Archive for Health

Alzheimer’s: Same Old Tune

Alzheimer’s will affect 1 in 3 newborns at some point in their lives according to a new study, and this life robbing disease will affect women more than men.

The researchers at Alzheimer’s Research UK call it a ‘looming national health crisis’ and warn that girls born today are at a 10% higher risk of developing dementia later in life, compared to boys of a similar age whose risk is 27%.

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Dr. Matthew Norton, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and, if we are to beat it, we must invest in research to find new treatments and preventions.”

Well in response to Dr. Norton’s comments, the prevention strategies are already here and have been for some time, so why aren’t they promoting them widely and secondly why are they even mentioning new treatments, when they have been largely ineffective to date and based on Big Pharma’s record on producing drugs in general with poor efficacy, there is nothing to suggest that after millions more of further investment, this is about to change. So when you see the next sensationalist media headline such as “Alzheimer’s Breakthrough” or “Game Changer”, just ignore it and here is the reason why.

Let’s face it their record is abysmal for most, if not all disease types including cancer. Incidentally the BBC journalist made reference to the success of cancer treatments and asked why Alzheimer’s is lagging behind. I’m not sure where he got his information from, but cancer is not much better after the Billions spent on research and treatments.

In 2012, a researcher then at the biotechnology company Amgen wrote in Nature that when his team tried to reproduce 53 landmark cancer studies, they could replicate just six; that’s only 11%.!

Medicine doesn’t care about the root cause of diseases or a permanent cure

I know it sounds cruel and callous, but this is unfortunately the reality. Why? Because Big Pharma have been controlling the medical establishment for years, resulting on an emphasis on detecting disease and subsequently prescribing drug therapies to “treat” the symptoms.

The problem with this approach is twofold; firstly, you’re only masking the root cause and secondly, once disease has taken hold; it is usually too late or very difficult to reverse the damage.

Why should they pursue such a futile strategy? Simple! There is no money in cures in contrast to the multi-billion dollar profits in treating symptoms. Think about it logically; if doctors taught their patients (if they were trained in natural medicine, a big IF) how to avoid diseases and stay healthy, a $750 billion per year medical industry would be drastically reduced to treating rare disorders and accidents.

Most people never consider that medicine is a profit driven business, especially in countries like the UK with the NHS, where treatment is “free” at the point of delivery; however the reality is that the NHS costs a whopping £115 Billion a year.

Would it not be smarter to address the root causes of disease?

For example, Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases are caused by 3 interdependent factors:

Control these 3 conditions and you reduce the risk or slow down the disease. NB Mitochondria are the energy producing “batteries” of the cells, which turn food into cellular energy, namely adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Our modern lifestyles conspire against the mitochondria’s ability to produce energy optimally, leading to increased free radicals and cellular inflammation. This sets the stage for multiple diseases, including neurodegeneration.

What causes mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation and free radical damage?

  • Pesticides and herbicides – they are difficult to eliminate totally, but buying the organic version of the most contaminated produce and washing produce in water helps. Improving gut flora helps remove toxins; using probiotic foods or supplements.
  • Harmful ingredients in foods and beverages – these include MSG, saccharin and aspartame.
  • Toxic metals in the air, water, and consumer products – toxic metals including lead, cadmium, mercury and aluminium.

They find their way into certain fish, such as tuna, shark, and swordfish; drinking water, the air you breathe, household products, such as antiperspirants and aluminium cookware.

If you use fluoridated water or toothpaste, even in small amounts, it will increase your aluminium and flouride absorption and trigger a dramatic destruction of the same brain cells we see destroyed in Alzheimer’s patients. Flouride causes the calcification of the pineal gland, which is now implicated in the onset of Alzheimer’s. Chlorine is also a calicifier of the pineal gland.

  • Various sugars and sugar substitutes –  ditch the artificial sweeteners and use stevia, erythritol, raw honey or a little date paste. Aspartame is a potent excitotoxin that can literally excite brain cells to death. Instead, use natural sugar substitutes, which are safer and won’t cause inflammation or generate free radicals.
  • High carb diets – increase the risk of Alzheimer’s by 89%. They produce way too much glucose, which eventually leads to insulin resistance in the brain and associated inflammation, oxidative stress (from free radicals) and mitochondrial dysfunction, in turn leading to cell death. Hence the reason why the disease is often referred to as type 3 diabetes. In fact the brain does not need glucose and can manage very well with ketone (fats) bodies for fuel. This is one of the reasons why coconut oil is so effective at slowing the diseases’ progression.

    Also avoid grains, which cause high insulin spikes and contain anti-nutrients including the most damaging of all. namely gluten; gluten is a neurotoxin and should be re-classified as a health hazard, since it has been linked to at least 200 diseases and removal of it from the diet can actually induce recovery in Parkinson’s.

