Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Important news about fat loss and health....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 5-31-2011

1. The good news first!

To at least some degree, you can lose fat without eating less.

Science writer Gary Taubes in his new book, “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It” says some things that I’m not sure are correct.

But he does present very strong evidence for many things that look very likely to be true. They certainly do based on the evidence he presents. More than that, he has multiple confirming sources for much of it.

We already know that people who cut back quite a lot on calories & fight being hungry all the time all fail to lose fat. If they lose some, they fail to keep it off.

One reason for this is that, your body has a starvation fail safe from your ancestors surviving multiple famines. So, if you once trigger your body’s famine response by eating that much less, you become ravenously hungry.

You also feel tired and depleted and your metabolism slows down.

More than that, your body turns off using fat stores to the max.

You stop losing weight even if you don’t eat more. And, if you do eat more, you may eat a lot more. Soon, you will gain back all you lost. And, all you gain back will be fat.

It’s well known that eating abundant amounts of protein helps prevent this response because your body responds soonest to lack of protein. It also helps that protein turns off hunger best and longest.

And, to a smaller extent, eating nonstarchy vegetables and some beans helps prevent this response because you are usually full from the high fiber.

I’ve posted on those two points often.

But I’ve always thought to lose fat that your new net calorie intake had to be at least somewhat less than before but not enough to trigger the famine response.

Gary Taubes has evidence that if you only eat these things, you can at least cut back less on calories to lose fat. In fact, you may not need to cut back on calories at all!!

He found studies showing that rats who had their fat storage responses turned off or way down, remained lean even if they ate a lot of protein and nonstarchy vegetables. (This could be from NOT eating things that turned on fat storage or from their genes that set them not to do so.)

They ate a lot but were energetic, active, and moved often. And, they did NOT gain fat.

Other rats with who ate less could be fat however and some were quite fat. (They had their fat storage settings turned on by genes or eating foods that did that or having the famine response from eating too little before that.)

He also shows that some people eating these things and very few foods high in carbohydrates and close to no fast acting carbohydrates lost fat and weight eating the same number of calories they were before changing to that eating style.

They ate the SAME number of calories as before and began losing fat and pounds on the scale anyway.

2. The bad news is that sugar and refined grains turned on the store fat settings in some rats that ate them to such an extent, they HAD to overeat to net enough calories to live on after the fat storage took its cut!

When they were forced to eat less, they lost energy and close to stopped moving and even died of starvation –WITHOUT using any of their fat calories to live on.

The worse news is that some people are so sensitive to this effect from carbohydrates that they need to avoid foods that have health supporting nutrition including fruit if they want to lose fat or stay lean.

3. He also gives many examples showing that eating sugar and refined grain is horribly bad for your health.

I’ve come to know eating sugar and refined grain far too much produces heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But he also has evidence for eating too many carbohydrates also producing many cancers as well.

The recent news confirms this for heart disease and also helps explain how type 2 diabetes harms the lining of all your blood vessels.

We already know that small particle LDL tends to get into the molecular chinks in your artery walls to cause heart disease. And, it has recently been confirmed that eating very much sugar or refined grain increases this damaging kind of LDL in your blood.

But the recent research shows this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Imagine making your red blood cells and LDL particles becoming so coated with superglue that they stick hard onto the surface of your blood cells. And, if moved off by the flow of your blood, they tear holes in the surface of the walls of your blood vessels.

It seems that eating a lot of sugar and refined grains does something almost exactly like that.

Your blood sugar surges so fast after you eat sugar or refined grains that it coats or “glycates” your red blood cells with sugar before your body can lower the level with insulin.

(The blood sugar test HBA1C tests for how much sugar is stuck on your red blood cells.)

The news last Friday was truly scary. It seems that this happens to your LDL too.

“Scientists Discover 'Ultra-Bad' Cholesterol FRIDAY, May 27, 2011 (HealthDay News)”

“In the study, which was funded by the British Heart Foundation, University of Warwick researchers created MGmin-LDL in a lab through glycation, which is the adding of sugar groups to normal LDL cholesterol, commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol. The process changed the cholesterol's shape, making it stickier and more likely to build fatty plaques, narrow arteries and reduce blood flow and turning it into what they called "ultra-bad" cholesterol.

The findings, released online May 26 in Diabetes, could have significant implications for the treatment of coronary heart disease, particularly in older people and those with type 2 diabetes. Specifically, the researchers said, the results of their study shed light on how a common type 2 diabetes drug, metformin, fights heart disease by blocking the transformation of normal LDL into the super-sticky LDL.”

(Some people have bad reactions to high dose metformin. And recent research shows that it removes vitamin B12 enough that people who take metformin likely should also take 1000 mcg a day of B12.)

But if your HBA1C goes to 7.0 and stays there or goes above that, this research shows it may be lifesaving to take metformin.

This is a bit of a challenge since so many people take in so much refined grains and sugar today.

The people we are descended from ate a bit less than 3 Tablespoons, 20 teaspoons, of sugar each YEAR.

The average American is now eating more than 3 Tablespoons, 22 teaspoons, a DAY.

And, that’s in addition to eating refined grains in foods people now think of as normal food several times a day.


But there’s more.

There is ample evidence that eating these servings of sugar and refined grains continues to spike insulin and keep it at high levels in your blood.

Gary Taubes is right about this one! Excessive levels and frequency of insulin in your blood does to you what special breeding did to the lab rats who were set to be obese and never lose fat.

Insulin moves the sugars you eat directly into fat storage and prevents your body from using them as fuel. And, even if you are short calories at times, it also prevents your body from using your fat as fuel.

And, there is still more. True, high fructose corn syrup has only a bit more fructose than sucrose, or regular sugar. 55 to 45 instead of 50 to 50. BUT in real sugar the two parts are bound together. So your body has to break the bonds to use them which slows the speed of how fat sugar boosts your blood sugar.

In addition to some of it contain mercury, high fructose corn syrup, I just found out has fructose and glucose already separated, so the blood sugar boost is far faster and the insulin response is greater.

That makes high fructose corn syrup much more fattening and harmful to your health than sugar.

The good news is that it is becoming a bit easier to avoid high fructose corn syrup than it was.

People avoid it now. So food companies are using real sugar more than they were. And, more people know to look for it on the list of ingredients and avoid things containing it.

But, if like me and most of us, you LIKE sweet treats, this new information and Gary Taubes new book is very bad news indeed.

If you want to be lean and healthy, make sweet treats a much more of a rare occasion!

So, his news is a bit of a mixed review.

4. He suggests that the information he has shows that exercise and some calorie restriction that does not trigger the famine response won’t help you lose fat or lose weight.

What he DID find looks quite true. And it can be stronger than exercising more or eating a bit less.

But there is enough evidence that exercise and eating a bit less do work particularly in people who eat very little sugar and refined grains that I think he is wrong to say they don’t work at all.

For example, people who do strength training or interval cardio that is vigorous have lower amounts of insulin and less sugar in their blood. Even sessions of one or two minutes have worked. And, long or brisk walks of 10 to 40 minutes each have also worked. That means they will lose more fat and gain it less easily.

Further, it looks like people who get such exercise and are not now fat, may be able to have sugar a few times a month instead of only once or twice a year.

Exercise also has dramatic and multiple health benefits.

Since it does help people lose fat. Having people exercise to help lose fat and keep it off also improves their health.

But the bottom line is that bread, most pasta, and most cereals and virtually all commercial baked goods or packaged snacks or desserts and soft drinks are very fattening and bad for your health.

The fact that I and very likely you grew up thinking these were normal to eat or drink, makes it a bit of a challenge to switch to close to none at all.

But to be trim and stay healthy, the evidence is in. Don’t eat or drink that stuff!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Important news about aspirin and heart health....

Today's Post: Friday, 5-27-2011

1. The good news first!

When my acid reflux acted up in a way that might have been a heart attack, I went to the emergency room at the Kaiser hospital nearby. I’m a member of Kaiser.

The ER doctor asked two questions right away.

a) What is your smoking status? And he asked it several ways. Do you smoke now? Are you exposed to tobacco smoke at home or at work or at place you go often? Have you ever smoked? If you quit how long ago was that?

It seems the ER doctor knew in detail - as few smokers do -- that yes answers meant it was much more likely I WAS having a heart attack and more of a life-threatening emergency if I was having one.

(I’ve since discovered this is all quite true and a bit about why it is.)

b) He then asked if I had taken aspirin as soon as I thought I might be having a heart attack.

I had done so. And I’d chewed up the tablet before washing it down to get it into my bloodstream faster. I’d read that this might be life-saving if I was having a heart attack. He confirmed that and said it doubled my odds that I’d survive if I was having one!

>>> Here’s the news! As of this week, starting at Walgreens I think, Bayer is selling a new kind of aspirin that has tested to be twice as fast to get into your bloodstream. It also cuts the wait for pain relief in half.

That means that for safety reasons, you should buy a bottle or more of this new aspirin in case you ever seem to be having a heart attack. And, you should have a bottle with you at home and at work. It likely will work much better than the older kind if you do need it for that reason.

This can be life-saving -- just like have a fire extinguisher at home or wearing your seat belt can be.

2. The second piece of news I just read on Medscape is to avoid taking larger doses of aspirin at a time. The story basically said that the research on stomach bleeding from aspirin found it was more connected to larger doses than how many days you take aspirin.

You might take two instead of one for a possible heart attack.

But if taking aspirin for pain for several days, taking one at time every few hours instead of 3 at a time will be MUCH safer.

