health effects by taking 400 to 600 mg a day of magnesium and 200 to 400 mcg of chromium polynicotinate.

But the most effective way to help your body handle sugars and other high glycemic foods is to get enough exercise.

One way to do it is to go on a walk, just after eating. That’s pretty straightforward since you then actually use the additional blood sugar somewhat as it tries to build up, the build up is less. You actually directly lower your blood sugar by doing so.

The other way to do it is to do some vigorous exercise most days of the week and do it every week. One study even found that 2 minutes of vigorous exercise two or three times a week worked. Things like 5 minutes three times a week of jumping rope and 20 minutes of strength training twice a week with a day of rest in between also work. These things dramatically improve your body’s response to insulin, so when your body acts to damp down and use the blood sugar that surges in and to lower your blood sugar to safe levels, the insulin does the job.

Totally sedentary people develop insulin resistance so this effect of insulin happens far less or even not at all. Then insulin levels and blood sugar tend to surge easily and stay too high.

And, THAT tends to cause type 2 diabetes and virtually always causes you to gain excess fat.

So, if you want to keep your immune system strong; avoid type 2 diabetes and drugs for it; and avoid or reverse being too fat, do as many of these things as you can to prevent or lower excessive blood sugar surges.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, September 14, 2009

7 more ways to boost immune systems in older people....

Today's Post: Monday, 9-14-2009

Last Friday, 9-11-2009 we posted on the fact that as we get older, our immune systems tend to become less effective.

We listed two strategies to prevent that. We listed ways to slow aging; & we listed ways to boost your immune system.

Then I realized I forgot some things that would also be helpful to many people. I considered simply adding a comment to that article; but decided to do a new post, this one, and announce this post in the comment.

So, here’s this post with the additional 7 ways to boost your immune system.

Some of them boost your immune system; some help it have less to do by preventing the disease organisms from getting into your body; & one may both boost your immune system and, by itself, actually kill off disease organisms or prevent them from entry into your cells or prevent them from multiplying.

1. Probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria that normally live in your intestinal tract and which are not only not harmful but somewhat beneficial to your health. It’s been shown that people who take probiotics get an immune system boost. I’m not sure if they give your immune system regular exercise by keeping them from over-expanding or simply compete with or attack disease organisms directly. My personal guess is that they do both. Jarrow and other mainstream supplement companies sell probiotics supplements with the best known probiotic bacterial strains. (I’ve read of smaller effects from the bacteria you can get from eating yogurt with live cultures. But you get more probiotics and more kinds in the supplements. And, you can always do both. Just stay away from kinds of yogurt that have sugar or artificial sweeteners.)

2. If you aren’t allergic to it, use garlic. Both the deodorized garlic supplements from Kyolic and eating crushed or minced raw garlic in salads or savory foods works well. So does doing some of each. Garlic has many health benefits. It can help salad and entrée vegetables taste good, so you can get more of their health benefits and still enjoy your food. It tends to increase your HDL cholesterol, make your blood vessels more flexible and responsive, and may help prevent or reverse plaque build up on the inside of your blood vessels. And, it is both antibacterial and antiviral & may boost your immune system besides.

3. Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps keep your skin and mucous membranes healthy. That greatly assists your immune system at the point of entry for viruses and some bacteria in your mucous membranes in your nose, throat, and lungs.

The best and safest way to get vitamin A is to eat many kinds of vegetables that have carotenoids of many kinds. Orange and yellow vegetables and many dark green ones contain carotenoids. Carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli are such vegetables. In addition, you get more bioavailability of carotenoids in your food if you eat them with extra virgin olive oil, avocado, or unsalted nuts. Similarly you get more bioavailability of carotenoids in your food if you eat the vegetables containing them after they’ve been cooked. Fresh tomatoes have vitamin C and some other heart protecting nutrients. By contrast, tomato sauce made from cooked and pureed tomatoes eaten with extra virgin olive oil delivers far more of their main carotenoid, lycopene, than eating them fresh.

You can also take 30 mg a day of lycopene supplements and today most multivitamins contain 5,000 iu of beta carotene.

Lastly, you can take retinol, the oil soluble kind of vitamin A. It was discovered that taking over 10,000 iu a day of the retinol form, and for sure taking more than 25,000 iu a day for a long time can cause toxic build up of too much retinol. But in the flu season, or if you get a cold or flu, also taking 1,000 to 5,000 iu a day of the retinol form of vitamin A may make sense.

4. Mushrooms. There are many mushroom supplements that very likely do boost your immune system and some that help you regain your normal energy and vitality after you’ve been sick. The bad news is that they are all expensive. So, I was considerably interested to read that regular button mushrooms found in the produce department of most grocery stores may be 70 to 85 % as effective. You can simply wash and dice up some and add them to your salad a few times a week. They also are almost calorie free and have some valuable amino acids.

5. Handwashing is a great idea before you eat or prepare food. And, it’s a particularly good idea when you first get home after work or being out. Your immune system can be weak and it will do fine when no bacteria or viruses get to it in the first place.