    Grains and other poor starchy carbs include wheat flour (bread, pasta, cereals, noodles, pies, pastries, ready meals), oats, potatoes, corn, rice; stick to sweet potatoes, squash and root vegetables. Also replace some starchy carbs with more fibrous vegetables.
  • Omega-6 fats (mainly from refined vegetable/cooking oils) – omega-6 oils beyond the smallest amounts will cause brain inflammation and that inflammation will excite the microglia into destroying your brain cells.

What’s more, the inflammation will cause more free radical activity that can overwhelm your antioxidant defences, causing a steady deterioration of brain cell function.

Omgea 6 oils line the supermarket aisle and are used in cooking, baking and salad dressings. The ones to avoid include; soybean, sunflower, canola (rapeseed), corn, safflower, refined olive oil, peanut or groundnut and generic vegetable oil.

Only use butter (preferably grass fed), virgin coconut oil, organic ghee and lard from a grass fed animal for cooking and EV olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia and cold pressed seed and nut oils for dressings.

Eat plenty of Omega 3 foods including oily fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon (preferably wild). Salmon contains astaxanthin, arguably the “king of antioxidants” as does krill oil, which would be useful for supplementing your Omega 3 intake. Good vegetarian options include ground or milled flaxseed (linseed), walnuts and cold pressed flaxseed oil.

Other healthy fats for a healthy brain include; nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and free range, organic eggs.

Other Causes:

  • Vaccines (including flu shots) – one of the world’s leading immunologists, Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, has conducted studies showing that those who receive the flu vaccine yearly for 3 to 5 years increase their risk of Alzheimer’s ten fold.
  • GMO foods – genetically engineered foods represent one of the most widespread and underestimated dangers of our time. Among other toxins and other health-disrupting contaminants, GMO foods contain glyphosatea horrifically destructive chemical that saps nutrients from foods and quite literally makes them toxic to consume.
  • Excitotoxins – these are substances that excite the microglia (brain’s immune cells) and cause a storm of inflammation and free radical production and they include chemicals added to foods e.g. MSG and aspartame as well as elevated homocysteine levels caused by poor diet induced inflammation.
  • Household and beauty products – are toxic and as such trigger the vicious cycle of inflammation and free radicals and more inflammation and mitochondrial damage.
  • Poor gut health – causes poor immunity; 70% of immune cells are made in the gut; microglia (the brain’s immune cells) are crucial for brain cell protection.
  • Low levels of the master antioxidant, glutathione – moderates the brain’s immune system, resulting in inflammation and free radical production, the two brain destroying culprits you must control to avoid neurodegenerative (ND) diseases.
  • Infections, brain injury, strokes, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, harmful foods, environmental toxins such as mercury, lead, and aluminium, and also high levels of glutamate, which deplete your body’s store of glutathione.

Find a doctor practicing holistic or integrative medicine who can administer heavy metal detox through IV chelation therapy, and while you’re at it, get a glutathione IV drip. This one-two punch will give your brain a big boost of protection.

Mercury is also highly toxic to your brain and immune system, and it’s the main ingredient in amalgam dental fillings. If you still have this type of filling, see a qualified dentist for their proper removal.

Other risk factors:

 What else should you do to help protect yourself?

  • Take the Sage Test to assess whether you are showing any symptoms of cognitive decline.
  • Fasting – this helps control insulin levels, which have been shown to be a factor in ND diseases; Alzheimer’s is often referred to as type 3 diabetes.
  • A high healthy fat diet (see healthy fats above) – reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by 44%. Believe it or not the brain is 60% fat, so why on earth would the Government and all their health cronies advocate a low fat diet? Simple, to appease the food companies who make Billions from low fat, junk foods, which make you ill, and the Big Pharma companies who make Billions selling you drugs in a futile attempt to “cure” you, but all they do is poison you.
  • Either install water filters in your home or stick to mineral spring water to avoid flouride, chlorine and other toxins.

Summary
Increasing evidence suggests that the brain is not pre-programmed or pre-destined by some genetic blueprint. Instead, we are interacting with and “updating” this blueprint with every one of our actions, mainly via the epigenome, the level above the gene, which interacts with our environment.

This means that our diet, exercise habits, supplementation routines, emotional health, sleep patterns and relationships all play a role in determining our brain health. Even the quality of our thought patterns (whether they’re positive or negative) can change our brains accordingly.

You and I both know that these “treatments and preventions” will certainly not involve alternative healthy breakthroughs, but rather ineffective, highly damaging chemical drugs that are foreign to the body and as such pose many other risks, while at the same time having little to no efficacy.

