Thursday, October 31, 2013

Resource documenting what health producing eating styles have in common….

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-31-2013

A few days ago, I got an email trying to sell me information on a “magically effective” nutrient   that had been discovered by a Dentist in the 1930’s.

He had apparently gone to study more primitive groups then available to study to see why they seemed to have such extraordinary dental health.

He wound up studying a surprisingly large number of these cultures.  That was a real feat considering the state of transport available to him then!

But his findings were even more astonishing.  The dental health of those people WAS that good.  And, the number of people needing orthodontic treatment was zero or close to it.

But in those cases where that same culture adopted a more “modern” Western diet most of the people did need orthodontic care.

He took the pictures to prove it too.

The Paleo diet is based on eating as people did over 10,000 years ago and it is a bit limited in what it recommends.

This dentist, by contrast studied people alive less than 100 years ago who used many different styles of eating.  He then analyzed in some detail what they had in common that caused such good health results.

Paleo was included.  But there were many other styles that differed.

As you know if you are a regular reader here, we now know that all these diets had large amounts of locally sourced organic and mostly non-starchy vegetables.

What may surprise vegetarians is that they all used some kinds of wild caught or naturally fed animals and fish and seafood for food.

Of course, the things none of these ways of eating used at all or contained (from high fructose corn syrup to regular sugar to oils high in omega 6 oils to refined and whole grain wheat flour) are now known to be harmful and disease causing.

And except for some tiny intake of sugar from honey and other natural sources, they had virtually none.

By the way, the miracle nutrient was vitamin K2 mostly from animal or fish livers or other organ meats since these people wasted nothing edible from these animals and fish.

I now take vitamin K2 as a supplement because it along with exercise and vitamin D3 and other minerals such as magnesium causes bone repair and strengthening. That combination moves calcium from your foods from your blood stream to your bones for that purpose.

And, vitamin K2 also prevents calcium from depositing on your arteries which strongly prevents heart disease and high blood pressure.

So the vitamin, K2, IS that important because it makes calcium go where it benefits you and NOT go where it harms you!

Once I had the man’s name, I did not need the eBook to learn this, I just looked him up on Google.

The few people who knew how powerful the information he found was helped him form a foundation to ensure it was kept available and you can read their findings directly at its website.

The dentist was Weston Price. 

Weston Price had the state of the art NOW and had most of it in the 1930's!

The things he found then are about a 90% match for my analysis of the most health producing ways of eating now.

That should be no surprise since we both studied ways of eating proven to produce good health results.

But there are a few surprises in his data.

You can read that over for yourself it you like at:

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Better advice for a woman losing weight.....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-29-2013

Yesterday, Monday, 10-28, Dear Abby answered a man who wrote in for advice.

It seems he and the woman he is about to marry decided to both lose weight for their wedding.

Apparently as does often happen, he lost weight faster than she did.

Dear Abby’s answer was OK but not great either.

Given how important this subject is for good health and the fact that the man clearly was a nice guy wanting to help his lady feel better, I thought she could have done much better in both areas.

In our paper, his question and her answer appeared like this:

“DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, "Tina," and I made a resolution to lose weight for our wedding. Everything has been going great except for one thing. Because men lose weight faster than women, I now weigh less at 6 foot 1 than she does at 5 feet 4.
Tina already has self-esteem issues. I want to look good for our wedding, but not at the cost of my fiancee's hurt feelings. What can I do? -- AT A LOSS IN MICHIGAN

DEAR AT A LOSS: Continue being supportive and help Tina to maintain her self-esteem. But her weight issue is her responsibility, not yours.”

(On the website, the part they edited out ended with: 

“If she becomes frustrated or depressed that she isn't losing quickly enough, suggest she consult her doctor or a registered dietitian about the reason why.”)

It seems to me he was asking for help to talk about the issue in a way that would be good for her self esteem.  If he knew how to help his lady  “maintain her self-esteem”, I’m not sure he would have written.

Yes to lose fat, she has to take the actions to make that happen.  But based on his description she could use some emotional support and encouragement from him.

Dear Abby did neither thing AT all!

Secondly, while there are some Doctors and Registered Dietitians who ARE knowledgable about the methods that produce the lifestyle upgrades that cause permanent fat loss, most doctors know little and even most registered dietitians still think that temporary, every day eating less works for fat loss.  At least most of them do know to have people stop packaged treats and fast food;  and more and more they do know to say to stop soft drinks.

I went on her website and wrote this: 

“Your recent answer to the man who was losing weight faster than the woman he is engaged to was OK.

1. But I think helping him give her emotional support and positive feedback for the efforts she clearly has been making would have been better. 

For example, you could say, to …her you are so pleased she helped get you started and praise her for the efforts she is making.  (He did say she is losing less weight not stopped entirely!)

Then he could go right into how happy he is they are marrying.  That might help reassure her and yet make it likely she will continue.

2.  And, as I'm a fat loss expert, if you still can pass this on to him, here's some information.  Most women who work to lose fat don't yet know to do strength training. But not only does doing it a little as 20 minutes two days a week help people lose fat and keep their muscle mass, within two or three weeks of starting to do it regularly the self esteem of the women who do it goes up!  By all means pass that on to him!”

1.  He could also look at her warmly and hold her hands while he says all that.  He could also ask if she’d like extra flowers for the wedding and which kind if so to  turn down her emotional  intensity after he says that.

2.  My regular readers know that in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley and in Southern California, affluent people can go as little as once a week to “The Perfect Workout” for the best in class of exactly that kind of strength training exercise and support and instruction.

In other parts of the country, the part strength training and part more intense cardio brief sessions for women by the outfit, Curves, two or three times a week is pretty good. It’s also much more affordable.

In addition, that having her start kind of exercise begins to reverse the health damage from the lifestyle that made them each fat to begin with. 

And, exercise is an empowering, “keystone” habit. 

People who begin to exercise regularly almost always can then make health oriented upgrades in what they eat too. The great good news is that they will do so and can do so, when they would not have even tried it before they began to exercise!

That means in this man’s case, by helping her get into exercise, she will then become better at her eating habits too.  And, she will likely do so without him getting on her about it and causing the problems he wants to avoid!

(Both The Perfect Workout and Curves will also give advice on eating for fat loss if asked.  The Perfect Workout’s version is a bit better; but the advice Curves uses does work well for some of the women who go there.)

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Friday, October 25, 2013

More ways to lower chronic inflammation....

Today's Post:  Friday, 10-25-2013

Last Tuesday we posted on the two basic ways even people who are considerably too fat can become dramatically healthier within a few weeks and well before they lose any of their excess fat.

Researchers found that there are people who are too fat who still nevertheless have health indicators that while not ideal are MUCH closer to it than many fatter people have

These people were studied to find out why!

The two key things that were different are these:

This healthy group of fat people are much more fit and less sedentary than those with very bad readings.

And, their measures of inflammation are far lower.

You can do each of these two things and not only become dramatically healthier within a few weeks, but you get some fat loss from it with no extra effort to eat less needed!

In Tuesday’s (10-22-2013) post, we posted on how to get into such exercises safely and many doable ways to slash your level of chronic inflammation.