3. The third piece of news is that for preventing heart disease and heart attacks, there are several more effective and safer ways to prevent heart attacks by lowering inflammation and excessive blood clotting.

They have other health benefits and do NOT risk stomach bleeding as aspirin sometimes does.

a) One very important one is to avoid tobacco smoke. It seems that tobacco smoke causes heart disease in part because a cyanide like compound in the smoke damages the lining of your blood vessels and boosts inflammation a lot.

So you will avoid both heart disease AND excessive inflammation by avoiding tobacco smoke.

b) There are supplements and kinds of food that lower inflammation or excess clotting or both.

To avoid excessive clotting and promote circulation 60 mg a day of ginkgo biloba can work. More is not needed and it should not be taken as aspirin should not be soon before surgery or if you are on blood thinning drugs.

Vitamin E from natural sources and supplements taken from them tends to prevent excess clotting and has antioxidant effects. (I take the 200 iu a day vitamin E by Solgar that has some of the other tocopherols. It has 200 iu of the alpha; but it also has some of the beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols. I also eat nuts almost every day, pecan halves, walnut halves – both raw and unprocessed or salted and some unsalted almond butter a few times a week. And, I eat some extra virgin olive oil daily.)

I also take deodorized garlic once a day from Kyolic as this cuts excess clotting and along with lots of vitamin C may partially reverse arterial plaque. (I do it far less often, but eating raw, minced garlic in salads etc also has this effect.)

I also drink at least one glass of red wine most days. Both compounds in the wine and the alcohol protect your heart. And drinking red wine tends to lower excess clotting as one of the ways it does so.

(This works so well for me that I also take 5 mg a day of vitamin K2 which is also heart protective but stops me from bruising too easily as I was doing. It seems my system was working almost too well without it. K2 is also good for your heart and for keeping your bones strong I’ve read.)

Preventing inflammation is very important for preventing heart disease.

One way most people need today is to dial way back their excess omega 6 intake. Too much omega 6 directly causes excess inflammation.

That means using extra virgin olive oil instead of corn oil or soy oil or safflower oil or even canola oil. In fact, NEVER using those other oils is safest for your heart.

It also means eating virtually no foods made from refined grains. Grain is high in omega 6 and corn and corn oil seem to have the most.

It also means substituting beans or vegetables for some whole grains also.

Lastly, animals fed grain instead of their natural foods have excessive omega 6 in their fat. So eat less grain fed meat and poultry and eat only the leanest most fat free kinds. It seems those actions are heart protective more for avoiding excess omega 6 oils than for avoiding excess saturated fat. Farmed fish have the same problem as they are often fed grain plus they have excessive pollutants. Stick with wild caught fish; and never fry them in oils that are high in omega 6.

The part two of this is to sharply increase your intake of omega 3 oils as they help balance the omega 6 oils you do eat and sharply lower inflammation. They also may reduce excess blood clotting.

Wild caught fish high in omega 3 such as salmon, sardines, herring, and small mackerel work. Ideally have at least 2 servings most weeks.

And, taking an omega 3 supplement from purified fish oil and a DHA supplement daily also boosts your omega 3 intake.

The other main kind of omega 3 in fish oil is EPA. I just read in the Medscape news that EPA also prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by a good bit while DHA cuts some kinds a little.

And extra benefit is that lowering inflammation with these methods may also help prevent cancers and other degenerative diseases.

The foods and supplements that lower inflammation in addition include ginger, turmeric (which provides the yellow color in curries) and taking curcumin daily. Curcumin is thought to be the main anti-inflammatory component of turmeric.

And, ginger and turmeric are related. I find ginger tastes better and has a spicier effect that I like compared to turmeric but I eat both and take curcumin daily. I also use a curry spice along with the turmeric that has other spices that may make the turmeric stronger as an anti-inflammatory food.

This last group of anti-inflammatory foods and spices also helps prevent joint pain and damage. It reduces the aches and pains that many people have to buy and take pain relievers to get rid of. And, the curry, curcumin, and turmeric tend to prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well.

This list of things to do or eat or take is a lot longer than taking one baby aspirin a day. But it also prevents heart disease and heart attack far better. It prevents heart attacks far better. It has far more other health benefits. And it has virtually no risk of stomach bleeding.

So, there you have it.

But the new faster aspirin for emergency use for a heart attack or a suspected heart attack.

But do these other things in this list to prevent heart attacks instead of taking aspirin.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Generic statins and limiting blood tests are a horrible way to save money....

Today's Post: Thursday, 5-26-2011

There was an article with the best methods to save money from several different kinds of doctors. TIME ran the story with the title, “Advice From Doctors: Top 5 Ways to Lower Costs and Improve Care.”

The top 5 from Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics all made sense but two, using generic statins and limiting blood tests.

(Those were the two listed from Internal Medicine not already in the Family Medicine list.)

1. Why not use the generic statins?

The generic form of Lipitor does cost less than prescribing Lipitor for example.

So why is it a dreadful idea?

It presumes that prescribing any statin to people with high LDL cholesterol is a good idea.

It is NOT. And, its both more expensive and less effective than better choices. It also causes increased costs to treat the side effects of the statins.

So, it’s a dreadful example of how NOT to save money in health care!

The problem with that is that there are more effective ways to lower LDL cholesterol and to prevent heart attacks than taking statin drugs. They are also usually cheaper!

We now know what lifestyles cause heart disease and in some detail. If those things are reversed, the chances of heart attacks and the level of LDL and the small particle LDL that causes heart disease drop far more.

People who eat or drink a LOT of sweets tend to lower their HDL and sharply increase their triglycerides. That causes not just an increase in LDL, it causes an increase in the small particle LDL that causes heart disease. (Eating refined grain foods instead of some whole grain foods, some vegetables, and some beans has much the same effect.) Why give ANY drug to someone who still eats this way? It’s like holding off a tsunami with a thimble. It’s a waste of money.

People who eat a lot of foods that contain hydrogenated oils and transfats, research has found, get an increase in the small particle LDL that causes heart disease. That’s why it’s gradually being banned. Why give ANY drug to someone who still eats this stuff? It’s like holding off a tsunami with a thimble. It’s a waste of money.

People who exercise most days of the week decrease their levels of small particle LDL that causes heart disease. If they do some vigorous exercise each week as part of their exercise and keep doing it for several years, the effect gets stronger. (Exercise also tends to prevent type 2 diabetes. And, type 2 diabetes dramatically increases the risk of heart attacks.)

Note that intense exertion in unfit people or people who have heart disease can trigger heart attacks. But with that exception, exercise tends to prevent heart disease and heart attacks. (Gradual build up of intensity and keeping intense exertion brief can solve that problem.)

True, some people are too disabled to exercise. And, some have such hard lives they can’t fit it in. But they can learn to avoid the things that cause heart disease. Unless the people who can exercise do so or begin to, why give ANY drug to them? It’s like holding off a tsunami with a thimble. It’s a waste of money.

People who smoke or who voluntarily expose themselves to second hand tobacco smoke are suicidal or very uninformed. Tobacco smoke lowers HDL and makes what’s left less effective at clearing your arteries. A cyanide like chemical in the smoke damages the lining in your arteries and causes a large jump in chronic inflammation which causes heart disease too. Every exposure to tobacco smoke has these effects.

We also recently found out that tobacco smoke triggers heart attacks in people who might otherwise have avoided them!

And, unlike cancer which does spare some smokers, these effects harm all smokers.

Why give a cholesterol reducing drug to a smoker? It’s like holding off a tsunami with a thimble. It’s a waste of money.

On top of that, there are three inexpensive and effective ways to lower LDL. Each has other documented health benefits. None with one exception has the side effects of statin drugs.

Eating foods such as vegetables, beans, oatmeal, and apples that are high in soluble fiber reduces LDL cholesterol.

Taking sterol supplements lowers LDL cholesterol and is far cheaper and safer than statin drugs.

And taking some niacin after meals and some inositol hexaniacinate not only lowers LDL; but it increases HDL and lowers triglycerides. Since it has been tested to lower death rates, it very likely lowers the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

The Berkeley Heart Lab did research finding that only one genetic subgroup was more protected by statins than niacin or protected much at all. No prescription for a statin, generic or otherwise, should be given to someone who hasn’t tested to be in this subgroup! It’s a waste of money! Statins, they found are quite ineffective protection for everyone else.

(A recent study finding that adding high dose niacin to the treatment of people with significant heart disease and who already were taking very high doses of statins found that the niacin added no extra protection.

Niacin was not tested INSTEAD of statins. That might have had a different result entirely.

Nor was their any mention of getting the people studied to avoid tobacco smoke, sugary foods and drinks, or trans fats. Testing something that might prevent heart attacks on people who still do these things is like betting on a horse race where your candidate has to tow an anchor!

Between not testing niacin by itself, not adding it to lifestyle changes, and waiting until the people may have had too much damage to help them much, this was a very, very poor test!)

Lastly, people who take statins often cost money to treat the side effects. Only using them when actually desirable saves money.

Lipitor, I just read causes insomnia. So, if a sleep inducing drug is used that cost must be added.

Statins often cause neuropathy. If that’s treated with tests or drugs that cost must be added.

I’ve read that statins tend to cause or worsen heart failure, particularly if they are not taken with the ubiquinol form of CoQ10. And treating heart failure is hugely expensive!

Yes – IF statins are used, the generic is cheaper. But NOT using statins can save a LOT more money!

2. Why not limit blood tests?

Because there are three uses for them and only cutting back on their use in one of the three areas saves money.