Developing policies to clampdown on junk food manufacturers, curtailing the use of pesticides and the over-prescription of antibiotics and other medicines and advocating at least some of the aforementioned supplement options would be a start.

However money, power and scientific egos are so intertwined, that they prove time and time again to be a tough nut to crack. Hopefully by reading this, it will provide food for thought and the confidence to take control of your own health by making the lifestyle changes necessary to help protect you from this life stripping disease..

The Truth about Fats: British Heart Foundation

I recently stumbled across an online article from BHF’s website (1), which I was disgusted with, although not totally surprised, by the inaccuracies of the article. It makes me irate that people who are supposed to have your interests at heart would pump out so much dogma.

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When you scratch under the surface and follow the money and vested interest trail, it becomes pretty transparent about where their interests lie. Just take a look at their sponsors; ASDA, Tesco, Flora, Warburtons.

OK, let’s get to the article, “The Truth about Fat – There’s a lot written about fat in the press, not all of it accurate. Pascale Varley clarifies those fat myths”.

“MYTH: All fats are the same”
“REALITY: All fats are high in energy and have identical calorie value (9kcal per g), so their effect on your waistline is the same. The big difference is their effect on your cholesterol levels, so it’s important to consider the type as well as the amount of fat you are eating.”

Pascale is inferring that fats make you fat. This is not the case; in fact fats are processed by the body differently to carbs and even proteins; carbs cause the secretion of huge amounts of insulin in order to deal with the excess glucose in the bloodstream from carbs (carbs equals glucose). Therefore when you eat a diet high in carbs, as is specified by the Government’s “Eatwell Plate”, you find it hard using up all the glucose as energy or storing it as glycogen (emergency glucose), resulting in carbs being stored as fat, commonly referred to as “fat spillover” (2). Insulin is not called the fat storage hormone for nothing (3).

In terms of fats altering cholesterol levels, from the saturated point of view, the outdated dogma from the 1950’s that blames saturated fats for increasing cholesterol levels, has been disproven beyond any doubt (4, 5). In terms of refined vegetable oils (e.g. peanut, groundnut, soybean, rapeseed or canola, grapeseed, generic vegetable oil, sunflower, safflower, corn); while they do not raise actual cholesterol levels, unfortunately they damage the LDL cholesterol due to their highly inflammatory nature, resulting from the heat and chemical extraction process; polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils actually do find their way into LDL cholesterol, making them much more likely to become oxidised, forming oxidised LDL particles (67891011).

These are the LDL particles that build up inside the walls of the arteries (12), and are a major cause of heart disease and death (13).

“Industrially produced trans fats and too much saturated fat can increase the risk of coronary heart disease by raising the level of harmful LDL cholesterol, which can contribute to blood vessel blockage.”

Pascale is correct on trans fats and incidentally refined vegetable oils can often contain large amounts of trans fats. In one study that looked at soybean and canola oils found on store shelves in the U.S., about 0.56% to 4.2% of the fatty acids in them were toxic trans fats (14). In terms of saturated fats, this is a myth (15) from the highly flawed “7 Countries Study” (16) in the 1950’s. 

“Trans fats have largely been removed….. Saturated fats are also in whole milk, cream, cheese, cakes and chocolate.”

Pascale may be correct on trans fats, but these oils would need to be tested to confirm their removal; however this is just a smoke screen anyway as we have postulated that vegetable oils are very detrimental to health.

According to Pascale, we are exceeding recommended amounts of saturated fats; recommended by The Establishment, that is the Government who are in the pockets of the food and Big Pharma industries, as well as charities who rely on the aforementioned for donations.

Yes Pascale, saturated fats include butter, ghee, lard plus coconut oil and palm oil. Unfortunately for the BHF and The Establishment, they are all healthy, especially in the grass fed version (for the first three) and the virgin, non hydrogenated version (for the last two). I notice Pascale points out coconut and palm oils inclusion in baked goods; I think you will find that these will be the cheap, hydrogenated versions that are highly inflammatory and cause oxidised LDL cholesterol (the bad type) and heart disease.

“Swapping saturated fats in your diet for unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) can help lower cholesterol levels. Find unsaturated fats in avocados, olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils, oily fish, seeds and nuts.”

No Pascale, saturated fats are very healthy and have many benefits (17). I notice Pascale has also lumped polyunsaturated fats together; this is a very big mistake as these fats include Omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, and even though both are classed as essential, the ratio of them is very important for health and disease prevention.

These fatty acids play important roles in many biochemical pathways, including those related to inflammation, immunity and blood clotting.

The problem is we need to get Omega 3 and Omega 6 in a certain balance. When this balance is off kilter, it can interrupt these important biochemical pathways (18).