It’s likely NOT a good idea to use anti-bacterial soaps. They often have chemicals as harmful to you and tend to produce bacteria resistant to them.

Meanwhile, plain soap and warm or hot water and simply washing your hands removes almost all the bacteria.

The best way to wash your hands, I found out from a chemist, is to use a liquid hand soap and put it on your hands dry and then thoroughly rub it all over them. Doing that picks up much more of the oils on your hands that the bacteria are in than it would if you had added water. Then wash with water until all the soap is washed off. No need to time or sing to be sure you wash long enough, because when the germ loaded soap is all gone and rinsed off, so are the germs.

6. Similarly, one of the highest probability ways bacteria and viruses have of getting inside you is to be on your fingers when you touch the mucous membranes at the corners of your eyes or in your nose. So, try to always have clean toilet paper or tissues or clean handkerchief with you. Then when you feel the urge to touch those places, be sure the clean tissue paper or handkerchief is between your finger and your mucous membranes.

7. Go very easy on sugar when you eat it; don’t eat it often; don’t use other kinds of sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners or refined grains or foods that contain them and get regular exercise, including some vigorous exercise without overdoing it when you are well.

Eating sugar and blood sugar surges tend to directly turn down your immune system.

That’s one the main reasons why diabetics have trouble throwing off infections.

Sugar and related foods such as refined grains cause blood sugar surges. Artificial sweeteners are likely bad for you directly AND they cause sugar cravings that cause most people to wind up eating more sugar and related foods. Exercise, particularly regular and vigorous exercise helps burn blood sugar directly & helps your insulin control it normally instead of ineffectively.

In fact, there are enough ways to prevent or reduce blood sugar surges, our post tomorrow will be about them.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ideas on boosting immune systems in older people....

Today's Post: Friday, 9-11-2009

Last Wednesday, HealthDay news had a brief article noting that as people get older their immune systems begin to be less effective.

It took its info from the U.S. National Library of Medicine listing problems that tend to happen more often as people get older.:

Their immune system becomes less able to prevent diseases such as bacterial infections or viral diseases.

Cancer risk increases as the immune system “sees” it later or not at all or doesn’t get rid of it as well.

Wounds and injuries take longer to heal due to lower levels of growth hormone &/or cells not copying themselves accurately.

And, since in some people the drop off in their immune system includes its ability to NOT attack things it should leave alone, the risk of getting an autoimmune disease increases.

There are two overall strategies to combat this.

Slow aging; & boost the health of your immune system.

A. Here are six proven ways to slow aging.:

1) Regular exercise each week including some safely done vigorous exercise several times each week slows aging due to increases in growth hormone release, relative improvement in heart function and circulation, and the release of BDNF, a growth hormone that grows new nerve and brain cells. (Strength training, interval cardio, and other vigorous exercise tend to be most effective at growth hormone release.)

2) Don’t smoke at all; and to the extent you can avoid second hand smoke. Smoking is quite effective in ruining circulation, causing heart disease, and directly speeds the aging process.

3) Taking 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C, eating lots of vegetables and some fruit daily; avoiding severe stress when you can; getting regular stress relief; getting decent sleep; taking a daily multivitamin plus mineral tablet; having a good social network, good social skills, and socializing often – each help prevent your telomeres from shortening as fast as they otherwise would which directly slows aging & to some extent prevents it.

4) Keep your homocysteine below 9.0 to the extent you can. Not smoking; eating right; and getting regular exercise all help to do that. So does taking robust amounts of B12 & folic acid & taking 50 to perhaps 100 mg a day of B6. (More B6 than that can be harmful.) Periodically getting your homocysteine tested and adding 500 mg each of TMG and NAC if your reading is still over 9.0 can also help.

5) Taking 100 mg a day of ubiquinol, 50 mg first thing in the morning and 50 mg at mid-day every day may considerably slow aging according to an experiment on mice reported by Dr Al Sears.

Taking 100 mg a day of trans resveratrol may slow aging overall and HAS been shown to slow the aging of your heart.

6) Eating lots of nonstarchy vegetables each day; going easy on good fats such as avocados, walnuts, other nuts, extra virgin olive oil and fish oil & NOT ingesting other oils, including NEVER ingesting hydrogenated oils; getting abundant regular exercise; eating very little sugar & only on occasion; eating no refined grains; AND cutting back some days of the week on your total food intake if you start gaining weight will tend to lower your overall intake of calories without harm. And, eating fewer calories tends to slow aging while eating too many increases it.

B) Boost your immune system effectively.

Here are some ways to do that that may help.:

1) Get immunized for seasonal flu each year; & get immunized for things like tetanus and bacterial pneumonia at the recommended intervals. This helps ensure you get less of these things; that you are less damaged if you do get them; and it provides your immune system with regular exercise.

Some health writers suggest not getting immunized citing the occasional side effects. The stats I’ve seen suggest this is like preventing one unit of risk in exchange for leaving a 100 units of risk alone. I strongly disagree.