But, I know from direct experience with my own doctor at Kaiser, if you tell a doctor to limit tests, he or she will limit all three uses!

If you treat someone for something where it’s 90% likely you have the right diagnosis, you can use blood tests right then to check for causes in the other
10%. But unless the symptoms are life threatening, it WILL save money to only test if the patient fails to improve by treating the most likely cause.

That’s the use that does save money!

But, because my wife and I were tested with fasting glucose and HBA1C tests while we seemed completely healthy, I was able to avoid getting type 2 diabetes; and my wife caught hers at an early enough level to not need to take drugs for it or risk much damage from it.

Had we not been tested when we were, our medical costs could easily been dramatically higher! When such diagnostic tests are used routinely in healthy adults, health care costs go DOWN not up!

So cutting tests in this use to save money will backfire to the tenth power! It is a VERY, VERY bad idea!

The third use of blood tests is to allow people who make the lifestyle changes to get feedback on their progress.

When you can and they can see their markers going in the right direction, it helps enormously to help them keep up their hard work.

And, if their markers stay the same or get worse, it lets them see they need more effort or better methods.

It’s just like driving a car on the freeway. It works better and is safer if you can see where you are going!

And, it’s a use it is penny wise and twenty dollar bill foolish to cut out!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Skim milk may be fattening and bad for your heart....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 5-24-2011

As some of you know, I’ve done many things to keep my LDL cholesterol low.

(Some of those have worked well. Others in my family were over 160 when first tested. And, I’ve gone from 130 to 73 with niacin, inositol hexaniacinate, sterol supplements, continued regular exercise, taking curcumin, and recently losing 15 pounds.)

And, I also have been making a strong but mostly unsuccessful effort so far to lose inches off my too large waist. (Losing the 15 pounds took off a bit over an inch; but it’s more like 4 to 6 inches too large still.)

And, as many have done, I switched from whole milk to skim or nonfat and from half and half, light cream, for coffee and cereal to 1% lowfat milk.

So, a recent news article saying I could be less fat and have BETTER heart health by discontinuing the nonfat and 1% lowfat milk, was quite a surprise!

But they quote actual studies showing it is accurate that skim milk & 1% milk tend to make people fat. They also have an analysis saying some of the reasons that skim milk & 1% milk can tend to increase inflammation.

The article, "Is Skim Milk Making You Fat?" by Details Magazine, on Fri Apr 29, 2011 was a feature recently on Yahoo.

The recommendation has been to drink skim and 1% lowfat milk since they have fewer calories a glass than 2% lowfat or whole milk. That would lead you to think drinking them would help you lose fat and excess weight.

And, by having less saturated fat and omega 6 oils from the grain fed cows that usually produce the skim and 1% lowfat milk, you would expect lower LDL and inflammation.

The article says that each of these 3 points is incorrect: for preventing or reversing excess fat gain; for lowering inflammation; & for lowering the dangerous kind of LDL.

For preventing or reversing excess fat gain , the article made several points.

“It's becoming widely accepted that fats actually curb your appetite, by triggering the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which causes fullness.”

“Fats also slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, reducing the amount that can be stored as fat.”

Milk has lactose, a sugar, so the higher fat milk causes less boost to your blood sugar levels AND less boost to your insulin levels. Insulin causes you to add fat and hold onto the fat you already have.

“In other words, the more fat in your milk, the less fat around your waist.

Not only will low-fat milk fail to trim your gut, it might even make you fatter than if you were to drink whole, according to one large study.

In 2005, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and other institutions studied the weight and milk consumption of 12,829 kids ages 9 to 14 from across the country. "Contrary to our hypothesis," they reported, "skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not." “

So, there is evidence. This is not just theory!

(I decided to switch from nonfat and 1% lowfat milk to 2% lowfat milk only.

Since I’d already read that milk tends to boost insulin, I’d cut back on milk and added nonfat cottage cheese for the protein and food based calcium. Since nonfat cottage cheese has no or little lactose, that seemed a good idea. And, one writer on fat loss said that nonfat cottage cheese worked for fat loss while skim milk did not.

If that will cut even a half inch or an inch off my waist and lose a few pounds of fat, the change will be well worth it.)

But what about the saturated fat and omega 6 in the dairy fat?

Wouldn’t that be a reason to drink nonfat and 1% milk? It would cut LDL and inflammation wouldn’t it?

I would have thought so.

But the article says that dairy fat boosts the harmless large particle LDL only.

By buffering the lactose in the milk, the dairy fat may lower triglycerides and the greater content of fat may boost HDL. If so, that would explain it. Doing those two things REDUCES the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

What about the omega 6 oil in the milk from grain fed cows? The reason to avoid the omega 6 oil is to lower inflammation.

So, if nonfat and 1% lowfat RAISED inflammation and 2% and whole milk did not, that would be significant and a good reason to drink the higher fat milk.

Oops! It seems the accepted idea that nonfat and 1% lowfat helps lower inflammation is also incorrect.

The article explains why.

Skim milk is blue or bluish in color. So to make nonfat milk look less blue and more milk like, dried milk is added.

And, to make 1% milk taste richer and have a bit more protein, dried milk is added.

THAT does it! It seems that dried milk boosts inflammation a lot!

The article said this:

“Powdered skim (which is also added to organic low-fat milks) is produced by spraying the liquid under heat and high pressure, a process that oxidizes the cholesterol. In animal studies, oxidized cholesterol triggers a host of biological changes, leading to plaque formation in the arteries and heart disease, Spanish researchers reported in 1996.

"OCs are mutagenic and carcinogenic," they wrote.

In 1998, Australian researchers studied rabbits fed OC and found that the animals "had a 64% increase in total aortic cholesterol" despite having less cholesterol in their blood than rabbits fed natural sources of the substance. (A 2008 Chinese study with hamsters confirmed these findings.)”

So, it looks like to protect your heart and avoid excess fat, the common wisdom is very likely wrong.

Drinking nonfat and 1% lowfat milk is not a good idea. If you drink milk, drink less perhaps; but drink 2% lowfat or whole milk.

It may be wise to do things like drink less milk and eat more nonfat cottage cheese. It may be wise to use more extra virgin olive oil than butter. And it may be wise to get full fat cheese and butter from cows fed only grass.

But if you drink milk, 2% and whole milk looks to be less fattening and safer for your heart.

But the last piece of research also supports something I’d heard.

Do NOT fry in butter or use extended cooking times with it. Only cook at very low temperatures for short cooking times or use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. High temperatures and extended cooking times tend to produce the oxidized cholesterol that causes heart disease.

Cold butter or gently melted butter from grass fed cows however when eaten in moderation may have gotten a bad rap.

Overcooked butter causes heart disease. But butter itself apparently does not.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Today's Post: Monday, 5-23-2011

Since last month, I gained a pound. And, this month I did gain a half inch on my waist.

Since I reached my goal weight in December—5 months ago, I’ve gained 4 pounds and a about a full inch on my waist.

So, I need to lose 4 pounds total for starters now.

Also, according to pictures I’ve seen, I’m now at about 20 % bodyfat. To remove my abdominal fat, according to those same pictures, I also need to add enough muscle to stay at or just slightly below my goal weight AND lose about 10% of my current bodyweight as fat.

Roughly, I need to lose 20 pounds of fat and gain 16 pounds of muscle to be at 8 to 10% fat and lose the inches off my waist.

My drinks per week have gone up a bit since I was at my goal weight and I clearly have been eating far too much almond butter. So next month, I’ve a plan to try to fix each of those problems.

I have a new program to try to get my alcoholic drinks down again. Since, decaf coffee was found to cut aggressive prostate cancer, I’ll be trying a cup of decaf after dinner instead of added wine as an evening treat drink. If my reflux puts up with the decaf, that might work.

And, instead of eating more than one serving of almond butter many nights a week, I’ll try only one serving every other day. (That will move me from 20 servings a week or 40 in two weeks to 7 in two weeks

If those two ideas work, I may lose 2 pounds by next month.

I also read an analysis that suggests I may lose more fat if I switch from skim and 1% lowfat milk to 2% lowfat milk and nonfat cottage cheese. I will also try that this month. (I’ll post more about that tomorrow.) This is new information. But the article in which I found it, has some studies suggesting it may work.

The good news is that I’m almost recovered from my left arm injury and am close to adding some muscle and may have done so in the past month since I’ve been able to resume doing my kettlebell exercises. If my arm continues to be OK, by next month I’ll be back to about where I was before I injured it. I’ll know more in the next week or so.

(My arm doesn’t feel any pain despite not yet feeling normal but despite my beginning to do as much or more exercise and weight with it also. If that keeps up and the healing continues, I may be OK.)

Last week, I strained my back. So, far it’s been mild enough that I’ve been able to do my exercises. But, unlike recent strains that hardly lasted an hour, this one shows signs of taking up to 4 or 5 weeks to recover.

So between now and next month, I clearly will focus more on losing fat than adding muscle.

Wish me luck!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Prevent cataracts using new information....

Today's Post: Friday, 5-20-2011

A compound, isocyanic acid, in smoke causes cataracts. (It also helps cause heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.)

This was in the health news earlier this week.

1. Colorado researchers have discovered that an acidic gas found in cigarette smoke also is a component of smoke from wildfires.

They also found some in the air in Los Angeles.

But, when they tested tobacco smoke, it was off the scale on the high side!

(Burning coal also produces isocyanic acid the article noted but did not give any data for people downwind of coal fired power plants or similar information.)