But as often happens, I realized I’d left out several more effective and doable ways to stop inflammation.

So, here they are:

(I’ve also included a huge benefit of cutting your level of chronic inflammation that I left out last time.)

1.  Dark cherry extract; dark and sour cherries as a food; and celery seed extract supplements all cut inflammation enough to ease the pain of gout.

And, recent research found that considerably too high intake of salt if you do it long enough, causes damage to the insides of your blood vessels.  This causes inflammation.  And, it seems gout is then caused by that inflammation and is an indicator of it!

(This blood vessel damage also causes heart disease too – and high blood pressure!)

That means that if you cut back on excess sodium by stopping things like MSG; and use other spices and not just salt; salt your foods a bit less often and use sea salt or magnesium chloride instead of pure sodium chloride most of the time; and tend to only add more salt to foods AFTER you taste them – AND stay completely away from canned goods and breads that are high in salt, you will have healthier blood vessels; lower blood pressure; MUCH lower inflammation; AND you may avoid gout too!

( Note that Hain makes a packaged and easy pour sea salt that has had iodine added which they sell at Whole Foods which makes doing this MUCH easier to do!)

Also note that you get two other benefits by doing this.

Other aches and pains will become much less and much less noticeable because of your lower inflammation too.  So you can use far less or zero over the counter pain killers.  Since those are expensive if you take several a day and have more side effects than is widely known, that alone is a BIG benefit.

Even better, you may escape osteoarthritis or have it STOP getting worse!  Did you know that research has found that high chronic inflammation CAUSES osteoarthritis.  It’s NOT just aging and wear and tear.  When your body temporarily boosts inflammation to call in repairs to your joints, that is completely OK.  But if it gets too much inflammation or the inflammation fails to stop when it should, it causes damage to your joints!

And, high chronic inflammation every day over time tends to build up a lot of damage!

2.  Getting flu and colds causes inflammation.  Worse, fighting the fever with over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs stops part of your body’s immune response and makes the flu or cold last longer and more severe.

So, particularly now when the flu season has started and begun to spread across the country, if you haven’t already done so, here are two things to consider doing right away!

1.  If you can and don’t already do so, this week begin to take 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3.  Research has found that this is the optimum and safe intake for most people.

And, from now through February getting that much from sun exposure is almost impossible in most places in the Northern hemisphere.

The benefits are spectacular by doing so also.

Because we now know doing this boosts your immune system so much you get 3 benefits.

This makes you getting kinds of flu the flu shot doesn’t cover much less likely and getting bad colds less likely too. 

Flu shots do work.  But they have a failure rate.  But if you take that much vitamin D3, your flu shot is MUCH more likely to work to protect you.

Third, if you get that much vitamin D3, your chances of getting a severe case of the flu or dying directly of it virtually disappears!

2.  If you haven’t already done so, DO get your flu shot.  At least half the kinds you will be exposed to are covered!  And, if you take the vitamin D3 along with it, it’s very likely to make your flu shot work.

You can cut your chances of getting the flu about in half by getting the flu shot.

Add taking the vitamin D3 and you can do even better than that -- AND you will be far safer!

Why not avoid getting the flu? 

Recent research shows that it boosts inflammation and blood vessel damage so much that people who get the flu shot every year have less heart disease!

Last but far from least, the vast majority of the much touted deaths during the flu season are NOT caused directly by the flu.  They are caused by the pneumonia many people get once the flu has weakened them.

But you can prevent most cases of pneumonia too!  You only need to get the pneumonia vaccine once every 10 years or so.  And as with the flu shot, it will be more likely to protect you if you take the 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3.

Have you gotten the pneumonia vaccine at all?  If so has it been more than 10 years ago?

If you haven’t, you can not only lower your likely inflammation but be more likely to stay alive if you get the pneumonia vaccine!

If that fits you, please get it this week.  Why let yourself get that sick when you can completely avoid it?  

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ways to protect your health even while still fat....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-22-2013

Some people are heavy and are too fat for many reasons.

BUT, research finds many of them who are still fat, have decent blood pressure, good blood sugar readings and heart health indicators that aren’t in the dreadful category.

Since being fat itself tends to cause these health conditions such as high blood pressure and most of the things that cause becoming fat cause these health problems, this group of healthy fat people have been studied.

They are much more fit and less sedentary than those with very bad readings.

Their measures of inflammation are far lower.

And, their low readings prove they eat and drink less of the fattening foods that also cause health harms.

How can you join the healthy group if you are a bit fatter than you should be or even more?


Exercise is such a powerful health protector that fit, fat people are MUCH healthier than skinny sedentary people!! 

(Research recently found skinny sedentary people are often fat inside and horribly under-muscled.)

Do at least one or two strength training sessions a week. 

Even 15 minutes can help; and doing lighter weights at superslow speeds for one set each is incredibly effective. It’s safer with the lighter weights and the slow, controlled and never jerky motions.  EASY, however it is NOT.  The last one or two repetitions can be dramatically hard to do.  Yet it is exactly those that make you stronger so that’s a GOOD thing.  Just do a few more as soon as you can and then increase the weight slightly.

Do at least two or three high intensity cardio sessions each week. 

Those are safe too if you do these two things.:  Particularly at first, start a bit on the easy side and make progress slowly!  And, if you feel as if you are running up on exhaustion, IMMEDIATELY stop or slow down until you aren’t.  As you become more fit, you’ll gradually do more high intensity exercise before that happens and you can rest a shorter time between bursts of high intensity or slow down less or for shorter time periods.

Doing the bursts of high intensity with rests is called interval cardio.  But doing the bursts of high intensity with slower paced cardio which might be best called variable cardio works too.

(I do the interval cardio with rests jumping rope.  And, walking, running, and using a Nordic track work well with sections of slower but brisk efforts in between much faster ones.)

You can literally do one 20 minute strength training session and two 5 minute jump rope sessions a week and get surprisingly good results!

Virtually everyone can find that much time each week!

The third kind of exercise that helps is the easiest to do but the very hardest to do enough of.

It’s ideal if you can do half an hour a day most days of walking or gardening or yoga or tai chi besides the strength training and cardio.  BUT it’s desirable and NOT essential if you do the strength training and cardio – which ARE essential.

And most people now do NOT have that much time to devote to it.  (That will change when it becomes more doable to exercise at your desk however.)

2.  Stop ALL inflammatory foods, get more omega 3 oils and OK foods high in them, and eat and take foods and supplements that lower inflammation.

Many, many people do not yet know one of the 3 or 4 biggest health dangers is eating foods that cause high chronic inflammation.  The things that do are:

a)  Oils high in omega 6.   Until now the average person has been getting five to twenty TIMES too much of them in their food and at that level they are like taking pills to cause inflammation! Those oils are corn and soy and safflower and canola oils.