(Such writers may be correct for some new vaccines. They may well be correct that vaccines with adjuvants, boosters for your immune system, that contain mercury or aluminum, all of which may over-rev your immune system may be a lot less safe than sticking to vaccines without them. They are definitely correct that boosting your immune system in other ways is a good idea.)

2) Take at least 2,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 and 600 mg of turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin. Both boost the capacity of your macrophages to get rid of amyloid plaque in your brain; both may help prevent cancer for the same reason. AND, vitamin D3 apparently makes your immune system better at recognizing things it should get rid of & things it should leave alone thereby preventing autoimmune diseases!

3) Taking 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C, eating lots of vegetables and some fruit daily; avoiding severe stress when you can; getting regular stress relief; getting decent sleep; taking a daily multivitamin plus mineral tablet; having a good social network, good social skills, and socializing often – each directly help keep your immune system strong.

4. Taking 30 to 45 mg a day of zinc ( & 2 or 3 mg a day of copper to balance it); but not taking more than that tends to boost your immune system. 60 to 90 mg of zinc may help for a day or two if you get sick; but more than that or taking that much for a longer time seems to reverse the good effect.

5. 100 mg a day of panax ginseng may help; but more can cause undesirable increases in blood pressure; and panax ginseng can interfere with many kinds of drugs.

6. Drink LOTS of water when you get sick. It boosts your immune system and avoids the weakness, confusion, disability, and the complications you can get if you don’t and get dehydrated which you otherwise might easily due to the unperceived effects of fever or mouth breathing due to a stopped up nose.

7. Take 500 mg a day or more of l-arginine if you aren’t taking an antibiotic.

And STOP taking l-arginine & take 500 mg a day or more of l-lysine instead if you ARE taking an antibiotic.

L-arginine causes your body to release nitric oxide and your immune system uses nitric oxide to kill some kinds of disease organisms. So usually it’s a good idea to take l-arginine which also keeps your blood vessels health and relaxed & releases growth hormone.

But I just read that bacteria resistant to antibiotics have developed a way to use nitric oxide to prevent the antibiotics from killing them. Since you want to have the antibiotics kill the disease bacteria instead, when taking the antibiotics, STOP the arginine and add the l-lysine. (Like zinc and copper arginine and lysine interact, so to get less effect from the arginine in your body or in foods you eat, take l-lysine instead.)

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gum health much more important than most know....

Today's Post: Thursday, 9-10-2009

The somewhat more obvious connection is that a key way to prevent some kinds of bad breath is to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

We now know that in addition to getting less bad breath, by taking good care of your teeth and gums you can avoid the biggest two causes of losing your teeth, sharply lower your risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases; and, just recently, research found that you lower your risk of oral cancers of all kinds too!

That’s a huge amount of expense and suffering you can avoid if you take care of your teeth and gums.

Even better, the two most important of the several ways to do that are super cheap and easy to do once you learn how & get used to doing them each day.

I’ve been unusually fortunate in learning to do that & how to do that than most. I found out later that I was even luckier to learn how to keep my gums healthy and doing it than I ever imagined.

Since my Dad’s Dad was a dentist, I grew up brushing my teeth and even got some good dental work from my Grandfather as a kid that my Dad might not have otherwise been able to afford.

Then I was lucky again. My wife pointed out to me that if I flossed my teeth just before I brushed them each day, I was much less likely to have bad breath.

That made excellent sense to me since I clearly wasn’t brushing between my teeth and flossing would clean there; and I absolutely wanted to avoid any bad breath that I could avoid.

So, I immediately began flossing every day. (I also began using Stimudents, a specially designed toothpick that fits into the chink between your teeth and gums, before flossing to get the worst of the big chunks of food out from between my teeth so that flossing was far less messy with those big chunks removed first.)

Then I got lucky a third time. Like most people I’d never heard that gum disease is the single largest reason people lose their teeth. To beat out bad cavities, that means gum disease really causes a lot of tooth loss!

Then, at the Dentist’s office where my wife and I went, their hygienist told me that while you do want to brush the biting surfaces of your molars, or grinding teeth in back – but because gum health is so important, it’s critical not that you brush the rest of your teeth but that you brush thoroughly right at the gumline between your teeth and gums. (I’d not been doing that before.)

She also let me know that the flossing I’d been doing was even more important for good gum health than that kind of brushing. That’s so true that good dentists now tell their patients, “Just floss every day between the teeth that you want to keep.”

So, I began brushing the biting surfaces first and then brushing at the gumline inside and out and both bottom and top each day after I flossed. But the measurements later showed my gums weren’t quite as good as they should be even though they were much improved.

So, the fourth time, I created my own good luck. I decided to brush at the gum line a second time -- brushing inside and out and top and bottom and then repeat. And, I decided that if gentle gum stimulation for circulation improvement in part was one of the reasons to brush, I might do well to then brush my gums on a third pass just above and below the gumline.

THAT did the job! Now I always check out good to excellent when they measure and look at my gums.

(The teeth cleaning the dentist or hygienist does each six months is to remove plaque that builds up on the part of your teeth just under the gum line that also can cause gum disease. But that is far too little too late if you don’t take the right care of your teeth and gums each day.)