“Once isocyanic acid enters the body, it dissolves to a more health disruptive form, charged cyanate molecules. It is these molecules that, extremely soluble at human blood pH level, can cause heart, joint, and eye diseases. ….These can contribute to human health problems, including cardiovascular disease, cataracts and arthritis.”

These molecules produce cross linking in the proteins they encounter and sharply increase inflammation. That damage in the lens of your eyes causes cataracts. And, it also helps damage and irritate the lining of your blood vessels. That damage makes the lining less flexible which helps cause high blood pressure. It also causes your body to try to patch over the damage which causes the build up of plaque which directly causes heart disease.

So, to prevent cataracts, do what you can to avoid being downwind from wildfires and from coal burning that is inadequately filtered.

That will help some.

But the big thing to do is:

Stay as close to completely away from tobacco smoke as you possibly can!

(We posted this last time:

Cancer is the LITTLE problem from tobacco smoke! -- because all exposure whether from smoking or second hand smoke adds to your level of cardiovascular disease. Plus tobacco smoke also triggers heart attacks that people might have otherwise escaped. And, every exposure damages you at least some every time! Ouch !! (Even first time smokers and very light smokers are harmed. No exceptions, unfortunately.)

That said, tobacco smoke exposure causes about 30% of ALL cancers.”)

So this information begins to add to what we know about how tobacco smoke causes blood vessel and heart disease.

But it also can help you to avoid getting cataracts. If you’d prefer to avoid them, stay as close to completely away from tobacco smoke as you possibly can!

(Both my Mom and Dad smoked for over 20 years; and they both had cataracts. They also lived in a location where they were exposed to a lot of second hand smoke during those years.)

Other news this week is that tobacco smoke also helps cause AMD which gradually causes blindness by the damage it causes to the retina in your eyes.

2. As I’ve posted before, except for a small percentage of people with a certain genetic pattern, statin drugs only prevent heart attacks for 1 to 3 % of the people who take them. (People who do test to be in that small genetic subgroup and who are at very high risk from other factors or who have already had a heart attack, are the people who statins best help.)

The people who do the lifestyle upgrades to protect their hearts and take niacin and sterol supplements get dramatically better protection. In fact, they get so much better protection, even younger people in the subgroup who statins can protect might be well served to avoid taking them if they get that protection.

Why does this information help you prevent cataracts?

It seems that research has found that about 3 % of the people who take statins get cataracts they would otherwise have avoided.

Since with the exception of a small minority of people, there are better ways to prevent heart attacks, this means that a second way to prevent cataracts is to not take statin drugs.

Few people and far too few doctors know this information.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Prevent aggressive prostate cancer....

Today's Post: Thursday, 5-19-2011

To do that, you need to do three things.

Do the things that prevent all cancers.

Do the things that prevent prostate cancer.

Do the things that prevent aggressive prostate cancer.

This post reviews some of the more effective ways to do the first two of these.

Then, for those of you who don’t know yet, we’ll review a way to cut aggressive prostate cancer in half that we’ve already posted on.

But what’s new is that there is a now a second way known to prevent aggressive prostate cancer. So, we’ll cover that last.

1. Do the things that prevent all cancers.

a) Stay as close to completely away from tobacco smoke as you possibly can!

Cancer is the LITTLE problem from tobacco smoke! -- because all exposure whether from smoking or second hand smoke adds to your level of cardiovascular disease. Plus tobacco smoke also triggers heart attacks that people might have otherwise escaped. And, every exposure damages you at least some every time! Ouch !! (Even first time smokers and very light smokers are harmed. No exceptions, unfortunately.)

That said, tobacco smoke exposure causes about 30% of ALL cancers. So, if you’d rather not get prostate cancer, always avoid tobacco smoke!

(There is also some evidence because of its effect on causing aggressive breast cancer in women at above average risk for it, that tobacco smoke might cause aggressive prostate cancer too.)

b) Few people today work as lifeguards in sunny weather every week. But our bodies will use at least 3,000 iu a day or more of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is necessary to arm your immune system’s killer cells. And, most people with functioning immune systems kill off potential cancers before they grow into actual cancer.

To make sure this works for you, we now know you need to take 4,000 iu to 8,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. (More than 25,000 iu a day on a sustained basis may be too much; and Wikipedia says 100,000 a day definitely is. But your body can make over 20,000 iu a day in sunny weather, so taking 10,000 iu a day or a bit less of vitamin D3 is safe.)

People who do this are less likely to get most cancers.

c) Eat an abundance of protective foods such as minced raw garlic and both cooked and raw onions; many kinds of orange or dark green vegetables for a mixed carotene intake; and many kinds of cruciferous vegetables. Eating each of these three kinds tends to cut your chances of getting cancers.

(Except for also eating cooked tomatoes, which we cover later, eating these foods raw tends to prevent cancer better.)

Also, when you can, eat the orange and dark green vegetables with nuts or extra virgin olive oil as your body gets more access to the carotenes in them.

(As a side benefit, you will be less fat and less likely to die from ANY cause by doing this! That’s a great extra!)

d) Do the 3 things that prevent chronic inflammation. The average person today eats more than 10 times as much omega 6 oil as omega 3. But your body is harmed by doing this. The amounts of those should be about equal. When the omega 6 is so high, it directly causes high levels of chronic inflammation.

But high levels of chronic inflammation increase your level of aches and pains, directly cause heart disease, and also help cause cancer.

So, avoid virtually all the junky foods people eat that give them the excessive omega 6 oils. Avoid, corn oil, soy oil, safflower oil, and to the extent you can, canola oil. Extra virgin olive oil is neutral as it is an omega 9 plus it has multiple other health benefits. So almost always use that instead. Refined grains are also high in omega 6 and tend to make you fat. So virtually eliminate eating foods made from them.

Unfortunately, meat from grain fed animals produces meat with very high levels of omega 6 in its fat. So eat meat less. Eat most of it from animals fed only grass. And, when you do eat meat from grain fed animals, make it as lean and fat trimmed as you can.

Also boost the levels of omega 3 oils you take in. Eating wild caught fish with high levels works. Sardines, herring, small mackerel, and salmon that have been wild caught all work. And/or take omega 3 or DHA supplements from purified fish oil.

This step also has extra health benefits as it also helps prevent heart disease.

And, a way to reduce chronic inflammation even more and to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease in addition to cancer is to eat curried foods that contain turmeric a few times each week and take curcumin supplements derived from turmeric each day.

In Anticancer, A New Way of Life, New Edition by Dr David Servan-Schreiber he says that eating curried foods or taking curcumin supplements may cut inflammation and prevent cancer as much as 200 times better by combining them with some black pepper.

2. Do the things that prevent prostate cancer.

I’ve read that taking a bit of extra zinc each day helps do this. But avoid taking more than 45 mg a day of it and unless you are unable to do so take at least 2 or 3 mg a day of copper to balance it.

Dr Al Sears says that taking boron cuts your risk of prostate cancer in half. The boron supplement I take and started since it also enhances alertness has 3 mg a day. So it was very good to hear it also helps prevent prostate cancer.

Taking 30 mg a day of lycopene as a supplement was once in Time magazine as cutting the risk of prostate cancer and lowering PSA levels.

Eating cooked tomato sauce with extra virgin olive oil several times a week has a similar track record of preventing prostate cancer. And it may work better than the supplement because of other carotenes in the tomatoes. Plus this goes well with minced raw garlic which also helps prevent cancer.

3. Do the things that prevent aggressive prostate cancer.

We just posted this today in this post.: (There is also some evidence because of its effect on causing aggressive breast cancer in women at above average risk for it, that tobacco smoke might cause aggressive prostate cancer too.)

But a way that cuts the risk of aggressive prostate cancer in half is also known!

The research has not yet been done to show that eating these two vegetables more often increases the effect. But men who eat either raw broccoli florets or raw cauliflower at least once each week, cut their risk of getting aggressive prostate cancers in half! That’s very good to know. And, for those who dislike broccoli or overtaste its bitter flavors, it’s great news that cauliflower also works!

(Since I read this one, I’ve eaten raw broccoli florets each weekday for lunch!)

Here’s what’s new. Drinking coffee, drinking decaf coffee, or taking a coffee bean supplement also cuts your risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Since decaf works, it’s apparently the antioxidants or other phytonutrients in coffee that do the job—not the caffeine.

NPR online news and others reported earlier this week on a study done at Harvard

This study found a 60 percent reduction in risk of aggressive prostate cancer in people who drink six cups a day or more. And, men who drank one to three cups a day had a 30 percent lower chance of getting aggressive prostate cancer also.

A woman quote in the NPR story said, "Whether they drank regular coffee or only decaffeinated coffee, there was the same lower risk of lethal prostate cancer," she says. "It's really the coffee; it's not the caffeine."

(I was very pleased to read that because my reflux acts up if I drink regular coffee every day.)

They also found that it didn't take 20 years to get this effect, the research found what was important was how much coffee the men drank in the previous eight years.

The Harvard researcher also said the this coffee effect persisted even after the researchers allowed for the effect of exercise, obesity, smoking & other factors that either raise or lower the risk of prostate cancer.

What happens if you take all three of these steps?

You’ll be likely not to get any kind of cancer and will also likely not get aggressive prostate cancer.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Important news on exercise....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 5-17-2011

There are two key reasons to exercise.

Done even close to right and often enough, exercise is so good for your health it’s like good magic!