Use only extra virgin olive oil instead!  The research showing that extra virgin olive oil instead protects your health has become massive and covers many areas from preventing heart health problems and stroke to mental decline.

b) Animal fats from animals fed soy or corn and other grains.  Far more than saturated fat, these inflammatory oils and the pesticide and herbicides from the grain that are bioconcentrated in them cause disease.  Eat beans and lentils or wild caught fish or beef from cows that are 100 % grass fed only – or only eat the leanest most fat trimmed and removed meats from grain fed animals and do it MUCH less often.

c) The worst in this group are the hydrogenated oils made from oils high in omega 6 oils.  They cause inflammation a second way by directly causing damage your blood vessels and causing heart disease.  The first two things push things in that direction.  But hydrogenated oils cause it to happen directly and the resulting inflammation is from the damage. Hydrogenated oils are heart attack starter! Worse, there is NO safe amount and cutting back is not enough because your body can’t remove them well so ANY regular intake of hydrogenated oils builds up to damaging levels!!

(What about taking omega 3 oil supplements and eating wild caught fish to increase the omega 3 oils?

Yes!  Do it because it does lower inflammation and has other direct health benefits, particularly DHA.  But the point is to improve the omega 3 and omega 6 ratio to one to one.  If you fail to cut the excess sources of omega 6 from five to ten to fifteen times too much down to the desirable amount, it’s hard to add enough omega 3 to cut inflammation enough to be protective.)

(What about foods and supplements that cut inflammation? 

YES. There are some that work.  Turmeric and the curcumin that comes from it not only slash excess inflammation, they have at least a dozen other verified health benefits!  Its cousin ginger is almost as potent and a better heart protector plus it tends to prevent nausea for people who get motion sickness easily.

The herbal supplement Devil’s Claw also works.  And I saw a study today that found that the supplement resveratrol also cuts inflammation.)

(Two other ways to avoid inflammation are to avoid ALL tobacco smoke.

And learn and do the practices that protect your gums from disease.  Flossing and brushing right are NOT hard to do but the extremely inflammatory bacteria they protect you from are extremely harmful an cause high inflammation too!)

d) Bonus.  If you eliminate ALL omega 6 oils and hydrogenated oils, you have to eliminate all the foods they are in.  And that’s a very valuable thing to do!  Those foods very often have things like high fructose corn syrup and refined wheat grain and MSG that also harm your health and tend to fatten you besides!

3.  Stop all the foods and drinks that tend to or DO fatten you that are EVEN MORE harmful to your health!

Any high fructose corn syrup, too much refined grains and virtually any refined wheat grain products, and too much sugar, and most artificial sweetners all boost your triglyceride levels to high levels.  We now know that means they are heart attack starter just like hydrogenated oils!
(No exercise; consuming hydrogenated oils; and eating or drinking these things each boost your levels of the small particle LDL that directly causes heart disease.  The damage that causes to the surface of your blood vessels creates heart disease AND boosts the dickens out of your inflammation level.

Bonus.  Most people who do these 3 things:

Eating organic produce and other naturally fed or harvested foods with extra virgin olive oil: and never ingesting these bad ingredients:
AND exercising – will enable you to become less fat with no additional effort needed and zero added real hunger!

That’s in addition to the health benefits you get right away!

A recent study found that you do NOT need to make an effort to eat less to achieve this effect AND the fat you lose will stay off with no rebound by doing these things!

Best of all, the improvement in your health and health protection can be fast and dramatic – literally within few weeks!  

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Monday, October 21, 2013

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Today's Post:  Monday, 10-21-2013

Did lose back the 2 pounds I gained the month before; and the news on future progress is still promising.

This is another mixed review report. (The slightly better news this month is in Part I.)

And, the likely results soon are still promising.  (Why is listed below in Part II.)

Part I:

The slightly good news first: 

I lost back the two pounds I gained the month before.  I even ate well -- though still within the strategies I continue to use that lost me the 30 pounds to start with.

I’m now 2 pounds below my goal weight. 

So, on the scale, I could gain 2 pounds of muscle without losing any fat and still be at my goal weight.

I also lost back between a fourth of an inch and half an inch on my waist!

THIS is the key measure for me.  I’m at my goal WEIGHT.  Now I need to remove the remaining excess fat!

Losing back that 2 pounds and the fourth of an inch from my waist may mean the slight gains in muscle I’m likely getting may be finally working on removing the minimum of 4 more inches of excess fat I need and want to lose from my waist for health protection and to look somewhat better. 

Based on the lack of what the bodybuilders call high definition and the small visible rolls of fat on my belly and “love handles” and hips and the equal amount of excess visceral fat likely inside my belly, I think I do have that much fat to lose. 

AND, if I eat mostly as I do now and gain even 10 of the 20 to 25 pounds of muscle I’d like to gain, I believe I can and will lose that fat.

I’d very much like to lose four more inches besides that first four from my waist for a total of 8 more inches and even more health benefits.  But at my age and overall sedentary life now, that may be too much to ask even after adding a good bit of muscle. 

(I suspect my stomach and intestines have been too stretched out to decrease that much even after losing the excess fat and gaining the muscle I plan to gain.  I’d love to be wrong about that though!)

Since my chest and hips have maintained their slight gains and only my waist got smaller that suggests the small increases of strength I’m beginning to get are adding muscle. 

I will fight to avoid gaining back any more weight; but at this point my main focus will be to add muscle.

(I think when I cut back even with the two a day partial fasting, I was doing enough already that I got a bit of famine response on appetite.  So, as long as I don’t gain back more, I think it may pay me to focus most on adding muscle at this point.)

I also need to boost my metabolism to the extent I can do so. 

a) Adding muscle and the exercises I’m doing do help with that already.

b) There is a supplement available in Scandinavia that may boost metabolism enough to make a difference that I hope to make generally available and use myself.

The study on it found it does this better than the much less effective ones like green tea extract and eating some hotter peppers; and it may be possible it would help.)

c)  It may be possible to wear a chilled vest around my belly and lower back during the weekday for at least an hour a day.  (I believe there may be a temperature that won’t distract me from my work that I can put up with for that long.  It would be high enough I’d not get too cold but cool enough to burn extra calories.)

The great news is that doing this also changes some of your white fat to brown fat that burns more energy all day long.

Part II.  The good news!:  Why the likely results soon are better!

Next I list why I’ve NOT been able to add quite a bit more muscle as I need to do to force the loss of my remaining belly fat.

So, why is the future looking so great all of a sudden?  It’s because just last month, I tried something that solved both of those two problems!  And, I can keep doing them!

1.  The two reasons why I’d NOT been able to add quite a bit more muscle despite knowing the effective way to do so:

In my at home super slow strength training, I’d been held back by struggling with some issues from a left shoulder injury. 

This injury has prevented me from getting stronger on the exercises that use my left shoulder.  Worse, it kept me from making further progress on several of the exercises where I DID get stronger.

Unlike my right shoulder which healed, my left shoulder seemed to keep getting re-injured.

THAT is finally getting better. 

The corrective exercises the physical therapist gave me work. 

By doing those exercises to strengthen my shoulders and mostly discontinuing the injurious style of jump rope I was doing, my left shoulder is finally no longer always slightly injured and is gradually recovering and getting stronger too.

This physical therapist was dramatically more competent and effective that the one I saw years ago

a) I was throwing my whole arms through the motion on my jump rope sessions on every repetition. 