It seems that the bacteria that otherwise grow in your gums when you don’t follow these practices either directly harms the insides of your blood vessels or causes inflammation that does. So, not only do you get to keep the teeth you floss and brush right each day, you also avoid what is now known to be a major cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

Now, just in the past few days, a new study was reported that found that bad gum health also tends to significantly increase your chances of getting oral cancers, such as throat cancer and mouth cancer.

(That might be because smoking harms your circulation so much that the smokers in their study both had more gum disease and more oral cancers too. But, because of the inflammation from gum disease and how hard that is on you, gum disease may also directly tend to cause oral cancers.)

Two last points.

Taking at least 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C and getting natural vitamin C from eating lots of vegetables and at least one piece of fruit each day helps to keep your gums healthy. This also helps prevent other infections and protects your heart. So does taking 100 mg or more a day of CoQ10. (Doing both those things also directly protects your heart and health in other ways.)

A week ago, on Tuesday, 9-3, NewsMax Health Alert email’s headline story was that Low-Fat diets could harm your teeth, gums, and health.

The study done at the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle and reported in the Journal of Dental Health actually didn’t find that so much as they found that a diet high in high glycemic carbs, which many lowfat diets have been, is high in easily “fermentable carbohydrates” for that reason. And, eating a lot of fermentable carbohydrates reliably tend to cause tooth decay and gum disease. (That’s most true if you don’t remove the bacteria and the fermenting carbohydrates from the spaces between your teeth and gums by flossing and brushing right each day.)

But the study reported in the NewsMax article is quite correct that eating more low glycemic foods and avoiding foods made from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and refined grains not only avoids these “fermentable carbohydrates” to protect your teeth and gums, it also helps people avoid gaining excess fat, & tends to prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So eating right both protects your heart directly, & it also protects your heart indirectly by helping keep your gums healthy at the same time.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Now there are lots of ways to prevent dementia and Alzheimer's....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 9-8-2009

A recent headlined story about disease trends in Australia suggests that treating and managing dementia and Alzheimer's disease may become the largest medical care cost they have.

Due to the aging demographics of the Baby Boomers in the United States, we might be in even worse trouble.

This is literally a triple threat problem.

Medical care costs are already too high. So we could really do without another large boost in them that this would cause.

In the early stages, people with these diseases can forget thing or make errors that, in some occupations, can cause multiple injuries or deaths, or lost data. We could really do without that also.

And, people in later stages of these diseases, many of whom would have remained productively employed otherwise, no longer will be. So not only will medical care costs go up, there will be less people earning the money to pay them!! We had better avoid that one!

That's the really scary news.

But, the good news is that all this is between 80 & 99 % preventable.

1. First, practicing a healthy lifestyle by itself cuts the incidence of these diseases.

Reuters Health last Thursday, 9-3 had a story reporting on a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

They listed smoking, never exercising, eating few if any vegetables or fruit each day, and, interestingly enough, NOT drinking any alcohol as unhealthy behaviors (& I hope drinking heavily was looked at too).

Of the 5123 adults in the study that looked at a 17 year time period, when they compared the group that had the most parts of a healthy lifestyle with the group having the worst lifestyle doing most of these things wrong, the people who best followed a healthy lifestyle in these ways had a third of the chances of getting "cognitive deficit"s.

The article pointed out that each of the components had shown before to have the ability to cause or prevent these kinds of problems. This study shows that this single method, doing each of the 4 health practices together, eliminated virtually two thirds of the risk of mental decline.

Since exercise literally grows new brain and nerve cells, keeps your heart and blood vessels and circulation healthy and lowers inflammation, it's hardly surprising that regular exercise helps. Regular exercise also helps prevent or minimize obesity including the unseen fat that tends to cause disease.

Eating vegetables and fruit tends to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients and also helps prevent or minimize obesity including the unseen fat that tends to cause disease. Nonstarchy vegetables can even help reverse obesity if you eat them abundantly every day.

Smoking actively harms circulation to the brain and increases the rate at which people age.

Moderate drinking, particularly of red wine, as practiced in the Mediterranean diet, increases HDL, reduces stress, and if done with social interaction, can even stimulate the brain.

2. Second, we now know there are now a very large number of things you can take that either prevent Alzheimer's or actually can reverse it in the early stages.

Taking 2,000 iu or more a day of vitamin D3 and 600 mg a day or so of turmeric or its active ingredient, curcumin, apparently normalizes and activates your macrophages in your immune system to gobble up and get rid of the amyloid plaques that are one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin D3 also tends to prevent your macrophages and the rest of your immune system from attacking your nerves as it is on record as tending to prevent multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

And, in research described in the current issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology that is dated today, September 8, 2009, it has been found that inflammation and the resulting increase in a compound called tumor necrosis factor made any existing mental decline irreversibly worse. Since turmeric also is a superb anti-inflammatory, this also makes it valuable to help prevent Alzheimer's disease and other mental decline by reducing excessive inflammation.

