Archive for January, 2009

HFCS, Fortified with Mercury

January 31, 2009

HFCS, Fortified with Mercury

Mercury cell chlor-alkali products are used to produce thousands of other products including food ingredients such as citric acid, sodium benzoate, and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is used in food products to enhance shelf life. A pilot study was conducted to determine if high fructose corn syrup contains mercury, a toxic metal historically used as an anti-microbial. High fructose corn syrup samples were collected from three different manufacturers and analyzed for total mercury. The samples were found to contain levels of mercury ranging from below a detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. Average daily consumption of high fructose corn syrup is about 50 grams per person in the United States. With respect to total mercury exposure, it may be necessary to account for this source of mercury in the diet of children and sensitive populations.

Read the whole article here


Control Dust Mites Naturally

January 28, 2009

Control Dust Mites Naturally
Dust mites are mites that live in house dust. It is actually the feces of dust mites that are the most common trigger of asthma and breathing difficulties. Dust mites produce fecal matter approximately 20 times each day and these feces are light enough to float in the air. This means that this is easily inhaled. Approximately 40,000 dust mites can occupy one speck of dust so it is easy to imagine the amount of dust mite feces that are inhaled with every indoor breath taken.

A humid environment is the perfect habitat for dust mites because dust mites feed on plant materials, molds, and fungi and all of these menu items are abundant in humid environments. Dust mites also feed on dead human skin, something which is prevalent in every home.

If one has allergies or asthmatic health issues, minimizing dust mites in the home is a very important task. Reducing dust mites naturally is an effective option that is relatively simple to accomplish.

How to Reduce House Dust Mites:

Bedding: This is the favored home of the dust mite. For the allergy prone, it may be a good idea to encase bedding and pillows with special covers that are cleaned frequently.

Washing: Wash clothes and bedding regularly. Washing in 130oF water will kill all dust mites. Washing in cold water kills approximately 90% of dust mites. Adding several drops of eucalyptus oil to the wash water is effective as well. For those with sensitivities to eucalyptus, lavender or rosemary essential oils are also effective.

Heating: Heat will help minimize dust mites. Examples of effective heat include steam-cleaning carpets, tumble-drying in a dryer, direct sunlight, and electric blankets. Dust mites do not like direct sunlight. Hanging bedding or rugs outside in the sun is effective for removal of dust mites.

Air Conditioning: Air conditioning will dry out a humid indoor environment. This will reduce the food supply for dust mites and the result will be a reduced number of dust mites. It’s important to realize, however, that air conditioning removes beneficial negative ions from the air so there is a trade-off.

Air Purification: A quality air purifier is an effective tool for reducing dust mites. Air purification technology that uses oxidation is effective at purifying the air of dust mites. Hydroxyl ions, hydro peroxides, oxide ions or negative ions remove pollutants from the air. Oxidation technology air purifiers can be placed throughout a home to be effective. These oxidizers can also penetrate upholstered furniture, carpeting, and bedding to destroy dust mites and feces.

Cleaning: Because dust mites exist in the fabrics, carpets, and upholsteries in a home, it is important to vacuum carpets and upholstery frequently and carefully. If breathing issues are particularly severe, removing carpets and installing hardwood flooring may be beneficial. Regular dusting is also important.

A spray of 1 cup vodka and 20-30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil can be made and used as well. Spray pillows and bedding several times per week. This spray can also be used on upholstery and carpets.

Plants Aid Recovery from Surgery, Ease Pain

January 26, 2009

Plants Aid Recovery from Surgery, Ease Pain
You visit someone who is in the hospital following an operation or a sick friend confined to bed at home and you bring along a gift of colorful flowers or a lovely potted plant. That may sound like simply a thoughtful gesture to spread some cheer. But, it turns out, your gift of greenery may actually have a therapeutic effect that can help people recover physically from illness — even serious surgery.

That`s the conclusion of a recent study by Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson, researchers from the Department of Horticulture, Recreation and Forestry at Kansas State University. Using a host of medical and psychological measurements, the scientists found strong evidence that contact with plants is directly beneficial to a hospital patient`s health.