You have to do that a bit to start the jump rope at first each time.  BUT, you can minimize it a bit and then use a wrist snap to keep it going mostly after that.  THAT removes 90% or more from the high impact forces on my shoulders!

The bad news is that I’m still relearning this new form and am still terrible at it. 

 I have gotten slightly better at it.  The best news is that doing my jump rope sessions no longer re-injures my left shoulder.

But my progress on the new form is still not quite there.  I’m seeing the physical therapist this week to see if I can get a bit of coaching to speed my progress on it.

b)  I’d been doing all my exercises for which I use my shoulders with a shoulders hunched bad posture.  That was causing them to work twice as hard at an angle they were not designed to do well.

So, she said to make a special effort to lift my chest as I did these exercises.  AND, she gave me two corrective exercises to increase my strength and control over how well I can hold my shoulders in the OK position.

That is still a work in progress.  And it will take some time to get better at it.  It’s a matter of gradually getting stronger over several months

The regular exercises that did pain my left shoulder a lot and my right shoulder some, ARE now much less hard on my shoulders.

The new form she suggested works; and my left shoulder is finally and definitely better.

Now that these exercises no longer re-injure me when I do them, my muscles now WILL heal and gradually allow me to get my strength back, get stronger, and add more muscle mass!

2.   Secondly, most of the muscle I lost since I was younger I lost in my legs and buttocks and lower back. 

But to add that muscle I’d need more space and MUCH more weight to do the needed exercises at home. 

I’d also need a leg press machine or a rack with a setting to keep the weight from going down to the floor. And, when I’m working to the level where I can’t do a complete last repetition, one of those two ways of making that safe are critical.

So I’ve been making no or very limited progress on the exercises I do for my upper body at home and making too little for my legs and buttocks and lower back to add the muscle I need.

So, despite my willingness to work hard and the potential I can tell is really there to add the muscle I need, it had NOT been happening.

However, I AM now doing just that set of exercises at The Perfect Workout once a week; and I’m making steady progress at adding weight each week!

In addition, I’ve gotten a good bit stronger on the calf exercises I’ve been doing at home.

And, there’s more!

Even before my recent progress with my shoulder, I found that I WAS able to do their chest press on their machine without my shoulder holding me back!

Now that I also can hold my shoulders in a better position and they will get stronger, I will now gain the chest muscle mass and arm muscle mass I’ve wanted.

And, they also have machines to exercise the big muscles in my upper back.  And I’m getting stronger and adding weight on those exercises too.

So, I now have a real shot at adding enough muscle to force fat loss from my waist!  Finally!

3.  The other interesting news is that their scale measured me as having 8% body fat and having about 40 pounds of muscle.

So if I can add 20 pounds more, my calorie burn from my muscles has the potential to go up by 50%!!

THAT will keep me lean for sure!

Since my arms and shoulders and legs look like I have 11 to 17 % fat; and my belly looks as if I am at least 20% fat, their body fat percentage is WAY low!  Their number looks to be half or less of the real number!

But to the extent I am a bit more lean than I thought, it may mean that I’ll have to try something like liposuction to cut enough more from my belly.

However, I think it’s just off in my case.  Based on comparing my appearance with people who DO have 8% body fat; I think my overall fat is still closer to 20% at best.

So for now, working very hard to get fifty percent stronger or more and adding that 20 pounds of muscle is my goal.

AFTER I do that and get my body fat measured by a more accurate device; then I’ll think again about adding laser liposuction or something similar such as the cold belly wrap around if I still need to do so.

But based on the experience of other people and how they look after adding the muscle, I think and still hope that may not be needed. 

5.  There is one more piece of good news potentially that I literally began just since I measured and weighed myself last Saturday morning.

Instead of taking a small amount of PGX fiber supplement when I wake hungry in the middle of the night instead of eating the once or twice a month when I otherwise would have eaten something, Saturday night and last night I did it both days because my reflux was giving me heartburn at night. 

My thought was to give the acid something to chew on besides me!  It worked!  And, I slept better because of it. 

Last night I really didn’t want to take the time for it; but I knew I’d feel rotten if I didn’t because it worked the night before.  So I did it and now realize I can continue to do it.

The surprise is that today is my first of my two partial fast days this week; and I’ve been less hungry than usual.

That may be a leading indicator to suggest I’ll eat a bit less extra between now and next month by continuing to take the PGX at night for stopping the heartburn.

If that does happen, I may lose a few pounds of fat by next month to go with the bit of added muscle.  And, if THAT happens, I may lose half an inch off my waist.

At this point, I think this will be a one-time event if it does happen.  But since I really need to continue the night time PGX to sleep better, if it that bit of fat loss does happen, it will be a permanent change.

We’ll see how I did with that next time.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

How a man with partial high blood pressure may fix it with no drugs....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-17-2013

Elevated blood pressure can harm your health. And it very definitely IS important to lower it if you can AND take steps to protect yourself from the heart attacks and strokes it can help cause.

But what is far less known is that if it’s above 160 over 100 almost all the time it’s important initially to bring it down with drugs even though they usually have unpleasant side effects.

However what is even less known than that is that below 160 over 100, drugs are not needed if you do the things you should be doing to lower it and protect yourself from the heart attacks and strokes it can help cause.

Specifically, when it was tested, the Cochane group found that people who built up to vigorous exercises, ideally slow motion strength training and short bursts of intense cardio most days of every week from that alone people were protected from strokes and heart attacks as well as people who took drugs for high blood pressure.  (One to three sessions both of slow motion strength training and as few as two or three sessions of burst cardio every week is protective.)

When they took a group of people doing such exercises and added the drugs, there was zero, repeat, zero additional effect.

In addition to that, you can stop ingesting the foods and drinks that cause strokes and heart attacks and obesity and eat real foods, mostly organic vegetables, with some health OK protein foods and extra virgin olive oil and other foods with monosaturated oil.  You can cut back some on sodium salt and other kinds of sodium replacing them with herbs and spices and a smaller amount of sea salt and or magnesium chloride instead.

When people stop the bad stuff, soft drinks and diet soft drinks and packaged foods and junk foods, and eat these extra vegetable versions of the DASH II and Mediterranean diets their blood pressure goes down; often they become less fat; and their risk of strokes and heart attacks goes down fast!

Lastly, it will help both lower their blood pressure and prevent strokes and heart attacks to stay 100 % away from tobacco smoke.  Exposure to tobacco smoke causes plaque and heart disease with EVERY SINGLE EXPOSURE.  After this builds up, it causes high blood pressure.  But even worse than that, tobacco smoke exposure triggers heart attacks in people who otherwise would have avoided them.

The maker of the Resparate breathing device FDA approved to lower high blood pressure writes an answer column.

(This device or Tai Chi or for some people yoga, enables people to get physical stress relief with daily use or 5 or 6 days a week.  And this is in addition to the improvements from drugs or the set of things I just listed!)

A man wrote in with this:

“My blood pressure spikes a lot, i.e. I have 155/94 at 5 AM in the morning, go out for a 3 miles run and my blood pressure goes down to 133/83. I am not on any medication and don’t want to take any medications. I don’t eat any meat but do eat fish. I eat very healthy, barely anything with white flour, try to cut sugar, exercise 5 times per week, 3x running (training for a 1/2 marathon) 2x gym but my blood pressure still jumps. Any idea what can cause the spikes especially the diastolic number sometimes is much higher?”