People who exercise even close to right and often enough who want to lose fat, lose it more easily. They lose more fat. And, if they keep eating right and exercising they keep it all off.

So, what’s new?

1. Exercise is only effective at delivering these benefits if you do it. And, I just got some new information on how to make doing exercise dramatically more likely.

2. That same method increases the effectiveness of the exercise you do in helping you lose fat and keep it off.

3. This same method delivers a badly needed extra benefit very soon after you use it.

I found this information in Healthy Living, Tuesday, May 17, 2011 on Yahoo today. The article was titled: “Why Morning Exercise is Best” is by ThirdAge.com .

1. I’ve already posted that people who schedule their exercise first thing in the morning are far more likely to do it and keep doing it.

I once read that people who exercise in the morning are twice as likely to keep doing exercise as people who exercise later in the day.

The reason is simple. As each day unfolds, you have expected AND unexpected demands on you and your time. Sometimes you even get extra tired

When you exercise before all that happens, you have control; and it’s MUCH easier to do reliably and keep doing it.

I’ve experienced this myself.

My track record for exercising every morning is very close to 100%. It’s very unusual for me to have to leave too early to exercise. And, I very rarely get sick enough to not do at least a light and shorter session.

I also have a new and extra session on Monday and Wednesday evenings for just a few minutes. I’ve found I do those exercise sessions most of the time. But as much as a quarter of the time, I’m too tired or I get home too late or there is a special occasion that prevents it. If I was a new exerciser, I can readily see how I might get out of the habit if that was the only exercise I did.

But here’s the blockbuster news.: I may have underestimated the effect doing morning exercise has on doing it and continuing to exercise.

The article had this quote:

“In fact, more than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine.”

So, if you want to go to the gym or an exercise class at lunch time or in the evening, by all means do so. That does work very well for some people.

But have some kind of short and complementary exercise session you do in the morning at home too. That gives you an anchor into staying fit and benefitted and doing exercise. Then, if you can’t do the exercise later some days, you won’t lose as much momentum until you can get back. And if you move or the gym closes or something else happens to that part of your exercise, you’re still OK. You still are exercising and getting the benefits almost every day.

(I’ve found it also helps to have several kinds of exercise you can do at home to make your morning exercise time efficient. There’s no added travel time. That also helps make it doable every day.)

2. The other major news is that morning exercise may be MORE effective at helping you lose excess fat!

Exercise often helps you lose fat not just from the calories you burn while you exercise but from the extra calories you burn after you stop

The article had this quote suggesting that morning exercise does this best.:

“Some exercise experts say that when you exercise in the morning you jump-start your metabolism….and….you burn more calories throughout the day….”

(If you do interval cardio and strength training when you exercise you also multiply this effect. Those exercises tend to produce more metabolism boost for several hours after you stop than less vigorous exercise. And, they tend to add to your muscle mass. Even a few new pounds of muscle burns more calories 24 hours a day than you were burning before.)

If exercising in the morning does add to these effects, that’s a powerful added reason to do it.

3. There’s a third reason to exercise that is important for most of us.

You are mentally sharper all day at work if you exercise in the morning.

The article had this quote: “Your brain power gets pumped up. Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental sharpness.”

So, if you exercise in the morning, you have this effect almost all day long. And you start your day having this effect already in place.

They didn’t add; but exercise also helps you deal better with stress and have stress be less hard on you.

That can really help some days at work! Exercising in the morning gives you that effect before your day starts.

(It also helps that exercise helps you stay mentally sharp when other people don’t as years pass. Exercise grows new brain cells and literally prevents your brain from shrinking. It keeps your brain working by boosting your circulation when you exercise. And exercise helps keep your blood circulation from being blocked off by plaque too.)

The article ends with this:

“You’ll sleep better. Even though you may have to wake up earlier to fit in thirty minutes of routine exercise you’ll sleep better that night, since exercise has been shown to help improve slumber. Plus, you’re regulating your body clock by awakening the same time each morning.”

This also works if you only exercise 10 or 15 minutes on some mornings. For example, I have one day where I only do 6 minutes of abdominal exercises. And, the two days I schedule to do 30 minutes, I have two parts of 15 minutes each. Then, on those two days, if I get behind, I only do the first 15 minute part.

That flexibility plus my at home workout in the morning makes exercising virtually 100 % reliable every day.

So, it was nice to know I’ve been getting all these extra benefits!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Added way to prevent or reduce joint pain....

Today's Post: Monday, 5-16-2011

One of the feature stories on Yahoo a few days ago was adopted from a Prevention article.

If your joints become damaged and your body fails to repair them, that tends to cause inflammation and pain. You can improve joint pain by reducing the inflammation. But preventing the damage or repairing it too would definitely help!

The Yahoo article from Prevention said that an adequate supply of the two minerals, manganese and copper, helps your body prevent joint pain by reversing or preventing joint damage or deterioration.

They report that a doctor, ” Dale Peterson, MD” says this about supplementing these 2 minerals at the same time, ““in most cases, supplementing these nutrients reverses the joint deterioration and eliminates the pain,” & ““The body can actually repair a significant amount of damage if it’s given the proper support.””

Some foods are high in these two minerals; and you can take supplements that contain them.

Dr. Peterson suggests taking 2 mg of copper and 5 mg of manganese a day. And says that “within 2 to 3 months, your joints should feel less painful.”

WholeHealthMD says that copper does help your body create collagen, "a core protein found in bones, connective tissues, and skin." (That could be why adequate copper tends to prevent aneurysms in your blood vessels.)

But there are two key things to know about supplementing with copper.

First, if you take zinc as a supplement which many do, it slightly increases your need for copper. Since I take zinc, I take a multi with one mg a day and a separate 2 mg a day copper supplement and I eat some nuts almost every day which are moderately high in copper.

Second, there a some people who do not process copper properly, so if you are in that group, you may not be able to take copper. (Wilson's disease is a genetic disorder which causes copper to accumulate in tissues; and this is particularly bad for your liver. From that description, it sounds like you’d know if you have it. If you do, taking copper or eating copper rich foods is not a good idea!)

Manganese has two functions that can help with joint damage prevention and repair. I found a reference online that said that indeed, manganese “aids in the formation of connective tissue & bones.” And, it helps form, SOD, one of the body’s strongest antioxidants, to prevent damage from oxidation.

But here again, some manganese is very important but excessive manganese can cause nerve and brain problems. The 5 mg a day of manganese this doctor recommends plus another 5 mg a day or so from food is likely OK. But 10 mg a day of manganese plus food or more may begin not to be.

I take a 10 mg manganese supplement BUT only on Monday, Weds, and Friday so I only average 4.29 mg a day plus 1 mg a day in my multi means I take an average of 5.29 mg a day once I learned that 11 mg a day might be a bit too much.

Almonds, walnuts, and pecans are good sources of all minerals including copper and manganese; and oatmeal turns out to be a decent source of manganese.

Nuts also are a good sources of the full vitamin E complex -- both tocopherols and tocotrienols. Those also are good antioxidants.

They also have a good supply of monosaturated oils. So your joints get some health OK lubrication from eating nuts.

(If you are allergic to nuts, there are other ways to get minerals and extra virgin olive oil also has monosaturated oil.)

This seems to work for me since I’ve been taking these two minerals for several years and found that on the RealAge website, I have far less joint pain than average for people my age.

It certainly sounds to be worth trying if you have joint pain!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Sitting less helps fat loss and protects your health....

Today's Post: Friday, 5-13-2011

Earlier this week my son in law posted this on Facebook,


I found it a bit hard to read due to its graphics heavy style and the information in it a bit scary.

But here are some of the key facts from it. I’ll add my comments after that.

Sitting down more than 6 hours a day makes life threatening illness more likely than it is for people who sit 3 hours or less. The people who sit more have a 40% higher risk of death from all causes.

Yet between work and TV the average person today sits for 9.3 hours a day.

When you sit, you send virtually no messages to your legs using your nerves and you give them little circulation.

Sitting tends to make you fat. For example, obese people sit 2.5 hours a day more than thin people. When you sit, you only burn 60 calories an hour. And, when you sit, fat breakdown enzymes drop by 90%.

Also, people who exercise and watch over 3 hours a day of TV are usually are usually as fat as people who watch that much TV and don’t exercise.

My comments:

1. One of the most controllable factors in this is TV watching. First, watching TV while sitting burns less calories than sleeping per hour!

Second, people who eat while watching TV tend to keep eating even if they stop being hungry because their attention is on the TV.

And, worst of all, most of the food items and the soft drinks advertised on TV are the very things people who are trying to lose fat or stay healthy should close to totally avoid.

So with TV watching, it’s more than just the time sitting. But the time sitting is important too. Since people often have to sit at work or sit at school for younger people, time spent at home sitting and watching TV is extra. So, it will definitely pay to watch it less than 2 hours a day!

Also, if you mute the ads for food and drink and you exercise while watching during the lighter programs you do want to watch, you can make the TV watching you do much less harmful.

In fact, one way to find time to do take walks or workout at home or go to the gym is to do that some evenings instead of TV watching at all. (Many people who have trouble finding time to exercise watch enough TV they actually don’t value that they can skip such TV shows and have the time to exercise!)

There are many ways to watch less TV.

List the programs you watch now and list those you like most and those you watch just for something to do or they are between two shows you want to watch. List the ones that there is a reason to watch when it comes on and those that you could watch later that day or on a different day. Then watch those you like most and stop watching the others. And for those you record, fast forward through the commercials for fattening stuff or ads that aren’t of interest to you.