For example, these two types of fatty acids often compete for the same enzymes and the same spots in cell membranes (1920) and have related but opposing roles; for example, both of them are used to produce signalling molecules called eicosanoids.

Eicosanoids made from Omega 6 tend to be pro-inflammatory, while those made from Omega 3 tend to be anti-inflammatory (2122).

Throughout evolution, we consumed balanced amounts of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. The problem today is that this balance has been drastically skewed towards Omega 6.

Not only are people eating way too much Omega 6, but their Omega 3 intake is also incredibly low, which is a recipe for disaster.

Whereas back in the day our Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio may have been between 1:1 and  3:1, these days it stands around 16:1, which is way outside of evolutionary norms (23).

Vegetable oils are the biggest source of Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet by far.

MYTH: I need to eat a low fat diet to look after my heart”
“REALITY: As our understanding develops……This is not a low-fat diet, but the fats are mostly unsaturated. It seems to be the overall combination that makes it so successful.”

There are a few issues here with respect to a Mediterranean diet; firstly it is a thing of the past as more people are turning to fast foods and processed foods (24). Also according to a 2014 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Greece and Italy actually have a greater proportion of overweight children than the United States (25).

Secondly, even if the diet consisted of grains, beans and legumes in previous generations, they would have been in trouble as all three have many health issues. I would be hear all day with grains, so I include a link (26) to one of the foremost authorities on grains and by coincidence he is also a heart surgeon.

In terms of beans and legumes, they are full of anti-nutrients e.g. lectins and phytic acid, which can damage the intestinal lining of the stomach (27); gut permeability leads to alterations in gut flora, which leads further to obesity and diabetes, two key risk factors for heart disease. (28).

“MYTH: Cutting out all fat is good for my heart”
“REALITY: Such a drastic approach isn’t necessary, and excluding fat can mean missing out on nutrients and fatty acids that our bodies need, such as omega 3 and omega 6 fats. These polyunsaturated fats are found in oily fish, nuts, seeds and the oils made from them.”

Well at least Pascale has recognised that fats contain nutrients and telling people not to cut them out completely avoided even the least educated in nutrition to be suspicious; obviously he stops short of that. Again he fails to address Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratios and types of Omega 6 foods that should be banned e.g. heart destroying refined vegetable oils.

“MYTH: Butter is better
“REALITY: Butter is high in saturated fat, so restrict yourself to small amounts and use alternatives for everyday eating.

Try mono or polyunsaturated spreads, such as olive oil or sunflower spreads (a new manufacturing process solved past concerns about their trans fat content). Liquid oils can also be used for cooking and baking instead of butter.”

Grass fed butter is high in Vitamin K2, which helps to prevent hardening of the arteries, which is a common factor in coronary artery disease and heart failure. Research suggests vitamin K2 may help to keep calcium out of your artery linings and other body tissues, where it can cause damage. The latest studies show it’s vitamin K2, rather than K1, in concert with vitamin D, that prevents calcification in your coronary arteries, thereby preventing cardiovascular disease (29).

Pascale just doesn’t understand that refined vegetable oils found in non butter and butter spreads are highly inflammatory and lead to oxidised LDL cholesterol and heart disease. Also liquid oils further degrade under high heat and compared to heat stable fats like saturated and monounsaturated fats, cooking with vegetable oil forms large amounts of disease promoting compounds (3031).

Some of these harmful compounds vaporise and may contribute to lung cancer when inhaled. Just being present in a kitchen where vegetable oils are being used may raise your risk of lung cancer (3233).

“MYTH: Any kind of meat is bad for my heart”
“REALITY: Lean meats such as chicken or turkey, without the skin, are healthier options, as they are lower in saturated fat. Red and processed meats can be high in saturated fats and may also have added salt.

Watch out for the white bits of fat in ham, steaks and bacon, and trim them off where possible.”

Saturated fats are good for you provided they are from a grass fed animal; also red meat form a grass fed animal is full of heart friendly, health promoting omega 3 fatty acids; yes it’s the truth.

Pascale is obsessed with saturated fat, so much so that it has completely clouded the truth, while the real culprits to heart disease (and many other diseases) get away Scot Free.

If you value your health, then I urge you to disregard everything in the BHF article. It is nothing short of a disgrace. If the BHF had a moral bone in their sorry bodies, they would retract the whole article and issue a public apology in every major UK media publication.

Putting the future on sale: The economics of instant gratification

We humans have all sorts of mental tricks for convincing ourselves that the time to resist temptation is tomorrow and so we of the gigantic prefrontal cortices find ourselves giving in again and again to immediate gratification.

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Many of our problems with temptation and procrastination come back to one uniquely human problem; how we think about the future. This trait can get our present selves into trouble. The problem is that we cannot see the future clearly enough.