The research, published in the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) journal HortTechnology, was conducted on 90 patients recovering from appendectomies who were randomly assigned to hospital rooms with or without plants during their recovery periods after surgery. The scientists collected data on the length of hospitalization, administration of drugs for postoperative pain control, vital signs, ratings of pain intensity, distress, fatigue and anxiety, and how satisfied patients were with their rooms. The results showed the surgery patients who had plants in their rooms needed significantly less pain medication, had lower blood pressure and heart rate and reported less pain, anxiety, and fatigue. These non-drug ways plants can improve recovery is good news for patients, doctors, and insurers alike because plants are cost effective and provide medical benefits with no side effects.

The patients with plants in their rooms also expressed better overall satisfaction with their recovery rooms than the patients in the control group who had no plants in their rooms. In fact, 93 percent of patients with plants in their rooms reported that the plants were the most positive qualities of their rooms.

The researchers also suggest that potted plants are more beneficial than cut flowers. That`s because the plants last longer and, in addition, nurses reported that as patients recovered, they began to interact with the plants, actively watering, pruning, and moving their plants for a better view or light. There`s another reason plants could boost recovery: several past studies have shown indoor plants can improve indoor air quality by increasing humidity and reducing the quantity of mold spores and airborne germs.


Lack of Sleep Linked to 300 Percent Higher Risk of Catching Colds

January 25, 2009

Lack of Sleep Linked to 300 Percent Higher Risk of Catching Colds
Catching a cold? Maybe that’s Mother Nature’s way of telling you to stay home and get some sleep for a change. A new study conducted at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has found that people who get fewer than seven hours of sleep a night are 300% more likely to catch colds.

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This study, however, does not establish a causal relationship between a lack of sleep and catching colds. It more likely points to an underlying health stance by participants, where unhealthy individuals suffer both from suppressed immune systems and sleep disorders at the same time. Healthy people, on the other hand, were able to resist infections while enjoying better-quality sleep.

Resisting colds is quite easy for the nutritionally informed. When your body retains sufficient levels of both vitamin D and zinc, catching common colds is virtually impossible. I haven’t caught a cold in more than six years, probably, and most hard-core natural health consumers who live on superfoods and raw foods reports virtually zero colds.

Interestingly, the people who catch colds the most often are those who get flu shots, indicating that flu shots may actually weaken the immune system, making recipients more vulnerable to future infections. It is well documented, by the way, that flu shots — even if they work — only protect people against last year’s flu strains, not this year’s flu. Thus, the whole basis upon which flu shots are promoted is temporally flawed to begin with. Unless you own a time travel machine, that is.

In any case, there’s no question that getting eight hours of sleep a night is good for your health (and your immune system), but if you really want to avoid catching colds, probably the most important thing you can do — especially during the Winter — is raise your vitamin D levels. That can easily be accomplished by either taking vitamin D supplements (or fish oils) or taking a month-long vacation to Hawaii where you hang out on the beaches and soak up some healing rays.

Just be sure to take astaxanthin and lots of superfood antioxidants for at least 30 days before going, so that you are protected against sunburn. And throw out the sunscreen, folks, unless you want skin cancer from all the chemicals found in sunscreen.

From Cohen’s team tested 153 healthy volunteers, locking them in a hotel for five days after infecting them with a cold virus. They had been interviewed daily for the previous two weeks to get details on their sleep patterns. They were tested for cold symptoms after the five-day lockup and had blood tests for antibodies to the virus…. more

Insulin, Leptin, and Blood Sugar – Why Diabetic Medication Fails

January 24, 2009

Insulin, Leptin, and Blood Sugar – Why Diabetic Medication Fails

Type II diabetes is a difficult metabolic problem. It is a national embarrassment that so many of our young people are becoming type II diabetic. It is a national disgrace that millions of type II diabetic patients are being injured with commonly used diabetic medications that are known to make their metabolic situation worse.

An overwhelming body of science demonstrates that insulin resistance leads to obesity and vice versa. Once this problem sets in a person heads down a path of ever-worsening metabolic control as diabetes-related issues, cholesterol problems, and heart disease risk factors pile up. If nothing is done, very poor health and early death are certain.

However, the Big Pharma blood-sugar remedies turn out to be really bad for health – and actually complicate rather than improve the patient’s health. Even when the drugs aren’t directly damaging in a major way, they fail to address the actual reasons for diabetes and typically have the net result of making the factors causing diabetes worse. I know that may seem hard to believe – but it is true, and I will explain it shortly.