Unless it’s breaking news that’s important or about local threats like floods, get your news from online sources, radio while you commute to work, and newspapers. That’s faster to get the information from since you can often read 3 or 4 stories in the time one would run on TV. You get more of the news you do want that way and less of the news you don’t want. Best of all, you no longer lose sleep from staying up for the late night news!

By doing these things, you can cut down to watching TV less than 15 hours a week or even less than 10. That means you’ll sit less and have more time for the rest of your life. And, you can use an elliptical trainer or a sit down bike while watching some of the TV you do watch to make that TV watching time safe for your health and waistline!

2. Sitting at work is harder. But there are some ways to cut back on it.

I drink tea I get up and fix several times a day which also has me visiting the bathroom several times a day.

I once tried a kind of general idea to take more breaks from sitting besides that and found that nothing happened.

But, recently I decided on a kind of exercise to do for about 25 or 30 seconds five times each week day at the same time I finish my tea. I use finishing my cup of tea to anchor when to do these exercises. And I keep a log book and make a mark in each time I do one of these brief sets. Now, except for the wildest and most challenging days, I do the exercise sessions all five times each day.

3. For sit down work in the future, I think there will be more and more products to allow you to work at your desk -- while under it you can move your legs as you work. Something like a partial, low key and very smooth mini sitting bike exerciser.

Desks where you walk at your desk have been tried but I think may be a bit too hard to use and expensive for wide use.

But an well designed and far less expensive pedaling device would work well.

So, I think we’ll begin to see more and more of those.

4. Getting regular exercise every week has been shown effective even if you sit too much at other times.

So, even if most of your sitting is while working, you can be less fat and cut your health and death risks by exercising.

Fat people who exercise are often healthier than sedentary thin people for example.

So that is also a partial solution that has been proven effective.

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New breakthrough in fat loss and heart protection....

Today's Post: Thursday, 5-12-2011

Last Sunday, Dr Al Sears sent out an email with some very valuable information.

In fat loss, if your hunger fails to shut off when you are actually full and fed or your body fails to burn fat when you need to access the calories in it, it will be dramatically harder to get rid of the excess fat.

But when you get too fat, the messenger, leptin, which your body uses to do this stops working. Or it stops working well.

Meanwhile, if you eat too much omega 6 oils and too little omega 3 oils and get no exercise, your level of chronic inflammation as measured by the HSCRP (High Sensitivity C Reactive Protein) test.

We already know high levels of C Reactive Protein and high chronic inflammation cause heart disease and help cause many cancers and may also help cause Alzheimer’s disease.

That’s why in our last post, last Tuesday, 5-10, about heart disease risk and reducing it has many details on how to eat less omega 6 and get more omega 3 oils.

We also know that eating ginger and curries with turmeric as spices &/or taking curcumin supplements derived from turmeric lowers inflammation.

Here’s the breakthrough news on fat loss.

Here’s the key quote from Dr Al Sears, “Leptin normally binds to “leptin receptors.” But more fat cells increase inflammation. That makes the liver produce a protein called CRP. And CRP binds to leptin, stops it from reaching its receptors, and blocks its signals.”

He also said, “That is called leptin resistance. And it’s one reason why you may feel hungry all the time, and may not melt fat naturally.”

That’s extremely important to know. And, here’s why it is and is such important news.

1. When you carry too much excess fat, your CRP levels go up and you are more likely to get the diseases caused by the inflammation associated with it.

That’s one of the many reasons why losing your excess fat will help you prevent heart disease.

2. But the more important and useful information is that if you do the other things that lower CRP, your leptin will begin to work properly.

And, when that happens, you will feel full and less hungry when you should and you will burn your fat stores more easily.

That means that using all the other methods that lower inflammation besides losing fat will make it MUCH easier to lose your extra fat.

That’s new. I’d never heard of that before. It gives you an extra way to lose excess fat and make it easier to do and have it stay off!

Dr Sears also adds that the herb Irvingia that has had some press as helping people lose fat or not gain it was found to lower CRP inflammation by 52%.

If that statistic is accurate, it may mean that for people who have high CRP now, taking Irvingia might be well worth doing.

Doing so would sharply increase your heart attack protection for one thing.

But it also means that for the people who have high CRP now, taking Irvingia would also boost their fat loss results.

They would stop being as hungry when they are already full and doing strength training or interval cardio would be more effective at getting rid of their fat.

Dr Sears says he recommends people take 150 mg a day of Irvingia for these two reasons.

This has not yet been well verified that I know of.

BUT, since you can get your HSCRP tested, by getting it tested and then getting retested after taking Irvingia for 2 or 3 months, you might find it does work – in you.

So, for heart attack prevention it may well be worth trying.

And, if you have been eating in a way that boosts inflammation and not exercising, taking Irvingia may also make your fat loss progress faster.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why most people need to protect themselves against heart attacks....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 5-10-2011

Not that many people make a special effort to protect themselves against heart attacks.

Yet most of them are at risk. And some are a very high risk and still don’t know it.

So, what questions do you need to ask or find answers for to know if you are at risk or not?

Here are just some of the key questions to ask. As you can see, some of them can help you cut your risk by just knowing to ask them and acting on the information.

1. Family history is a key area to look at. If your mom or dad or your grandparents or other people you are descended from or closely had or have heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or diabetes or high blood pressure, watch out!

Either you may have heredity that predisposes you to heart disease too. Or you may have eaten as they did while you were growing up and have the early stages of heart disease because you did. Or you may still eat as they did and get the same kinds of results.

So, if you have such a family history, you should make a special effort to find out how to protect yourself and your heart.

2. Tobacco smoke’s worst health problem is that it both produces heart disease and triggers heart attacks. Virtually everyone who is exposed to it has heart and blood vessel harm from their exposure.

Were you exposed to second hand smoke at home when you were growing up? Have you been exposed to second hand smoke at work or when you go out for food or drinks?

Are you exposed to second hand smoke any of these ways now?

Are you a former smoker? Or do you still smoke?

If you answer any of these questions yes, you should make a special effort to find out how to protect yourself and your heart.

And, even if you answered no, completely avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke is an essential way to protect yourself against heart disease and heart attacks.

3. Are you so sedentary you virtually never exercise? If so, you are at high or very high risk of heart disease

Even a few short walks each week gives you 40% of the health benefits of an ideal program. Even a few 10 to 20 minute sessions each week of vigorous exercise you’ve built up to protect you from heart disease.

If you do such exercises at a minimum each week, you are less likely to get high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes which multiply your heart disease and heart attack risks.

Your triglycerides will go down and your HDL will go up because your blood will have less of the small particle LDL that causes heart disease. Even better, recent research found that the longer you have gotten such exercise, the better your protection is!

Your blood vessels will be more flexible and responsive and you’ll be less likely to have or be hurt by high blood pressure.

And, your blood circulation will be better and your breathing will be better and more effective.

The bad news is that if you fail to do such exercises, each of these areas are more likely to be in the high risk category.

So, if you aren’t doing any exercise now, you should make a special effort to find out how to protect yourself and your heart.

4. Do you eat packaged snacks and commercial desserts often? Do you always read labels on food? Do you eat foods at home made with shortening? If you do eat such foods and never look at the labels, the chances are excellent you are eating trans fats and other hydrogenated fats or oils.

Unfortunately, that stuff is heart attack starter. The safe amount to eat is absolutely none at all, zero. Research found that ingesting these hydrogenated oils causes your blood to have more of the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

So, if you have been eating these things, STOP. Read labels every time. If it lists any trans fat content or any ingredient that is a hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated oil, do not allow yourself to eat it.

And, if you have been eating this stuff, you should make a special effort to find out how to protect yourself and your heart. Your blood vessels are likely damaged from what you’ve already eaten.

5. Do you eat a lot of sweets or drink soft drinks? Do you eat a lot of foods made from refined grains?

It’s been shown that eating these things or drinking them more than a couple of times a week lowers your HDL and increases your triglycerides. But, we now know that means that doing this causes your blood to have more of the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.

The average person today consumes over 7 Tablespoons a day of sugar or other sweeteners. This research shows that these “average” people are all at high risk for heart disease.

So if you are, to avoid heart disease and heart attacks, you need to eat vegetables, whole fruit, and some whole grains and virtually never eat foods made with refined grains. And, you need to eat sweet treats far less frequently and drink no soft drinks.

So, if you’ve eating and drinking as the average person has, you should make a special effort to find out how to protect yourself and your heart.

6. People evolved to eat a balance of omega 6 oils from grains and omega 3 oils from fish and some naturally fed animals.

Then use of oils high in omega 6 in foods such as corn oil, soy oil, and safflower and canola dramatically increased. People ate more refined grain foods with more omega 6. And the animals we eat for food began to be stuffed with grain including a lot of corn and soy instead of grass and what they naturally eat. So our meat and poultry began to be high in omega 6 too.

And most people began to eat less omega 3 foods.

But eating 12 to 20 times as much omega 6, the now common result, produces high and chronic inflammation. But such inflammation is a direct cause of blood vessel and heart disease.


So, if you have been eating like that, to protect your heart you need to eliminate as much of these foods as you can.

Walnuts are the best and safest source of plant based omega 3. Sardines and wild caught salmon and other wild caught fish are the best direct source of animal based omega 3 oils. You can also take DHA and omega 3 supplements made from purified fish oil. Making sure to include those each week or daily will give you enough omega 3 oils.