Their woman answering lady doctor suggested the Resparate.  Although this was an appropriate reply noting that she and others have found that using it keeps them from developing higher blood pressure as they get older.

But I think it could be far more complete.

If 24 hour testing shows that for much of the morning just before and after he wakes up is that high, I think he would do well to do far more.

He still seems to have some white flour.  Some sugar is OK; but foods made with white, refined flour are not really.  They cause blood sugar issues and that often causes high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  And he may be eating twice the maximum amount of sugar or more.  He also may not yet be eating enough vegetables or have stopped soft drinks and other harmful foods as much as he thinks he has.

He may not be working hard enough on strength training in the gym.  And he may be running long enough at steady state speeds to harm his heart.  He should find out how to have that checked and do it.  (It’s a recent discovery that such endurance exercise strains your heart.)

The fact that he is waking with this may mean that he has loud noises at night that do not wake him but cause sudden stress to his body at that time of night.

Worse, it may mean he has sleep apnea.  The EOS group in San Francisco knows how to evaluate for that and can fix it for most people without the cumbersome all night breathing mask.  If he DOES have sleep apnea, it is essential that he fix it because it both causes his blood pressure to be elevated AND his risk of heart attack and stroke to go up directly too!

Next there are medical conditions besides sleep apnea that can cause such patterns of high blood pressure.  People who have them can often be cured and have the problem go away.  But to find out, he needs to see a hypertension specialist who knows what to check for and how.

Lastly, if none of these fixes works or is needed or both, but this persists or gets worse to above 160 over 100, taking a modest dose of a calcium channel blocker is known to lower this kind of high morning blood pressure if you take your dose the night before.

That may help him.  And between the other things and taking it at night and the low dose, he might be able to take it with little daytime side effects other than feeling better rested and more awake.

But I suspect if he addresses these other things, he’ll not need it.

That’s what the information I’ve read suggests strongly to me.  But since in his case there are some potential medical problems involved to cause it, besides doing some of these other things that are almost always protective, he should get the opinion of a hypertension specialist to have it evaluated too.  

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stop mental decline and slow aging and stop insulin resistance....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-15-2013

We’ve already posted many times on ways to prevent mental decline of all kinds and Alzheimer’s disease.

Recent research found that consistent higher blood sugar readings and sugar in your blood (96 to 119 fasting blood sugar readings) means that you are directly having this excess blood sugar beginning to cause early Alzheimer’s disease.

(Higher levels that are diagnosed as type 2 diabetes begin to add spikes of sugar to your LDL which begins to act like sand in an engine and destroy your blood vessel surfaces and many of your capillaries.  THAT begins to accelerate the formation of Alzheimer’s disease and cause vascular dementia from the drop off in blood circulation to your brain

These two levels of elevated blood sugar mean that you have enough excess intake of foods and drinks that spike your blood sugar -- or enough insulin resistance to have your insulin be a bit high since you need extra insulin to even keep your blood sugar that low.

That extra insulin means consistent fat gain; and the extra sugars get sent off to permanent fat storage.  Oops!

1.  Of course, you can slash your intake of the foods and drinks that cause this by 90 to 100 % less.

In my view, no one with any sense who knew what they did to your health, let alone how fattening they are, would eat or drink ANY of these!:

Soft drinks, diet soft drinks; refined grain foods – particularly those made with wheat; or white rice. Nor would they ever voluntarily eat or drink ANYTHING containing high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners

And, they would cut out 90 % or more of other whole grains and real sugars.  They'd eat or use far less each time and consume them fewer days a week or a month.

2.  The other way to help fix this is to turn off the insulin resistance.

It seems that insulin resistance is caused in part by dysfunction in your mitochondria.  They are the generators of energy in your cells.

Just stopping the overload of work just listed helps restore your health and fix insulin resistance because you can get away with lower capacity in your mitochondria and they may be harmed less by the excessive blood sugars and lower blood flow as well that you then have less of.

But there are four more ways to restore your mitochondria to health.

1. Doing regular vigorous exercise most days of every week particularly short bursts of high intensity cardio and slow motion strength training directly causes your mitochondria to be healthier to support that.  And, it can quite literally turn off insulin resistance and use the sugars to do the work of the exercises.

Many people with lower levels of high blood sugar find doing slow motion strength training a few days a week simply turns it off!

2.  Your body uses the substance ubiquinol to repair and energize your mitochondria.  But the conversion of CoQ10 to ubiquinol that happens in younger people who eat plenty of high quality protein foods stops happening in older people.  Taking CoQ10 helped but was not very effective.  However, taking the supplement ubiquinol directly is effective.  So that too is a way to slow aging by partially reversing a major cause of it and also turn down insulin resistance.

3.  Unfortunately, millions of people today take statin drugs that most of them get little benefit from. 

(Only a minority of them get strong benefits due to their genetics.  And, the vast majority of doctors do NOT give the $150 genetic test first to see if they are in that minority or not.) 

Then too, there are safer and far more effective ways to prevent heart disease than taking statins even for the group that they are more effective for.

(See our previous posts on that.)

Why is that such a big deal?  Because statin drugs deplete CoQ10 and ubiquinol in the body of people who take them. 

That’s really harmful!  It depletes the mitochondria in the hearts of people who take statins and weakens them.

But even worse than that, the mitochondrial dysfunction from taking statins directly causes insulin resistance.

So it should be no surprise at all that statin drugs cause more type 2 diabetes than they prevent heart attacks.

So the third way to slow aging and stop insulin resistance and the mental decline that causes is to use better heart protection methods than taking statin drugs.

4.  What would be almost better than these methods if we could find it?

What if we could cause your cells to grow brand new, healthy mitochondria too?

The exciting new discovery is that we DO have that now!

It’s called pyrroloquinoline-quinone, or PQQ.

It's a new vitamin and is in kiwi fruit and eggs from pasture fed hens and some other foods.

It DOES cause your cells to add new mitochondria.

So you can see taking PQQ helps actually reverse part of aging and that it helps turn down insulin resistance.

And, it is available as a supplement.  Jarrow supplies it.  The effective dose tests out to be about 20 mg a day and Jarrow supplies it in 10 mg and 20 mg sizes.

So you can see that taking PQQ would likely stop the creation of some causes of Alzheimer's disease.

Dr Al Sears has found research that shows exactly that.

This research shows that:

"When you take PQQ, it protects the proteins in your brain and reduces the formation of the plaques that lead to Alzheimer’s. PQQ also protects the brain from the toxic effects of any plaque that may already be there.1"

“PQQ reverses amyloid plaque toxicity and damage: In one of the first studies to look at PQQ, researchers found that when they pre-treated brain cells with PQQ they were protected from damage by amyloid plaque. In fact, brain cells “recovered” from death induced by the plaque, PQQ prevented healthy brain cells from dying, and made weakened and dying brain cells give off “healthy” signals again.3

PQQ protects against brain injury and improves memory: After suffering a brain injury, a group of animals were trained for five days to do a maze test. The animals given PQQ easily completed the maze, but none of the animals without PQQ could complete the maze. And the more PQQ the animals got, the faster they could do the maze.4

PQQ shields brain cells from toxicity: In another animal study, two groups of rats got a toxic level of glutamate (yes, the same stuff that’s in artificial sweeteners) in their brain. One group also got PQQ. The PQQ protected the animals’ brain cells from injury. It also acted as a powerful antioxidant, squelching free radicals so they didn’t cause damage.5"  

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Friday, October 11, 2013

More bad news about statins....