Not only does the omega 3 fatty acid DHA help prevent inflammation, it seems to particularly benefit your nerves and brain. Pregnant women who take 100 mg a day or more have children who are mentally sharper and test out to be smarter than the kids of women who don't. And, one source I read said that people who take that much DHA are also 30 % less likely to get mental decline.

PS, the abbreviated acronym for phosphatidyl serine, apparently acts to ensure that the cell membranes of your brain cells stay pliable and able to uptake and get rid of the things that they should enough that people who take 100 mg a day of PS are also 20 % less likely to get mental decline. And, people over 50 who take that much score significantly higher in tests of memory, name recall, learning and concentration.

People who take 1,000 mcg of B12, 800 mcg of folic acid, and 50 mg but not over 100 mg of B6 and who don't smoke tend to keep their homocysteine level under 9.0 (Taking TMG & NAC supplements can help lower homocysteine for people that the B vitamins don't quite get that low a reading for their homocysteine.) Studies have found that people who have homocysteine levels well over 9.0 tend to get far more dementia than people below that level.

And, no surprise, the other aspects of a healthy lifestyle tend to keep homocysteine levels low.

Lastly, caffeine helps prevent mental decline. In addition, the coffee, tea, and green tea that are the best and most healthful sources of it have significantly high levels of antioxidants.
In fact, one study reported by Dr Al Sears in a recent issue of the health email TotalHealthBreakthroughs found that in mice that were actually bred to develop Alzheimer's. two months of drinking water with 500 mg of caffeine added caused them to perform much better on memory and thinking tests than mice who didn't get the caffeine in their water.

The memories of the mice who got the caffeine were as good as the with mice that had no dementia at all.

Why? In part because the mice taking getting the caffeine had a 50% reduction of beta amyloid, the protein we find as a likely causative agent for Alzheimer's disease.

3. Third, because both age related mental decline and Alzheimer's disease are often triggered by high blood sugar or poor circulation or both, everything that helps keep your blood sugar levels in the desirable range and everything that helps keep your heart healthy also helps prevent all the kinds of mental decline.

Such things as taking 600 mg a day of niacin by taking 300 mg right after breakfast and 300 right after lunch; NOT ingesting any partially hydrogenated oils, virtually never drinking soft drinks or eating refined grain foods; eating far less than the average amount of sugar, and always getting regular exercise plus eating a Mediterranean diet including some red wine -- all help to do this.

4. Fourth, doing everything you can to avoid ingesting too much mercury or having it build up in your blood and brain is important.

One way to do this is to avoid eating some kinds of fish at all. Swordfish & king mackerel and other quite large predatory fish have too much mercury for it to be wise to eat any. Tuna has less but eating tuna a few times some months is far safer than eating it several times every week.

Mercifully, so far, wild caught salmon, sardines, regular sized and wild caught mackerel and some other wild caught fish have very little mercury. And purified fish oil has none that I'm aware of.

There is one kind of gene that is known to make Alzheimer's disease more likely. In one of his patients with this gene, Dr Mark Hyman found that this gene may make it easier to build up mercury in the blood and found he was able to reverse the man's mental decline in large part by removing mercury sources from his diet and treating him to remove the mercury he that found tested high initially in his patient's blood stream. Dr Hyman also did other things to improve that man's health practices that would be helpful; but removing the high mercury level was clearly one of the most effective things he did.

5. Fifth, your brain is very like a muscle. If you use it a lot, it gets stronger and less prone to disease. In fact, we now know that the number of interconnections and strength of patterns of thought in people who use their brains a lot enable them to keep working well enough to function normally -- even in people who actually have significant amounts of amyloid plaque in their brains!

Since people grow up doing it and find it easy, it's only recently been discovered that one of the most effective brain exercises on the planet is frequently conversing with other people. In fact, people with good social networks who converse with people often -- tend to be much less likely to experience mental decline as a result.

Similarly, people who speak two or more languages have enough more brain development that they are much less likely to get Alzheimer's disease.

So are people who read a lot and continually learn new things. (That includes YOU or you wouldn't be reading this!)

So, if you do all these things, your chances of getting Alzheimer's disease or age related mental decline drop to near zero.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ways to survive holiday weekends....

Today's Post: Friday, 9-4-2009

You’ll live longer and be in much better health if you avoid being injured or killed while driving on holiday weekends.

Since later today begins this year’s Labor Day weekend, I decided, earlier this week, to write about that for today’s post.

1. Always wear your seat belt; & BEFORE your car is moving at all, make sure all your passengers are wearing their seatbelts.

In our area here in the Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News provides a daily column of local traffic problems, a way to write a proactive expert to see if things such as malfunctioning stop lights or pot holes can be fixed promptly, and the columnist’s comments on safe driving and other driving issues.

The column is called “Mr Roadshow; the columnist is Gary Richards; & you can find his columns online. (He DOES get fast action on many smaller traffic problems that need to be fixed locally.)

Earlier this week, he wrote the following comment that inspired me to do today’s post.