When people deprive themselves of what they really want for the fleeting satisfaction of a quick fix; economists refer to this as “delay discounting”. The longer you have to wait for a reward, the less it is worth to you; even small delays can dramatically lower the perceived value.

In a research experiment with college students, they were given the choice of having two sweets now or six sweets in two minutes. The majority of them (80%) chose to have the sweets immediately i.e. two sweets rendering the six sweets worth less. The value of each sweet shrank as it became more distant.

Delay discounting explains not just why some college kids took two sweets instead of six, but why we choose immediate satisfaction at the cost of future happiness. We take what we want when we want it (now) and we put off until tomorrow whatever we don’t want to face today.

The students were not bad at arithmetic; they were blinded by the “promise of reward”, which behavioural economists call “bounded rationality”; we are rational until we are not. We will be perfectly rational when everything is in theory, but when the temptation is real, the brain shifts into reward seeking mode to make sure we don’t miss out. This type of reversal is behind most failures of self-control. We all prefer the short term, immediate reward when it is right there, staring us in the face and the want becomes overwhelming. This leads to “bounded willpower”, which means we have self-control until we need it.

One reason we are so susceptible to immediate gratification is that our brains’ reward system did not evolve to respond to future rewards. Food was the reward system’s original target, which is why humans are still exceptionally responsive to the smell or sight of anything delicious. When dopamine was first perfecting its effects on the human brain, a reward which was far off, whether by 60 miles or 60 days was irrelevant to daily survival. The system we needed was the one that ensured we snapped up rewards when they were available. At most, we needed the motivation to pursue a near reward like fruit you had to climb a tree for or cross a river to get your hungry hands on; this is our primal survival mechanism in action.

When our modern selves contemplate immediate versus future rewards, the brain processes these two options very differently. The immediate reward triggers the older, more primitive reward system and its dopamine induced desire in contrast to future rewards that don’t interest this reward system so much; their value is encoded by the more recently evolved prefrontal cortex.

To delay gratification, the prefrontal cortex has to cool off the promise of reward. It’s not an impossible feat; after all, that’s what the prefrontal cortex is there for.

Although it is not easy, the good news is, temptation has a narrow window of opportunity. To really overwhelm our prefrontal cortex, the reward must be available now and for maximum effect, you need to see it. As soon as there is any distance between you and the temptation, the balance of power shifts back to the brain’s system of self-control.

Take for example, the students whose self-control collapsed at the sight of two sweets. In another version of the study, experimenters asked them to make the choice without putting the rewards on the table. This time, they were much more likely to choose the larger, delayed reward. Not being able to see the reward made it more abstract and less exciting. This helped the students make a rational choice based on mental calculations, not primal feelings.

This is good news for those who want to delay gratification. Anything you can do to create that distance will make it easier to say no. For example, one study found that just putting a sweet jar inside a desk drawer instead of on top of the desk reduced office workers’ sweet consumption by one third. By putting the sweets away, the constant stimulation of desire is being reduced.

Willpower experiment: wait ten minutes

Ten minutes might not seem like much time to wait for something you want, but neuroscientists have discovered that it makes a big difference in how the brain processes a reward. When immediate gratification comes with a mandatory ten minute delay, the brain treats it like a future reward. The “promise of reward” system is less activated, taking away the powerful biological impulse to choose immediate gratification. When the brain compares a biscuit you have to wait ten minutes for, to a longer term reward, like losing weight, it no longer shows the same lopsided bias toward the sooner reward. It’s the “immediate” in immediate gratification that hijacks your brain and reverses your preferences.

For a cooler, wiser brain, institute a mandatory ten minute wait for any temptation. If, in ten minutes, you still want it (e.g. the doughnut), you can have it. But before the ten minutes are up, bring to mind the competing long term reward (e.g. weight control and better health), that will come with resisting temptation. If possible, create some physical or visual distance as well.

Why is delaying gratification so important?

We may all have been born with the capacity for willpower, allowing us to delay gratification, but some of us use it more than others. People who have better control of their attention, emotions and actions are better off any way you look at it. They are happier and healthier, their relationships are more satisfying and last longer, they make more money and go further in their careers. They are better able to manage stress, deal with conflict and overcome adversity and they even live longer.

The “want it now” culture is at the root of most, if not all societal ills including; excess debt, poor health including obesity, alcoholism, gambling, divorce, depression, anxiety,elevated stress levels and unfulfillment in life and work.

Delaying gratification even enhances the ability of an individual to create wealth for themselves through entrepreneurship.

 

Magnesium: King of Minerals

We need a full spectrum of minerals for optimum health and function, but arguably the most important is magnesium.

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Few people are aware of the enormous role magnesium plays in our bodies. Magnesium is by far the most important mineral in the body. After oxygen, water and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies.