Today's Post:  Friday, 10-11-2013

We’ve already posted about this before.

Most people have the heredity such that although fewer people get heart attacks per 10,000 people by taking statins, 100 people, repeat one hundred people, have to take statins to prevent one heart attack.

Stopping ALL the foods and drinks that over-boost blood sugar and insulin and cause insulin resistance is far more effective than that.

So is getting vigorous or intense exercise in relatively short times per day that you work up to gradually most days of every week.

But taking statins tends to cause such exercises to make your muscles painful and can even cause them PERMANENT harm and even death.

So there are better ways to prevent heart disease and heart attacks.  Statins don’t help much. So doing it better than statins is a pretty low obstacle to hurdle and doing both those two methods is MUCH more effective.

So is managing to completely avoid tobacco smoke.

But there is a LOT more bad news.  For every 100 people who take statins, 1 avoids a heart attack but  NINE get type 2 diabetes.

According to one study 3 get cataracts who would not have without the statins.

It seems that most older people already have too little of ubiquinol, the form of CoQ10 your body actually uses.  When that happens the mitochondria in each of your cells becomes less healthy and creates less energy in your cells. 

This mitochondrial dysfunction turns out to be a cause of insulin resistance that causes high blood sugar levels and when it does so more it’s labeled type 2 diabetes.

Statins make this far worse because they deplete what little is left of ubiquinol in people who take them.

This makes mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance worse.  This side effect looks to be the agent that causes muscle damage.  And, it makes the people taking statins feel depleted and lacking in energy.

So, that suggests that even in people who don’t get blood sugar high enough to be called type 2 diabetes, people who take statins likely have blood sugar that is elevated.


A recent study found that such low level high blood sugar directly causes Alzheimer’s like brain damage.

And, there is more that can be done that is proven to work to lower the kind of small particle LDL that actually causes heart disease beside stopping your intake of heart attack starters and vigorous exercise.

Each of those do that BETTER than statins; and doing both is very effective.

In addition to that, carefully taking modest, 250 to 300 mg doses of niacin after breakfast and lunch; taking the sterol beta sitosterol, and taking curcumin each separately helps to lower the kind of small particle LDL that actually causes heart disease.

Taking the supplement chromium and eating raw nuts if you aren’t allergic and eating organic blueberries and taking bilberry supplements all tend to increase HDL levels.  So does taking resveratrol and drinking modest amounts of red wine.

The other thing statins do that looks to be protective is to lower chronic inflammation.

Here again though it is a very poor second class solution.

The main causes of chronic inflammation are gum disease and taking in about ten times too much omega 6 oil from such sources as corn and soy and canola oil and from the fat from animals fed grains – primarily corn.

So what’s better than statins to lower chronic inflammation?

Learning to brush your teeth at the gumline and doing that AND flossing every day and seeing your dentist at least once a year for a checkup and teeth cleaning works.

Stopping ALL such oils and using extra virgin olive oil is more effective. 

Eating only meats and eggs and dairy products from cows only fed grass or on pasture or eating organic sprouts works.

So does only eating wild caught fish.

Being really harsh about trimming all the fat from protein foods from animals fed grain and eating such foods less often does work too but not as well as eating foods from naturally fed animals.

And, if you do all  that to slash your intake of omega 6 oils by like 5 to one or more, THEN taking omega 3 supplements and eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils, adds to the effect.

In addition, natural vitamin E and the other tocopherols found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts; curcumin in supplements and the turmeric spice it comes from and ginger each are anti-inflammatory.

So with all those superior alternatives, it is totally unneeded for most people to take statins.

People who are just starting them and have scary high levels of LDL cholesterol AND who test as being in the group genetically that get more benefit from statins, may benefit from low dose statins, taking ubiquinol, and keeping their exercises moderate while taking statins may benefit.

So can people who just had a heart attack and are still in the ICU.

For everyone else there are far superior ways to prevent heart disease.  Even better, instead of damaging or quality of life degrading side effects, people who use those methods get other health benefits!

So what’s new that occasioned this post?

Besides the brain damage from mitochondrial dysfunction and elevated blood sugar from statins, they often cause other brain and nerve damage in many people.

And, it turns out that a study has been done that shows some statins do this more than others and some have other side effects more than others.

Most statin variations fit in one or more of these categories.  So the best way to use this information is to never take statins if you can possibly use the superior methods instead.

A study reported in the Medical News Today email two weeks ago on Friday, 9-27 focused on the mental functions harmed by statins.

But it included other information on which statins cause other damage.

Which statins are worst for side effects!!

Based on this article, 

Mevacor and lovastatin should never be used due to the muscle damage they cause.

Pravastatin (Pravachol) should never be used due to the cognitive damage it does.

And atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor) all tend to produce type 2 diabetes and are likely best not used.

This new study follows others that have found links between statin use and other health problems.

“For instance, earlier this year, a Canadian study published in BMJ found that some statins may increase type 2 diabetes risk, with patients taking atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor) showing the highest risk.

And more recently, a US study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, suggested statin use may raise cataract risk.

There is also evidence that some medications can interact with lovastatin (brand names include Mevacor) and increase the risk of muscle damage.”

“This last point was made last year in a consumer update on statins by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which also mentioned some statin users had been reporting cognitive problems, such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion.

In that update, the FDA said that while the value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established, they would be changing the drug labels of popular statin products to reflect some of these new concerns.”

“For their study, the researchers tested two commonly prescribed statins, pravastatin (Pravachol) and atorvostatin (Lipitor) in rats.”

The results showed pravastatin, but not atorvostatin, impaired the animals' ability to perform simple learning and memory tasks.

They gave rats a daily dose of the statins for 18 days and tested their ability to perform a simple learning task involving finding a food reward - before, during and after treatment.

On the last day of treatment and one week after ceasing treatment, they also tested the rats' ability to recognize a previously encountered object - this tested their recognition memory.

The results showed that over the last few days of treatment, daily medication with pravastatin tended to impair the rats' learning. However, this effect was reversed when treatment ceased.

Also, in the recognition memory test, taking pravastatin reduced rats' ability to discriminate new objects.

However, "no effects were observed for atorvostatin in either task," write the authors, who conclude that "chronic treatment with pravastatin impairs working and recognition memory in rodents."

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Flu shots with enough vitamin D3 are over 95% effective....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-10-2013

Are you someone who hasn't gotten your flu shot yet or believe them ineffective? 

If so, check this out!