"Now, remember this as well: Last year, 40 people died statewide on Labor Day weekend on California highways and more than half were not wearing seat belts."

Since about 90 % of the people in California wear seat belts and likely were during the Labor Day weekend last year, this shows quite clearly that there were many people who were in bad accidents on Labor Day weekend last year who survived because they were wearing their seat belts at the time.

In fact, of the people who are in accidents bad enough to cause injuries, I’ve read that those who are wearing seat belts only are injured at all a third as often; & that those who are injured are enough less badly injured that their medical bills average only a third as much.

In short, wearing your seat belt not only can help you avoid being killed if you are in an accident, it increases your chances of not being injured at all, and cuts the probable medical bills you’ll pay by NINE to one!

Lastly, if the driver of a car is wearing a seat belt, the chances of being IN an accident go down. People who realize they can be in an accident are more likely to make a successful effort to avoid being in one. And people who are careful and prudent are both more likely to wear their seat belts AND are more likely to drive safely.

When seat belts were just beginning to be used and few cars had them and I was a teenager, I went with a friend and his dad for a brief trip in my friend’s dad’s car.

My reaction to the seat belt was to ignore it and I did so. My friend’s dad asked why I wasn’t wearing the seat belt instead of sitting on it. I was a bit surprised and answered that it was because we were only going on a short trip. His dad reacted as if I was more than a bit stupid. His reply was: “OH! So you know in advance when you’ll be IN an accident I suppose?!”

THAT got to me. Well no, I didn’t really know any such thing I realized and have worn my seat belt ever since then.

His dad was even more correct then than he may have known. Something like 95 to 98 % of all driving miles are on such short trips – so, not surprisingly, so are something like 95 to 98 % of all accidents too!!

So, if you think about what he said and that fact, it becomes quite clear. The logic is inexorable. If you are ALWAYS wearing your seat belt no matter where you are driving and there is an accident, you’ll be wearing your seat belt when you need it. If you do anything else, you probably won’t be.

Why get badly hurt or killed by an accident you could have walked away from without injury?

2. Avoid the 3 most common causes of being in an accident.

a) Following too closely -- or driving faster than your ability to see and stop gives you -- will put you into an accident if something unexpected happens because you’ll be IN the accident BEFORE you have a chance to take action to prevent it.

One man bought a taxi company that was losing money because its drivers were in so many accidents. He found that the biggest cause of avoidable accidents was by following too closely or going faster than his drivers could still stop given what they could see.

He trained them and insisted, up to firing drivers who didn’t comply, that from then on, they had to allow enough following distance; and when they couldn’t see far enough with their headlights at night or around a curve or over the top of a hill, to slow down to the speed that gave them a shot a stopping or taking evasive action if something they couldn’t see and needed to stop for was just beyond what they could see.

His taxi company was then immediately profitable.

The official rule is to allow 2 seconds for each 10 miles an hour of speed. And, it’s certainly nice when you can do that. But in busy traffic during commute times and on holidays on busy freeways, it’s often not very doable because if you leave a space that large someone will pull into it.

What I’ve found though, is that about a third of that or a bit more IS maintainable most of the time. That’s the distance it takes so say “thousand one” a bit quickly. Less following distance than that is extremely dangerous. So don’t do it at all often and escape situations that cause you to be that close as soon as you can safely do so. You’ll notice that well over half your fellow drivers will follow at shorter distances than that. If you maintain even that much extra following distance but virtually never less than that, your chances of being IN an accident drop by something like 60 to 90 %. And, you’ll not be in accidents those other drivers would have been in!

Similarly, if you can’t see far enough to safely stop if there is a pile of bricks blocking your lane just beyond what you can see, slow down to the speed that WOULD allow you to stop. The reverse is called, “over-driving your sight distance” & tends to happen at night due to reduced visibility or when going over hills or around corners where the road way ahead is invisible.

Lastly, people sometimes slam on their brakes or run into something you can’t see just after they start off from a stop. So, usually come to a stop with enough distance between you and the car ahead to go around them easily if they suddenly can’t make their car go forward – OR
-- when they start out, wait until they are that far from you to start out yourself. Doing either of those starts you out with enough following distance that if they do slam on their brakes, you can probably stop in time.

b) Avoid drinking for an hour or so before you drive; drink only 2 drinks if you are a man and only one if you are a woman, which is the amount to stay down to for good health anyway; and if you have drunk more than that more recently, have someone else drive or wait until the effect wears off. Getting home a couple of hours later than you would have liked is better than not getting home at all.

c) If you have to use a cell phone on a trip, find a safe place to pull over and stop or have the person with you do it. Similarly, if you have to read a map or go online to see one, find a safe place to pull over and stop or have the person with you do it. Better yet, do it ahead of time.

If you aren’t looking at and noticing what’s going on when you drive, how can you avoid an accident if something happens? All too often people don’t.

There are other things that help up to having your vacation or holiday weekend at home instead of driving somewhere. But if you do drive, these strategies will help keep you safe.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Important information for diabetics....