“You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency”

                                                 Linus Pauling – two time Nobel Prize winner

Although Dr Pauling was referring to the general mineral depletion in our soils and thus our food supply, he was also referring to magnesium, perhaps unbeknownst to him.

Consider Dr. Norman Shealy’s statements, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”

When you consider the fact that 80% of Americans and other Western populations are deficient in magnesium, and the fact that modern diseases have exploded in the past few decades, then it is reasonable to think that there may be a causative link and that Linus Pauling and Norman Shealy may be on to something.

Causes of magnesium deficiency

There are many causes; here is an abbreviated list.

  • Magnesium deficiency can be caused by increased amounts of fluoride, chlorine and calcium.
  • Depleted soil and magnesium deficient produce due to chemicals e.g. pesticides and fertilisers.
  • Poor diets especially the consumption of processed and junk foods.
  • Stress
  • Insufficient stomach acid.
  • Reduced level of transport proteins.
  • Low water consumption.
  • Diseased intestines for instance candida albicans overgrowth.
  • Increased phosphorus in diet drinks or increased potassium or sodium.
  • Supplemental iron, which can impede magnesium absorption.
  • High consumption of tea, spinach, soy powders, soy milk, and chard, which have ingredients that interfere with magnesium absorption.
  • Many different medications.
  • Insufficient vitamin D, which is necessary for the body’s utilisation of magnesium.
  • Rarely, people have conditions of magnesium wasting where too much of this mineral is lost through the kidneys.

Why don’t we just eat more magnesium dense foods?

In 1992, the official report of the Rio Earth Summit concluded “there is deep concern over continuing major declines in the mineral values in farm and range soils throughout the world”. This statement was based on data showing that over the last 100 years, average mineral levels in agricultural soils had fallen worldwide by 72% in Europe, 76% in Asia and 85% in North America.

According to health journalist Larry Trivieri, Jr., author of The American Holistic Medical Association Guide to Holistic Health, overall “the mineral content of soil used to grow today’s group is one sixth of what it was fifty years ago, due to commercial farming methods…

The days are long gone when healthy living simply meant getting the right nutrients from our foods. Nowadays our soils are jam packed with an array of harmful chemicals not to mention mineral deficient plants and animals that eat the plants.

Conditions related to magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency can affect every organ and system in the body, which is what you would expect from a substance that is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. Hence the list is endless; however some common diseases and symptoms include:

The first symptoms of deficiency can be subtle, since most magnesium is stored in the tissues, leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle ‘twitches’ can be the first sign.

  • Other early signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.
  • People with magnesium deficiency often seem to be “uptight.” Other general symptoms include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, especially of chocolate, and breast tenderness.
  • Continuing with the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, the central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.

How to supplement

In addition to eating foods with appreciable amounts (allowing for soil depletion) of magnesium, supplementation offers the chance to get more magnesium needed for optimum body function and health.

The best forms of magnesium are magnesium taurate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium malate, magnesium oratate and magnesium oil; magnesium oil (magnesium chloride hexahydrate) is the new, apparently more absorbable form, delivered through the skin (transdermal).

Summary

Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body; hence the importance of this mineral to optimum health and multiple disease prevention.

A deficiency in magnesium pervades our modern World due to many factors, including the consumption of nutrient deficient foods as a result of soil depletion from pesticides, chemical fertilisers and over farming practices.

Another contributing factor is the mass consumption of junk and processed foods, which conspire to either deplete magnesium as in the case of sugar or prevent its absorption as in the case of anti-nutrients in certain foods.

Due to the depletion of magnesium in our diets, it is becoming a must for most people to supplement.

Magnesium oil offers the best absorption rates.

Modern medicine is supposed to help people not hurt them, but with their almost total ignorance of magnesium, doctors end up hurting more than they help, since many of the medical interventions deplete magnesium levels when they should be replenishing them. Many if not most pharmaceutical drugs drive magnesium levels into very dangerous zones and surgery done without increasing magnesium levels is much more dangerous than surgery done with.

The foundation of medical arrogance is actually medical ignorance and the only reason ignorance and arrogance rule the playing field of medicine is a greed for money and lust for power. Human nature seems to be at its worst in modern medicine when it should be at its best. It is sad that people have to suffer needlessly and it’s  tragic that conventional medicine has turned its back on the Hippocratic Oath and all that it represents.

Vitamin D: King of Vitamins

When you examine the multitude of health benefits that Vitamin D offers, it is not difficult to appreciate the significance it plays in both disease prevention and the treatment of existing conditions.

However the disturbing statistic is that up to 80% of the population could be deficient in this critical health promoter and disease fighter, which has been described as a pandemic in the USA.