Avoiding too much omega 6 is a good bit harder. But it is doable.

a) Extra virgin olive oil comes both in mild flavors and in olive tasting versions. Since it is neutral, its monosaturated oil is an omega 9, and it has very little omega 6 or saturated fat, it does NOT boost inflammation. Eating olive oil also lowers LDL but does so without doing that to the protective HDL.

Substitute it for corn oil, soy oil, etc. Because of these superfood characteristics, people who use olive oil have long been known to be in better health than other people.

b) Eat virtually no refined grain foods and avoid eating a large amount of even whole grain foods. Eat vegetables, and beans and lentils more instead.

c) Eat only the lowest fat versions of meat, poultry, or dairy foods as much as you can if the animals they are from were grain fed. This does protect your heart. But we now know that it does so more from protecting you from the excess omega 6 oils in such fat than it does from protecting you from the saturated fat!

d) Or, you can eat such foods from cattle fed only grass or poultry only pasture fed in areas not polluted in some way.

e) You can also eat less of such foods overall and eat more beans and lentils and nuts and wild caught fish for protein.

f) You can use anti-inflammatory spices like ginger or turmeric to further lower your inflammation. (And, you can also take curcumin supplements which they get from turmeric.)

If you have been eating the high omega 6 way, you will protect your heart to switch to the low omega 6 way of eating and you should make a special effort to find out how to protect yourself and your heart.

In this post, you already have seen some of the key ways to protect your heart. If you got any down checks on this list, to protect yourself you need to use all the information and learn to do more.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Why socializing keeps your mind sharp....

Today's Post: Monday, 5-9-2011

Last Weds, 5-4-2011, HealthDay News reported research showing that socializing prevented mental decline in several different mental abilities.

Research at Rush University Medical Center found older people who had the most social activity -- from visiting friends, going to parties, to attending church – tested as having much less cognitive decline than the people who were least socially active.

None of the 1,138 adults in the ongoing Rush Memory and Aging Project had any signs of cognitive impairment at the start of the study.

As time passed, the researchers tested them all for memory, perceptual speed (the ability to quickly and accurately compare things), and spatial reasoning.

After about five years, the most socially active people tested as having only about a quarter the rate of cognitive decline as the people with the least social activity. The effect was independent of other factors that are known to affect cognitive decline, such as age, physical activity and general health.

“The study was published online April 8 in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.”

This study is one among many with similar results.

But why is this so? And, how can you do the same?

The main reason likely is that despite its usual feeling of being easy to do, socializing is dramatically intense brain exercise. Peter Drucker once wrote that he often found executives were unaware of their greatest strengths. Those strengths were SO easy for them, it never occurred to them those things were hard for other people to do!

Researchers recently discovered that talking to other people while socializing actually showed massive levels of brain activity! It seems this is exactly an example of what Peter Drucker was talking about. We practice socializing from before we can remember almost. So, we become unaware of this brain activity supporting it. Since it feels so easy, we are unaware of the activity our brains actually generate to do it!

Socializing is a cognitive activity with novel or slightly unexpected inputs. And, it’s active. You not only have to take in information, you have to generate an appropriate response.

In addition, to that, people who socialize often are less stressed, less lonely, and often get better real support when they need it.

Excessive stress tends to lower brain function and has even been shown to cause physical harm to memory centers.

The other cause is that people who socialize often have other advantages that likely help prevent mental decline.

They are more proactive. They tend to spend more time dwelling on happy memories than bad ones. They enjoy their lives more. They are more likely to forgive people when things go wrong. And they are less likely to assume that someone who does something they dislike is and always be like that.

So they have more to look forward to and do more. They are more interested in life. So they often learn more and are more mentally engaged even when they are not socializing.

So, they use their brains more and use them better. No wonder their brains are more likely to keep working well.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

The many reasons exercise is essential for fat loss....

Today's Post: Friday, 5-6-2011

Why would people think it wasn’t!?

A. Actually, there are three good reasons why some people believe exercise isn’t essential.

The conclusion is incorrect.

But here are the three reasons it can look that way.

1. Eating fattening foods is a bigger force for most people than burning calories from exercise.

So, if they exercise and still eat junky foods with a lot of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and refined grains and drink soft drinks, exercise looks ineffective. That’s because that stuff is so fattening, it overpowers the effect of exercise.

2. People who don’t do enough of the right kind of exercise don’t lose as much fat, so they may not notice the fat loss.

Exercises that build muscle or cause you to burn calories for hours after you exercise in addition to what you use while you exercise are far more effective for fat loss.

So, even if you do a good bit of exercise, if you only do moderate exercise, you often get much less effect on your fat loss.

The good news is that the kind of vigorous exercise that builds muscle or causes you to burn calories for hours after you exercise actually can take LESS time to do each week than doing a lot of moderate exercise. So it actually burns MORE calories in less time.

It also is more effective at lowering high blood sugar and keeping your insulin effective. And, it also lowers your average insulin level so your body deposits fewer of the calories you eat into fat storage.

What kind of exercise does this? It’s either fast enough to cause you to concentrate and make a strong mental effort or you make a very strong effort even if you move slowly.

Interval cardio such as these examples is one way to do this:

Several sets of fast jump rope or running four 220 yard or 200 meter sprints or even doing a mile walk and alternating race walking with brisk walking several times during the mile all work. Doing four kinds of abdominal exercises as fast as you can with a very brief rest in between the four parts also works.

Strength training can also be interval cardio of it’s done fast. But medium speed or even slow motion strength training works when you have to exert enough force each time.

Take one simple example I use. I do pushups with my upper body exercises 3 alternating days each week.

On my first set, I only go most of the way down but NOT all the way down and make a very strong effort to do them fast until they get hard and then I go all the way down for the last 5 to 7 times. I do them until I just barely can do the last one.

After I skip a day, I do my pushups briskly but touch my face to the mat to be sure I go all the way down each time. I do them until I just barely can do the last one.

Lastly, after I skip another day, I do my pushups in slightly slow motion so I not only go down and touch my chin each time, I take at least a full second for each pushup. I do them until I just barely can do the last one. (The armed forces are beginning to experiment with using this last kind as a fitness test.)

But on each of these three days, I exert a lot of effort and fast or slow they all have these extra calorie burning effects.

Strength training also builds more muscle. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, you burn more calories even when you are resting once that happens!

3. The flip side of the fact that food can input so many more calories than most people burn up with exercise is that few people have time enough to do enough exercise to use moderate exercise alone to lose fat.

In World War II General George Patton won several battles and lost fewer men by having them arrive earlier than expected by having them march 50 or 60 miles a day for several days.

The Amish who farm as people did before 1900 also burn something like 10,000 calories a day.

Such people do NOT often stay or get fat!

But people who work or have families or other interests just don’t have that much time. Exercising ten or twenty minutes or a bit more a few times a week is often doable. Eight to twelve hours a day for exercise alone usually is not!

And, there are two other kinds of reasons why exercise is essential for fat loss.

B. People who get too hungry give up on their fat loss efforts. The only fat loss success is when you lose the fat and keep it off. But giving up prevents that!

When you do the right kind of exercise and eat the right things, the calories you burn allow you to eat more food. That makes it far easier to keep up your fat loss efforts because the more food makes you less hungry.

C. But the possibly most important reason to exercise is motivational.

WHY do people want to lose weight or lose fat?!

1. They want to stay or get into better health.

Eating the right things, slamming the door on fattening things at least 95% of the time, and making your body lighter and easier to move all make massive improvements in your health.

But regular exercise is perhaps even MORE effective at helping you stay or get into better health. Even better, research shows that you begin to get significant health benefits from exercise even well before you lose a lot of your fat.

Since better health is a long lasting and important motivation for fat loss and eating right. This is a very large benefit.

The tests your doctor does for your heart health will already begin to improve which can also help your motivation.

2. People want to feel better about themselves and look better to other people.

Exercise, particularly the kind that works best to lose fat, begins to make people feel more able and happier with themselves within just a couple of weeks of starting.

Shortly after that, people begin to move better and with more control. So they look happier and healthier and begin to look better to other people.

That’s also critical to fat loss. Because that feeling better enables people to work harder and more consistently at eating right.

3. Lastly, many people want to improve their sex live by losing fat.

It’s not as widely known as it should be, but regular exercise improves the sex lives of BOTH men and women.

Your body releases more testosterone, other growth hormones, and neurotransmitters.

Your circulation is far better too.

So you feel better, you feel sexier, you feel all of your body better, and the sexual parts of your body get better blood flow.

So when you do regular exercise, when you have sex, it works better.


In short, if you exercise and do the right kinds, you lose more fat; you are far more likely to keep it off; & you get less hungry from your fat loss.

You also will feel better, look better, be dramatically healthier; and have a better sex life!

I read that as an essential thing to do for fat loss!

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

New kind of medicine....

Today's Post: Thursday, 5-5-2011

What doctors have done and still do is to diagnose problems and recommend treatments.

Often these short term and immediate problems are easy to diagnose and the treatments are effective. And, the treatments are either are only hard to live with a short time or have few side effects at all.

I. Why do we need to upgrade this model?

A. For some of the most important and avoidable health problems, one of three things are often the case.

1. The most important and effective way to remove the threat from your health is to upgrade key parts of your lifestyle. This can also prevent worse problems in the future. And, if other treatments are used, doing this step is essential for getting good results for many of our worst health problems.

Such preventable problems are beginning to cost so much it’s taking money out of people’s pockets and slowing our economy.

So the American Heart Association has a new program to ask doctors to work with their patients to do more of such lifestyle upgrades that prevent diseases and do so starting at an earlier age. More and more researchers, policy makers, and public health people are joining in.