Today's Post: Thursday, 9-3-2009

Information I got this morning struck me as quite important for people with diabetes -- either type 1 or type 2.

That’s a bit unusual as in many ways they are quite different and the best way to deal with them is often quite different.

In both, the dangerous or damaging problems they can cause are from destruction of or damage to blood vessels & possibly to nerves directly when blood sugar levels get too high, particularly as the HBA1C readings begin to rise above 7.0 & for sure at even higher readings.

Clearly using metformin and possibly insulin shots to keep the readings in the 6.1 to 6.9 range can help if it’s needed. But if that can’t be done or isn’t working – or it wasn’t done because you had no previous clue you had excessively high blood sugar readings, you might get some damage from higher readings – or, for whatever reason, you have already had some damage, it would be really, really helpful to have a way to prevent or reverse this damage.

There may be some ways to do that it now appears!

I get a health info email from a company called HSI, the Health Sciences Institute of Baltimore. (For more info or to subscribe see: http://www.hsibaltimore.com .)

1. Today they included information that taking the supplement resveratrol may prevent or reverse damage to the mitochondria in blood vessels in diabetics when their blood sugar level is too high. Since the main cause of damage by high blood sugar is by damaging your capillaries and other blood vessels, that’s extremely significant.

Here are the two references they list.

“ "Resveratrol Blocks High Glucose-Induced Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Bovine Aortic Endothelial Cells: Role of Phase 2 Enzyme Induction?" Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Vol. 10, No. 4, April 2008, blackwell-synergy.com

"Grape Skin Compound Fights the Complications of Diabetes" Press release from The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, 3/14/08, eurekalert.org “

They also state that resveratrol has separately been found to protect your blood vessel walls, or endothelium, by “....prevention of LDL cholesterol from depositing arterial plaque” and by reducing inflammation.

And, I’ve also read separately that resveratrol has been shown to protect your heart and keep it from aging, possibly from those same effects.

Resveratrol is in red wine, red and purple grapes and their juice, and in supplements.

But since it’s only safe, good for you, and affordable to drink moderate amounts of red wine and it only has modest amounts of resveratrol – and, for type 2 diabetics drinking grape juice often may not be wise, resveratrol supplements clearly make sense to get these beneficial effects.

The trans resveratrol form is the one that delivers the benefits while the cis form apparently does not. Source Naturals sells capsules with 100 mg of trans resveratrol each for a price I find reasonable & are available in most health food stores. (I’ve been taking one a day of those for the proven heart protection from resveratrol and for any of the possible increase in longevity and slowing of aging that resveratrol may also provide.)

2. They also point out that the anthocyanins also found in grapes -- and in cherries and berries as well -- help prevent damage to your blood vessel walls, the endothelium, in part due to their superb antioxidant ability.

Eating grapes, red cherries, and berries—notably blueberries—is good. And, you can get both grape seed extract supplements and bilberry supplements for more anthocyanins.

3. And, they included this: “Studies show that regular exercise is the ideal way to stimulate and repair mitochondria.”

Exercise also provides your blood vessel walls with exercise by stretching them periodically, increases your circulation generally, lowers the kind of small particle LDL that harms your blood vessel walls, and lowers inflammation.

Exercise can also help turn off type 2 diabetes, reverse insulin resistance, and lower blood sugar levels that are too high in normal people and type 2 diabetics.

Exercise has far more unpredictable effects on blood sugar in type 1 diabetics however. So, while type 1 diabetics should exercise, they need to be far more careful of its effects on their blood sugar levels.

4. If you are older, you can also help restore the health of your mitochondria directly by taking CoQ10 or its active form, ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is four to eight times more potent and stays in your blood stream for 8 hours while CoQ10 boosts the level in your blood for far shorter periods of time.

5. Lastly, you can directly boost the health of your endothelium by taking l-arginine supplements. L-arginine helps relax your blood vessels and helps your body release growth hormone. It’s best taken on an empty stomach and either just before you exercise or just before you go to bed. (NOW supplements sell 500 mg capsules. Taking one a day might help. But since taking more can help lower high blood pressure and may be more protective, I take six of those capsules just before I exercise each day and another four of them each day just before I go to bed.)

6. You can also take other antioxidant supplements such as eating a lot of yellow and orange vegetables and greens to get mixed carotenes, taking vitamin C, taking mixed tocopherol, natural vitamin E or eating nuts and avocados, and by taking 200 mg a day or more of alpha lipoic acid.

For type 2 diabetics and for people with blood sugar readings in the high normal range, taking alpha lipoic acid also tends to help lower your blood sugar readings. And, I’ve read it has had some success in reversing some cases of diabetic neuropathy.

7. You can also do other things that protect your heart and blood vessels directly such as:

eating a Mediterranean diet (see our last post on Tues, 9-1); taking omega 3 supplements, exercise; and taking niacin and sterol supplements if your LDL is too high or your triglycerides are too high or your HDL is too low as well as NOT ingesting ANY hydrogenated vegetable oils or trans fats.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Mediterranean diet fights type 2 diabetes better than low-fat diets....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 9-1-2009

A story from Reuters Health online they published yesterday late in the day was titled.:

“Mediterranean diet tops low-fat diet for diabetics”

The study, from the Annals of Internal Medicine, September 1, 2009 was of two groups of people with type 2 diabetes who followed either a low carbohydrate Mediterranean diet or a lowfat & calorie restricted diet -- for four years.