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Not a day goes by where I don’t receive a new study or article about the wonders of this vitamin (in the natural, non synthetic D3 form I may add) or to be more accurate, steroid hormone.

Researchers are finding that Vitamin D acts more like a hormone in the body and influences many biochemical processes and you absorb it primarily from sun exposure or supplementation in high amounts with much less coming from foods; it is the ability of Vitamin D to influence genetic expression that produces many of its wide ranging health benefits.

What are the health benefits?

  • ImmunityVitamin D fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses.
  • CVD – Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack and stroke. One study showed that Vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50% and if you have a heart attack and you’re Vitamin D deficient, your risk of dying from that heart attack creeps up to 100%.
  • Autoimmune diseases – Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Cancers – Vitamin D has been shown in many studies to reduce the development of various cancers. For example, one of the Nurses’ Health Studies showed that nurses who had the highest blood levels of Vitamin D, averaging about 50 ng/ml, reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50%.

St Georges Hospital in London calculated from their studies that women with low levels of Vitamin D in their breast tissue have a 354% (4.5 times) greater risk of breast cancer.

That is remarkable and begs the question, why are cancer charities and the medical profession not continually embarking on publicity programmes for Vitamin D supplementation?

Research in 2012 in Cancer Causes and Control presented findings that former/never smokers were 44% less likely to die from lung cancer if they had blood levels of Vitamin D above 44 nmo per litre.

Research published in the Journal of Cell Biology (Nov 2008) has shown that “Vitamin D can adjust almost everything in the cancer cell, from its genetic messaging to its cytoskeleton. It can switch genes on and off, reduce cell division and can calm the cancer cells so that they settle rather than spread. It seems Vitamin D can actually return a cancer cell to a normal and healthy state. One pathway seems to control everything”.

Vitamin D can also enhance the efficacy of cancer drugs; researchers at the Salk Institute have shown that the pancreatic cancer drug Gemcitabine works 57% better if combined with Vitamin D.

Researchers recently made a link with high Vitamin D levels and an increase in the survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

  • In utero and beyond – Vitamin D levels are linked to many pre and post birth conditions including poor general foetal health, pre-eclampsia, excess C-Section procedures, asthma and wheezing, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

 What is the recommended dosage?

If you do not live in the sun belt areas of the world, then supplementation is the best other option. Here are some guidelines that will help you to start reaping the benefits of this powerful vitamin like steroid hormone.

  • Neonates: 400 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Children one year of age and above: 600 to 1,000 IUs per day
  • Adults: 2,000 to 4,000 IUs per day

NB For best results, Vitamin D should be taken in tandem with Vitamin K2. Also there are no toxicity issues with Vitamin D even up to 10,000 IUs per day. George Ebers, the renowned Vitamin D researcher takes 4,000 IUs per day.

Summary

Since the early 2000’s there has been 34,000 scientific investigations carried out on the health benefits of Vitamin D and still we see increasing rates of many disease conditions.

Vitamin D is so powerful as a therapeutic agent that it has been reclassified in medical circles as a hormone. Not only does Vitamin D prevent a wide range of diseases, but can also reduce the risks of dying and even reverse diseases; prevention is the much preferred option of course.

Dr. Michael Holick, an expert on Vitamin D and author of the book, “The Vitamin D Solution” estimates that 50% of cancers could be prevented with Vitamin D supplementation; this example alone clearly demonstrates the therapeutic power of this cheap and easily accessible vitamin or to be medically correct, steroid hormone.

So what on earth are Governments doing when they are supposed to be protecting the health of nations.

Is the information being suppressed or not publicised more freely? Would free prescriptions for Vitamin D at the correct doses (not Government RDA’s) slash the disease rates in cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and much more? Would Big Pharma put the brakes on such a bold and innovative step by Governments?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obesity: A Disability?

The news was littered recently with lively debate on whether obesity should be classified as a disability after the EU ruling that obesity is actually a disability.

This week I decided to poll about 20 people on this question and interestingly not one said it should be a classified as a disability.

Read more

The UK government’s definition of a disability states; “You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities”.

If are you are clinically obese, then there is no doubt you will meet the above criteria at some point in time. Even if obese people show little obvious symptoms, they may have underlying depression or related illness, low mood and low energy, sleep apnoea and breathing problems, which impact their day to day lives.

Mechanisms for addiction

All addictions (drugs, alcohol, food etc) follow similar paths from the beginning to fully blown addiction. Why does anyone resort to any type of vice in life? Well it usually has its roots in filling some sort of void in one’s life whether it be loneliness, low mood, financial problems, lack of self esteem, divorce, death in the family; these are all examples of how we turn to certain stimuli in an attempt to fill the void. In the case of obesity, high calorie (usually poor quality) foods in high quantities are the culprit.