2. Very often traditional treatments other than such lifestyle upgrades are only partly effective. That’s one of the reasons the lifestyle upgrades are essential.

3. Some of the treatments other than lifestyle upgrades are harmful and cause other health problems or ruin your quality of life.

Our last post was about how this is true of many of the drugs people are prescribed for lowering high blood pressure. And recently it was in the news that some of the drugs to lower high blood sugar increased heart attack risks.

Statin drugs tend to deplete energy from people and help cause or contribute to heart failure in many cases. Our next point relates to this specifically.

B. In many cases, Dr Mark Hyman has found, what doctors tend to diagnose as a single disease is often caused by a set of specific malfunctions that differ from person to person.

He found that if you know how to get a reading on these specific malfunctions for an individual patient and how to treat them effectively with drugs or lifestyle upgrades, you can often cure people who other doctors do not.

An example that we recently posted about is where a genetic test costing less than $150 can tell you and your doctor whether you are in the minority of people who are actually helped by statin drugs. Everyone else is far better helped by treatments that center around niacin -- research has found.

This kind of systems analysis could be called Integrated Medicine as Dr Hyman does. Intelligently individualized medicine would also fit.

Integrated Medicine, however, also suggests that lifestyle upgrades and other non-medical treatments for specific malfunctions that work better be included in the treatment in addition to traditional treatment where it works best.

II. So, what do we go to as a new general model for medicine.

A. This analysis suggests that medical groups include prevention specialists in addition to the doctors.

And, doctors need to be far better educated as to why this is needed, why it can work well, and why it leads to better results.

In addition, since doctors are often the initial point of contact or the director of the effort, they need to know what key questions to ask and refer their patients to these prevention specialists.

Some doctors are skilled at selling patients on making lifestyle upgrades but, today, most are not. And, even those doctors who have the skill haven’t the time or expertise to help patients enough to do the job.

That’s why prevention specialists or trainers or coaches are needed.

B. Personal doctors who get to know patients and are often the first to see them, need to learn the new integrated and individualized medicine.

They need to be skilled at using the key tests to find how to help patients.

The doctor who has unusually high skill at using these tests and diagnosing problems that happen less frequently may need to be a member of the team with each patient’s primary or personal doctor.

Some primary doctors may have both skill sets. But the main job of primary doctors is to ask good questions, relate well to patients, get to know them and their strengths and weaknesses and needs. They also need to be able to solve the most common and easily fixed medical problems.

Lastly, they need to be the doctor who makes sure the team is coordinated. These skills in relating to people and managing their care are not quite the same as those needed to analyze and test for specific problems.

So, both kinds of doctors are needed. My hope is that most medical teams will have some doctors with both skill sets and some having one of each.

Then the other doctors in the team will be the specialists who are expert in more specific areas of medicine and who keep up with the research in their specialty.

B. Lastly, to drive down costs, advanced students, and experienced nurse practitioners will do much of the work leaving the more expensive doctors to manage or work in specific areas.

C. We will also need to have many kinds of courses and online services for people to use to manage the preventive actions and lifestyle upgrades they need to stay healthy.

This is a second key to keeping this system cost effective.

This is the kind of medicine that will do the best job. So this is the direction I support it taking.

Mercifully, there are doctors who understand this need, such as Dr Mark Hyman and other doctors at major medical centers.

As you know, my expertise is on the preventive side. But that’s one of the most needed and least developed parts of this system.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New information on reducing high blood pressure....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 5-3-2011

Typically today, most people who have high blood pressure get prescriptions for the drugs that lower it. In addition, most doctors start with a prescription for a diuretic.

Unfortunately, this tends to be ineffective and often is unpleasant.


For these three reasons:

1. The drugs usually turn down high blood pressure at least some which can be helpful; but they do not reverse the causes of the problem. Since many of the causes can be removed, this makes the treatment far less effective at turning down the pressure to a desirable level than it could have been.

2. Taking most of the drugs is so unpleasant and lowers the quality of life of the people who take them so much that few people keep taking them.

3. High blood pressure is a contributing cause to increased risks for heart attacks and strokes. Too few doctors know what other things people with high blood pressure need to do to lower the risks of those in other ways.

The good news is that the actions that lower high blood pressure without drugs and prevent heart attacks and strokes are mostly the same. So if you know those actions and do them, you lower your blood pressure and protect your health too. Best of all, you either will need no drugs at that point or you can use lower doses of the least obnoxious drug.

Recently, I saw a story that had the percentages of people who keep taking drugs to reduce high blood pressure.

The people who stop taking one of the more unpleasant drugs then usually get no blood pressure lowering or risk reduction. To me, that gives those drugs a failing grade.

The drug that most doctors prescribe first gets a failing grade. Only 51% of the people keep taking diuretics. That means that nearly half the people get no benefit at all. Few people will put up with having to go to the bathroom to urinate twice as much as they were. In older men, who are already going twice as often as they were when they were younger it’s even worse. And, many of the people who have high blood pressure are older men. Diuretics also can cause nutrient depletion and dehydration in hot weather.

Beta blockers are far worse. They make people feel depleted and only 28% of the people keep taking them. (I’ve also seen studies that beta blockers somehow result in less health protection for most of the people who take them.)

Some people who are unusually anxious or tense or who have migraines may benefit from low doses of beta blockers. But for them, the blood pressure effects are secondary.

Ace inhibitors are not that great since only 58% of the people keep taking them. But some people get a dry cough from some kinds of ace inhibitors and some don’t. So, for some people, trying a few kinds of ace inhibitors at low doses might discover a kind of ace inhibitor that they could keep taking since they would not get the dry cough or other problems.

ARB drugs are a bit better. 65% of the people keep taking those. And, I’ve had pharmacists tell me that many of those people report few side effects from ARB drugs. So, here again, ARB drugs at low doses can work for some people.

Unfortunately, the combination of ace inhibitors and ARB drugs has problems and is not a good idea.

However, calcium channel blockers do work well with ARB drugs.

So if a low dose ARB is not enough adding a low dose calcium channel blocker can work. Then if that combination produces few side effects, taking them both can work.

In fact, there is a drug called Exforge that combines an ARB and a calcium channel blocker which is quite effective at lowering blood pressure. So, if taking low doses of each of its parts works OK for someone who needs more blood pressure lowering, the lower dose of Exforge might work. Then they could try the higher dose if needed.

So there are some drugs that might work in low doses or medium doses.

As you can see, if you protect yourself and lower your blood pressure with the nondrug methods first, you have a shot at good protection. You may not need drugs at all. And, if you do still need drugs, you can use the lower doses and kinds that produce few side effects in you.

Next time, we will post about making it time efficient for doctors to practice this kind of medicine.

For today, here are some of the key ways to reduce high blood pressure without drugs and cut your health risks from having high blood pressure.

1. If you can take the time to learn it and do a few minutes as most days first thing in the morning as part of your exercises, tai chi has a calming and stress producing effect. It also burns about as many calories as walking, so it counts as exercise too! In people with high blood pressure, at least one study found it produces decreases of 17 over 11 on the average. That’s as good as one of the better drugs. Even better, it’s been found to work on people the drugs don’t work for.

2. Taking ubiquinol up to 100 mg twice a day has also been found to lower higher blood pressure up to 16 over 10. (Ubiquinol is the form of CoQ10 your body actually uses. It’s been tested to both work at least four times better per mg AND to stay in your blood for hours longer.)

3. Tobacco smoke increases high blood pressure every time you are exposed to it. It causes high blood pressure over time. And tobacco smoke both causes and triggers heart attacks.

If you are exposed to tobacco smoke now, it’s MUCH more important for your health and avoiding heart attack risks to escape it entirely than take blood pressure drugs.

You may need to take the drugs too. But to protect yourself, the priority is escaping tobacco smoke. It harms your heart every time you are exposed to it.

4. Most people eat too much junky food and drink soft drinks. Many people wind up eating too much salt since it’s in that kind of food. There is a diet or healthful eating style called the DASH II diet that eliminates that stuff and is heavy on vegetables and protein foods that avoid boosting your inflammation. It avoids salt without eliminating it or good taste.

People who go on the DASH II diet often easily lose over 20 pounds and often drop their high blood pressure as much as taking a stronger drug.

5. Both moderate and vigorous exercise lower high blood pressure. This is so true that your blood pressure is lower on the days you exercise and higher on days you do not.

Both moderate and vigorous exercise; but vigorous exercise most of all, prevent heart attacks and strokes. You do need to build up carefully and slowly to vigorous exercise and protect your heart in other ways. But exercise is one of the best heart protections you can use. The longer you do it every week, the better your heart protection gets.

6. If you eat a DASH II diet or a Mediterranean diet with extra vegetables and less pasta AND you stop junky foods and soft drinks AND you exercise, you can lose excess fat without hunger.

If you have many pounds of excess fat, getting rid of it will reliably lower your high blood pressure.

The diet to get rid of fat lowers high blood pressure both from the good things in it and the bad things NOT in it.

Exercise that helps you get rid of fat lowers high blood pressure.

And, because your heart has so much less work when you get rid of excess fat, your blood pressure goes down even more.

So, if you use these methods to lower your high blood pressure, your health protection will be better than just taking the drugs. You may well not need the drugs at all. And, if you do still need the drugs, you can work with your doctor to use lower doses of the less obnoxious drugs.

So, it IS possible to have health protection AND lower blood pressure without taking drugs with side effects you can’t stand!

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