I found the results quite convincing and one part of the results very useful to people trying to lose excess fat or to lose weight.

The bottom line was that only 44% of the people eating the Mediterranean diet wound up needing drugs for their type 2 diabetes to lower their blood sugar while 70% of the people eating the lowfat diet did.

The people eating the Mediterranean diet had their HDL go up and their triglycerides fall and maintained those improved readings as long as they were in the study eating a Mediterranean diet. As readers of my blog know, it’s been discovered that this means their small particle LDL, that is literally so tiny it sinks into the molecular chinks in your artery walls causing heart disease, dropped significantly.

And, that, combined with the better blood sugar control, meant that they dropped their heart disease risk by a lot!

The interesting part was that despite the fact that the lowfat diet emphasized to avoid all fats and restrict calories more, the people who ate the low carb version of the Mediterranean diet lost a bit more weight, about 2 pounds; but of most importance, they lost more inches from their waists.

Bottom line, that means that the less psychologically restrictive and more enjoyable Mediterranean diet not only got better health results, it got better fat loss results also.

Here are the key parts of a Mediterranean diet compared with what many people eat.

Meat tends to be eaten once or twice a week instead of much more often. Wild caught fish and some grains and nuts are much more emphasized. Some chicken is included. Some cheese is included but in small quantities.

Grain foods tend to be whole grain pasta or bread and virtually no snack foods or refined grain foods are eaten. Since the version of the Mediterranean diet in this study was low carb, the amount of even whole grain foods was low moderate or moderate instead of a lot.

Even less dairy fat and butter is eaten than in the lowfat diet. Even less oils high in omega 6 such as corn oil and soy oil are eaten than in the lowfat diet. Almost exclusively, olive oil or extra virgin olive oil is used instead -- along with eating nuts.

No soft drinks are included at all. But moderate amounts of red wine are.

Fresh garlic is often used as a spice in salads and in savory foods.

Whole fresh fruit is included.

And, one of the most important keys is that a wide variety of salad vegetables, other vegetables, and both fresh & cooked tomatoes are included.

A. Here’s why this seems to work so well.

1. While it was somewhat calorie restricted, the lowfat diet apparently did have some sugars and refined grain foods. Those tend to make eating less food or calories harder and to spike blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance. They also tend to increase triglyceride levels and lower HDL.

2. In addition, the oils that are high in olive oil and nuts are mostly monosaturated oils which have been separately found to lower insulin levels! That helps to keep off excess fat and may result from improved insulin effectiveness meaning that insulin resistance is better prevented or improved by such oils.

3. The saturated fats and omega 6 oils NOT eaten in the Mediterranean diet by avoiding most fatty and grain fed meat and heavy use of dairy fat – and vegetable oils high in omega 6 tend to increase LDL and lower HDL while olive oil and nuts tend to increase HDL and lower LDL.

4. Garlic may help prevent or reverse plaque build up and blood clotting in the blood and help keep the surface of your blood vessels, the endothelium, healthy -- even though it doesn’t lower LDL cholesterol very much. It also helps by making food taste good without needing to add salt or as much salt.

5. And, red wine in moderation makes the Mediterranean diet more enjoyable for most people and increases HDL plus containing other heart protecting substances such as resveratrol.

6. The emphasis on lots of vegetables and a wide variety of vegetables also helps make people feel full and not hungry despite having very few calories. And the nutrients in vegetables, particularly organically grown vegetables, have been found to help prevent cancer and promote good health and longevity in other ways. In fact, this greater amount of vegetables is one explanation for the greater fat and weight loss than the officially calorie restricted lowfat diet produced.

B. The last point is that this study did not even look at exercise levels. And since regular exercise, particularly vigorous exercise such as strength training or interval cardio, helps lower high blood sugar and prevents or sharply improves insulin resistance, adding that kind of exercise program to the low carbohydrate Mediterranean diet would have dropped the number of type 2 diabetics who needed blood sugar reducing drugs well below 44%.

Weds, 9-2-2009 Correction:

After I wrote this post, I found that the TIME magazine coverage of this study reported that both groups of people, the lowfat diet people AND the Mediterranean diet people WERE recommended to exercise regularly.

There was no reporting though to indicate how well the two groups followed this advice while the study researchers did seem to be more careful to ensure the groups followed the diets they were supposed to follow.

So, I still suspect that a study of people who actually exercised instead of just had it suggested, would find fewer than 44% of the people needed to take drugs who both actually exercised and ate a Mediterranean diet.

And, since studies HAVE found that even brief bursts of vigorous exercise DO lower high blood sugar, I think that if people followed the Mediterranean diet AND got some quite vigorous exercise once or twice each day, they would do even better.

Labels: , , ,