1.  In the Health section of yesterday’s, Wednesday, 10-9-2013, San Francisco Chronicle, Dr Steven Bratman said several things you should know:

“Influenza is far worse than a cold—it’s a powerful disease, once called the grippe because it can feel like a giant squeezing one’s life out.”  He also says it lasts 10 days. Yikes!

“….the vaccine is approximately 95% effective against the strains of influenza it is engineered to prevent….”

He does note that other strains of the flu and flu-like bad colds are not prevented but says just with the flu shot for the strains that ARE likely to show up, getting the flu shot gives you a total of about 50% protection. 

So people who get flu shots cut their risk of being that sick this flu season in HALF!

He saw the people on TV who said otherwise and was surprised given what he knows.

He is willing to check what he knows.  Good doctor!

“Here’s what he said:  “I have a background in medical research, and am fully onboard with the need for skepticism toward claims by pharmaceutical companies. So I researched the evidence on flu vaccine, and….”

It does not prevent other strains of the flu at all well and does not prevent flu-like colds. And in people over 65 who have lowered immune systems it is far less effective than 95%.

However he notes that this year there is a high dose flu shot that is expected to make the flu shot more effective for people over 65 who have lowered immune systems

He also found the 95% rate for strains covered by the shot for everyone else was accurate.

2.  And, there is even better news!

The true optimum intake of vitamin D3 for best health results is consistently 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day according to the research on many health conditions.  And, if you take vitamin D3 and NOT D2, taking up to 10,000 a day of vitamin D3 on a daily basis has tested to be harm free.  (Life guards in the summer make over 15 to 20,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 from sun exposure with no reported side effects.)

Why is that important?

Taking 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 has been found to increase the chances your immune system is working well enough that you get these several key benefits.

a)  Any vaccine you get including the flu vaccine is much more likely to work!

So, getting the flu shot and taking 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 really makes it likely to protect you.

b) Your immune system is boosted enough you may be as much as 50% less likely to get the other strains of the flu and flu-like bad colds!

c)  Research from Scandinavia found that in a dangerous flu epidemic there the people who died from it directly were uniformly very low in their blood levels of vitamin D3.

Thus, it looks very, very likely that people who are taking 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 are both less likely to get that kind of flu and far less likely to die from it.

d)  Most people who die during the flu season after getting the flu do NOT die from the flu.  Hardly any do in fact.  The people who do die do so from the pneumonia they got as a complication.

And, taking 3,000 to 5,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day and getting the pneumonia vaccine makes getting that kind of flu quite unlikely.

Getting the vaccine is more likely to cause the protection if you also take the vitamin D3.  The protection is more likely to be effective.  And, you are far less likely to get the kinds of pneumonia not covered by the vaccine or to die from any pneumonia you get.

We posted on this early in the fall when it looked like the flu season was early this year.

Now is the time most places that give the flu shots are finally open for business and the flu season begins to be higher and higher risk.

So if you haven’t gotten this year’s flu shot or ever gotten the pneumonia vaccine and haven’t yet been protecting your health with 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3, you likely will be far less likely to be sick and even more less likely to die if you do those things!

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Beating late evening and night time snacks....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-08-2013

Are you someone who has trouble with late evening or mid-night snacks?

There are 3 issues.

1.  How much of these do you eat and how often?

2.  What do you eat when you do this?

3.  Are you preventing the worst of these effectively?

I am someone who DOES get the midnight munchies!

So, in self-defense, I’ve learned how to overcome the worst of the effects.

I still struggle with them.  But I no longer have weeks where they add pounds of weight or do it several weeks in row.

1.  How much of these do you eat and how often?

If you do this once or twice a week and eat nonfattening foods and never in huge amounts, it’s not a problem.

If you do this five days a week, it’s imperative it not be fattening foods and that you mostly keep the amount under control.

2.  Health OK protein foods ARE OK in moderate amounts as snacks.  Nonstarchy vegetables and nuts and other foods high in fiber ARE OK in moderate amounts as snacks.  Low to low moderate amounts of foods high in health OK fats ARE OK as snacks.

Such foods are not fattening and turn off hunger well. 

a) Here are such snacks:

A small dish of nonfat Greek yogurt with walnuts plus some raw cauliflower florets works for this. 

Some raw broccoli florets and a small dish of nonfat cottage cheese and some full fat plain yogurt from 100% grass fed cows and a small serving of guacamole by itself.

Coleslaw plus a small serving of Alaskan canned salmon and some diced raw onions.

A half a cored organic apple and a small serving of Irish cheese that is from Kerrygold and grass fed cows.

(Whole Foods carries each of these foods.)

Such snacks turn off hunger well enough you can likely stop without overdoing them after you eat just one.

b) But there are two categories that are NOT OK. 

In fact, they are so fattening for late night snacks, it’s best to NOT have them in your house or home!

If you have a food that, even if it’s health OK, has a decent amount of fat and you find it so good, you can find you have no control over how much you eat and often eat 3 times or 4 times as much as you should even when you start out not intending to, you WILL add fat weight that week.

Not having such foods in the house is the only answer. 

I once did really well with my fat loss for about 6 weeks and then allowed myself a spoon or two of unsalted almond butter an evening since that fits the profile above.  It has no added sugar; it is a very health OK fat; and it’s high in protein and fiber. And, it does NOT have excessive sodium.

It SHOULD have been OK.  But I was a bit hungrier than usual after the fat loss; and it was so addictively good to me that I found myself averaging 4 to 7 spoonfuls and evening no matter my original intent each night.

In two or three weeks, I gained all that fat and weight back!  Oops.

I stopped buying it and having it in the house and eventually lost back the fat I gained.

The second category is even worse.  If you have a not OK super fattening sweet treat of some kind and a large amount of it in the house, if you get stressed, you may well do as I did with the almond butter and find you eat half the large container or the whole thing.

Thinks like whole cherry pies and chocolate cakes and half gallons of your favorite ice cream are best eaten once or so a month only and as single servings and then not the whole thing –& in a restaurant!

If you get the bad night time munchies and they are in your refrigerator, it can be a cause for you to eat the whole thing or half of one.

THAT is triply bad.  The ingredients in these foods in large quantities don’t only cause instant fat storage, they directly harm your health!  Your feeling of control over what you eat takes a big hit.  And, then it DOES do things like cause a 6 pound fat gain at one sitting!  Oops!

Here again, the key is to simply NOT have these foods in your home. 

2.  Such foods come under the category of foods that should not be in your home at all.  Not only are these foods made deliberately addictive by the food companies, they are reliably fattening and harm your health.

You may want them as very occasional treats.

But your fat loss and health depend on you knowing not to eat them the rest of the time and not buying them at the grocery store or bringing them home.

Too often these foods make you fat AND MORE hungry too!  All soft drinks both regular and diet do this.

These aren’t just fattening snacks, they are fattening 24 hours a day every day of every week.

3.  A recent study found out what is going on with this by the way.

They found out that if you are stressed or you eat a lot of sugary fast carb foods and very little protein, your body makes extra Neuropeptide Y. 

Extra Neuropeptide Y tends to make you extremely hungry and for just those kinds of fattening  foods.  It also makes you feel less stressed and sleepy after you eat them.