Once the addiction, in this case food, takes hold, your brain chemicals and hormones have been hijacked by “foods” designed by scientists and chemists; these neuroscientists create “foods” with optimum amounts of sugar, salt, bad fats and artificial additives in the right proportions to hijack your reward/pleasure circuit in the brain, due to the release of large amounts of dopamine giving you the “feel good” feeling.

Unfortunately the “high” is short lived for reasons we can’t get into in this article, but refer to my other Huffington Post article, “Dopamine: The False Promise of Reward”.

Once obesity sets in there are many complex biological processes that take place; for example your hormone receptors stop receiving the signal from hormones because they have become resistant as a result of excess production and circulation of the hormone. Insulin resistance is an example, which is a result of excess carbohydrates (glucose) and this leads to obesity since the insulin receptors stop listening to the insulin signal to use glucose rather than store it as fat; the receptors have became resistant to the signal from insulin because too much insulin has been circulating for long periods as a result of excess blood glucose from mainly excess carbs.

Similarly your leptin hormone, which regulates appetite, energy balance and metabolism and resides in fat tissue mainly in the abdomen, can no longer be heard by the leptin receptor in the brain; therefore obese people’s brains do not actually get the signal to “stop eating, you are full” from the stomach. They are basically leptin resistant, which is a disaster because leptin resistance actually precedes insulin resistance.

Add in the stress hormone cortisol, which is elevated when the body is under stress (e.g. obesity) and the gut is suffering from inflammation, caused by scientifically designed addictive food, and you have the perfect storm for the onset of disease at some point in people’s lives. Why? Because leptin resistance, insulin resistance and high cortisol levels (adrenal fatigue) negatively influence the P53 gene, a main guardian of our genome, causing genes to become faulty and mutate, resulting in disease like cancers.

Who has fueled the condition?

If the Government are unwilling to guide people with accurate information without vested interests then what do they expect? Their “Eatwell Plate” (should be renamed to “Eatpoor”) is an example of poor advice; heavily biased towards high calorie, nutrient deficient carbs.

It was the third president of the USA, Thomas Jefferson who wisely said over 200 years ago;

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

What are the UK Government’s efforts to “improve” the obesity crisis? They recommend bariatric surgery, which is a dangerous and life changing procedure that ruins your ability to absorb nutrients and does not address the root causes, which led to the problem in the first place.

They also recommend Weightwatchers, which is a dinosaur in the diet world with their low fat, nutrient deficient, high carb and calorie restrictive diets; a recipe for an obesity disaster; it simply does not work.

They also prescribe obesity drugs that may work to a degree, but like most drugs they have side effects, limited efficacy and do not address the root causes.

What should they recommend? Counselling to address underlying issues, a programme to improve gut flora, proper insulin management to control insulin mainly through controlled carb intake; insulin is not called “the fat storage hormone” for nothing. They should also revamp the “Eatwell Plate”

What is the food industry’s response to “improve” the obesity crisis?

  • Low fat dogma, which is blatant lies
  • Processed foods high in carbs and refined sugars
  • Whole grains, which are junk with a health halo attached
  • Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut and obesity
  • Artificial sweeteners, which interfere with your brain chemistry and appetite hormones
  • Food labelling, which is archaic and pretty meaningless
  • GMO foods cause the onset of obesity
  • Trans fats and hydrogenated oils, refined vegetable oils, which all cause inflammation and resultant weight gain.
  • Pesticides, which damage hormones, resulting in weight gain through various mechanisms.

Other factors

Tests have shown that what a woman eats during her pregnancy is easily detectable in her amniotic fluid, and the foetus develops a taste for familiar flavours; if these are junk foods, the baby is off to a bad start in life by having key brain chemicals and hormones hacked by scientifically designed, processed foods. Here is a great article on this.

Summary

It could also be argued that obesity is also a mental condition, since people are using food to mask underlying problems in their life. However once obesity has taken hold, your body chemistry has been hijacked. Specifically your chemical messengers and their respective receptors are not working or have been effectively disabled in the case of obesity, which leads to other long term disease e.g. cancer.

The obese are easy targets for ridicule from Governments and manipulation from food companies which use it as a deflection tactic (people are eating too much and not exercising) to cover up their own inadequacies; they have effectively fuelled this crisis through the pursuit of corporate profits and tax revenues.

A combination of poor dietary information and lack of counselling services before and after obesity has taken hold, have exacerbated the condition. In a world of mixed messages from very savvy food marketers and Governments reluctant to level the playing field, what chance does the average person stand?

Obesity is a complex multi-factorial problem, with mental and physical impairments, and as such should be rightly deemed a disability; I think the EU are right on this one.