On December 17, 2008 the New England Journal of Medicine put the nail in the coffin on another dismal year for the theory of drugs to treat disease, reporting that aggressive use of blood-sugar-lowering medication to prevent heart disease was a complete failure. Its not that lowering blood sugar in this patient population didn’t do anything: it made the patients heavier and more hypoglycemic. This newer study followed equally dismal results from the ACCORD trial (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes), which earlier in 2008 found a 22% increased rate of death in diabetic patients who were aggressively treated with medications.

Some of the newer diabetes medications like Avandia are quite deadly and likely to injure in multiple ways (such as doubling the risk for bone fractures). Scientists at the FDA were so concerned this drug would cause heart failure that they wanted a black box warning on it from the start. However, Von Eschenbach and his band of FDA management goons forced FDA scientists to not warn anyone! As Avandia-treated bodies starting showing up on the doorsteps of morgues around the country, Congress started asking questions. Eventually scientists reported a 43% increase in the risk for heart failure from Avandia; however, the FDA had this data from the start and didn’t tell anyone. The FDA allowed Avandia sales to reach 3.2 billion per year – while killing and injuring a lot of patients. Even when the high-profile type II diabetic Tim Russert keeled over dead from a heart attack, nobody in the media seemed interested to know if he was taking Avandia.

At the same time that the FDA was helping to create a market for deadly Avandia sales, they sent out twenty-four warning letters to small dietary supplement companies telling them that their promotion of various products to lower blood sugar, correct insulin resistance, or improve diabetes is against the law. Against whose law? Certainly not the first amendment.

The Blood Sugar Con Job
The FDA and Big Pharma get away with this nonsense because they set the standard for drug effectiveness on a surrogate endpoint or biomarker, in this case the blood sugar level. Their logic is that if blood sugar levels are better than health must be better. This means that any drug that takes a toxic sledgehammer to blood sugar levels, knocking them down, is just fine in the eyes of the FDA even though the drug leaves a trail of damage around the body – even killing the person!

On a lesser scale, but using similar logic, doctors think that any medication that helps lower blood sugar is doing the patient a favor. Never do they ask the most obvious question: If you are lowering blood sugar with a drug where is the sugar going? The answer is: most often to stored fat. Or the sugar is simply forced into cells and kills them because the cells couldn’t use the sugar.

What is a diabetes patient to do? And how does anyone whose blood sugar is beginning to rise get the problem under control? Answering these questions requires that you understand something about the subject, as it is rather obvious most doctors, even those who treat diabetes patients as their primary business, don’t have adequate practical knowledge to fix the great majority of people coming to them for help.

Blood Sugar 101
First off, your blood is not a very sweet beverage. Normal fasting blood sugar is slightly less than one teaspoon of sugar in your five or so quarts of blood. What happens when you drink a sugar-sweetened Coke that contains ten teaspoons of sugar?

When you eat any food, even fat, your insulin level will rise. Higher amounts of refined carbohydrates or simple sugars will raise your insulin faster and in higher amounts. The greater the fiber content of your diet, the slower insulin is raised and the more controlled the process. When you eat a large meal, regardless of the type of calories, it causes a large and difficult to manage surge in insulin.

Insulin is a taxicab for calories. Its goal is to take blood sugar, as its passenger, to various locations in your body that want it. It helps if you are active, as some of the sugar is more likely to be wanted by cells in your body, including your many muscle cells.

Blood sugar is fuel, like gasoline is to a car. Your brain must have a regular supply or your head conks out. Thus, following a meal your insulin taxis are busy transporting sugar through your circulation and out to your cells, hoping to find cells that need some sugar.

In a healthy person, insulin drops off a whopping sixty percent of the sugar at your liver – which acts as a warehouse, converting the blood sugar to glycogen for storage.

Insulin is released by your pancreas in two phases. The first phase is from insulin that is already made and stored in your pancreas, which is just waiting for some food to come along. This is your first wave of taxis coming to pick up the first set of blood-sugar passengers. The release of this insulin triggers your pancreas’s beta cells to start making more insulin to deal with the rest of the meal.

As you are eating, some of the insulin transports blood sugar to your white adipose tissue or stored fat. The blood sugar is taken up by fat cells, activating their metabolism, in turn producing the hormone leptin. Leptin now enters your blood and begins traveling up to your brain. The more you eat, the more insulin you make, and the more leptin you make.