So if you eat better, very low carb – hardly any sugar & lots of health OK protein and fat foods, or cut your stress a bit or both, your Neuropeptide Y gets lower and you have far less uncontrollable midnight munchies.

4.  Two other possible helps are to:

Take the herbal supplement, valerian, if you find yourself too awake and stressed at night. It does work.  But the active ingredient literally smells so bad, you need to put the container into a sealable jar when not in use.

Having an empty tummy can cause you to wake up hungry.  So if you have ALREADY had a snack on our OK list or one like it, and that happens,

Drink two small scoops of a fiber product called PGX in a glass of ice water very well stirred with a fork or whisk.  I’ve tried it and it does work and I like it with some powdered cinnamon mixed in.

It’s enough trouble that I don’t use it often.  But when I’m tempted to eat an extra snack and feel that empty feeling but not enough to go through the PGX routine, I find I can simply get a bit of ice water and can succeed in going back to sleep.

In both scenarios, I no longer need to eat a night time snack where once I would have done so.

So having that PGX powder always on hand has helped me.  

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Friday, October 04, 2013

When and how to get off blood pressure drugs....

Today's Post:  Friday, 10-04-2013

Are you aware that most people who take blood pressure drugs now likely get few benefits that they need to take the drugs to get?

Are you aware that suddenly stopping blood pressure drugs cold turkey is often deadly dangerous and even a bit hard to do with beta blockers?

1.  Yes.  It is comforting to you and your doctor to lower your blood pressure if it is 140 over 90 or more. 

It may even be protective to do that at that level or even for blood pressures much over 120 over 80 BUT that is ONLY if you use the methods that do so without drugs.

This is true for all blood pressures below 160 over 100.

a)  One study found that lowering pressures above 160 over 100 with drugs cut death rates significantly while lowering high blood pressures much below that with drugs did not.

b)  Recently, a group called Cochrane did research that found that for people with blood pressures below 160 over 100 people doing regular and vigorous exercises even if in brief sessions most days of every week had significantly lower numbers of heart attacks and strokes and deaths.  But for those who did so, taking blood pressure drugs too got ZERO added protection.

c)  Blood pressure drugs are expensive, most have side effects that dramatically reduce quality of life, and some have damaging side effects that harm your health.  Worse, some have death rates!

d)  The data show for people who have blood pressures below 160 over 100 all those costs and side effects do little good.  And, for those who exercise vigorously they add zero added protection.

e)  There ARE other ways to add to your protection from strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, arrhythmias and death. 

If your blood pressure is much over 120 over 80 or you are over 40, it will protect you enormously to do them all. 

High blood sugar, high chronic inflammation, and high triglycerides are particularly likely to cause the very things you want most to avoid if your blood pressure is high. 

The most effective ways to stop those things are to stop eating and drinking the many kinds of heart attack starter foods and drinks that cause them.  These include all regular and diet soft drinks; all refined grains; almost all wheat and soy products, all packaged snacks and desserts and most packaged dinners and commercial baked goods and the oils high in omega 6 and the fat of animals fed grains.  It includes all kinds of high fructose corn syrup, agave, artificial sweeteners, and ALL hydrogenated oils.

Stopping virtually all exposure to tobacco smoke and tobacco products is also as protective for your protection from strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, arrhythmias and death from them.  In fact, it is MORE protective for these things than for all cancers with they also cause!

There are several ways to eat foods that protect against these things.  But the several diets that do so best ALL stress eating organic nonstarchy vegetables as a staple.  Including raw and lightly cooked cruciferous vegetables also prevents many cancers.  And eating these vegetables also once or more each day significantly helps to create hunger free fat loss.

The DASH II diet with extra servings of those kinds of vegetables and far fewer grain foods has been shown to lower high blood pressure significantly. For other health reasons, only using extra virgin olive oil improves your health protection.  So does regular, vigorous exercise, avoiding tobacco smoke, and stopping the bad foods and drinks.

The Mediterranean diet with extra servings of those kinds of vegetables and far fewer grain foods has been shown to be very protective of your health but not quite as good at lowering blood pressure.

The Paleo diet with extra servings of those kinds of vegetables and virtually no grain foods also has a good health track record, particularly if the animal protein foods in it are all wild caught fish or animals fed only their natural food such as 100% grass fed cows and eggs from pastured chickens and the intake of these kinds of vegetables is high.

Lastly, eating in one of these ways AND doing vigorous exercise most days of every week, particularly progressive strength training using mostly superslow repetitions, and stopping the bad stuff at the same time, tends to cause permanent fat loss.  Those who add a few tweaks too  and lose 10% or more of their body weight as fat often get significant lowering of their blood pressure too.

2.  What if you are spending a lot of money on blood pressure drugs and would be at a level of less than 160 over 100 without them?  What if you are in that situation and have truly harsh reductions in your quality of life and want your health back?

The evidence says that adding the things that are far more protective listed above makes it quite likely to be safe to stop the drugs.  (Doing that first is safest and will often lower your blood pressure in your doctor’s office too.)

BUT it can be deadly dangerous to stop taking blood pressure drugs cold turkey because it can cause horribly dangerous spikes in your blood pressure.

This is particularly true for one of the very worst blood pressure drugs for protection, beta blockers.

With those you need to be even more careful and slow withdrawing from them!

(Beta blockers ARE a good drug in two uses. 

If you have sky high blood pressure that can cause blown out blood vessels or strokes that same day such as 254 over 173, the drug they use in the ER to reliably get your blood pressure down a lot and do it fast is a beta blocker.  So the rebound when they are stopped can put you in that range if you do it wrong!

And, a recent study confirms that giving a beta blocker during and just after a heart attack reduces the damage and the number of heart cells that die. 

Both of these are very valuable uses.)

But for long term protection, tests of beta blockers show virtually none!

There’s a reason for that.  They prevent your heart from getting the benefits of the most protective kinds of exercise!  They prevent normal increases and decreases in blood pressure during your day enough to reduce blood vessel flexibility.  They prevent heart rehab of the undamaged part of your heart after a heart attack and tend to cause heart failure.

To top that off, they often produce the most disliked side effects for reducing your quality of life.

But the critical thing to do is to take it as you have been but in the smallest possible dose size and take enough to give you what you have been taking.

Then you need to work with a helpful and knowledgable doctor or a willing and knowledgeable pharmacist to step down your dosage level over a few weeks being extremely sure to take your doses on time and to not go faster than recommended.

The beta blockers are also psychologically addictive in some cases. So this can be a bit tough and having that doctor or pharmacist in your corner can be a big help.

But in the case of beta blockers, once you do your health and your PROTECTION will be BETTER!

Lastly, if your blood pressure is largely caused by stress and related problems, you can do Tai Chi or use the Resparate device to remove that physical stress.

Since beta blockers are often prescribed for that, this gives you the stress relief and blood pressure lowering AND gives you better protection too!

The only drawback to that is that you need to do it 10 or 15 minutes a day 5 to 7 days a week to have it work. 

But if you can’t add that, and DO do all the other things your protection will still be good.

The good news is if you can do one of them, you can even get your blood pressure from still a bit high such as 150 over 80 to something closer to 125 over 75.  

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