When leptin levels get high enough, meaning you have eaten enough, then leptin permeates into your brain and tells your subconscious brain you are full. At the same time the higher levels of leptin are also telling your pancreas that you are full, which turns off the beta cell production of insulin, as no more taxis are needed.

If you ate the right amount of food for your physical activity level then blood sugar always has some place healthy to go, insulin rises and falls in a controlled manner, as does leptin.

When insulin has too many blood sugar passengers and cells don’t need any sugar, then insulin stimulates the production of triglycerides (which can become stored fat). This is how you gain weight. Unfortunately, as triglycerides elevate in your blood they get in the way of leptin getting into your brain. This keeps you eating more than you need to because you don’t have a full signal yet, a problem called leptin resistance. This encourages even further insulin-driven triglyceride formation, making it more likely you will gain weight.

If you stop eating so much and start exercising more, then this simple-case issue can improve and will often bounce back to normal function – thus the basic idea of eating less and exercising more to lose weight.

If you continually eat too much and are gaining weight, then cells get tired of seeing insulin taxis driving up. In fact, they shutter their windows and lock their doors, insulin becomes persona non grata. The reason for this rejection of insulin is rather simple – if the cells took in blood sugar when they can’t use it, because they already have enough, then the extra sugar will caramelize and kill the cell. Rejecting insulin is a self defense measure. This is the mechanism behind basic insulin resistance at the cellular level.

If this problem keeps going, blood sugar levels continue to rise, insulin resistance gets worse, leptin resistance gets worse, cholesterol levels go up, blood pressure goes up, triglyceride levels go up, and inflammation really starts heating up. Eventually this leads to type II diabetes, along with many risk factors for heart disease, and then heart and kidney disease lock into place.

The problem for any kind of blood sugar medication is that it only addresses one of many mechanisms that aren’t working right, while creating its own side effect complications. At best, it is a temporary solution with a narrow scope of benefit – and does not address the true source of the problem.

Furthermore, when more drugs are added in an effort to more comprehensively address the multiple aspects of the problem, then side effects really pile up in a hurry and injure the patient. This means the risk of multiple drug treatment far outweighs the benefits, even though one or two drugs can’t get the job done.

More often, the medication either forces sugar into cells – killing or injuring them or it transfers the sugar into fat, making leptin problems worse that in turn make insulin problems almost impossible to solve. The shortcoming of these medications is openly acknowledged in the scientific literature, yet this is what passes for standard medical care. It is a disgrace.

Basic Diet Adjustments for Insulin Improvement
The absolute worst possible dietary pattern of eating for a type II diabetic IS THE STANDARD DIET ADVICE GIVEN BY DIETICIANS AND DOCTORS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY FOR ALMOST ALL TYPE II DIABETIC PATIENTS, helping to lock in a national epidemic of type II diabetes. They routinely tell individuals to snack in order to maintain their blood sugar levels and to “stoke” their metabolism with fuel.

In normal health, when you haven’t eaten for three hours, insulin levels return to a baseline. Now your pancreas makes a different hormone called glucagon. This hormone tells your liver to release the sugar it has stored (glycogen) to sustain your blood sugar levels, and as it does this it turns on your liver’s fat burning system. Thus, under the influence of glucagon your liver simultaneously uses sugar and fat to sustain your blood sugar – a true fat burning time that helps to clear up stagnating levels of triglycerides in your blood.

If you snack on anything surpassing thirty calories you will raise insulin, which automatically turns off glucagon, causes fat burning to stop, and blunts the use of sugar that has been stored in your liver. However, since you haven’t used the stored sugar in your liver, then insulin can’t put more sugar back in your liver as it normally would, meaning it will readily turn blood sugar into fat (even if you snacked on something with no fat).

You are supposed to get a snack between meals – but it is supposed to come from your liver, not from eating.

The worst things for leptin and insulin are eating between meals, eating large meals, eating low fiber, eating high refined sugar or refined carbohydrates, not eating enough quality protein, and not exercising.

If you eat anything after dinner you make matters even worse, because now you reduce the optimal access into your stored fat during sleep, a prime opportunity to burn fat.

When this system is abused and weight is gained, then fat begins to accumulate in excess in your liver. The fat clogs your liver’s metabolism and reduces the ability of sugar to store in your liver following a meal. This is liver insulin resistance caused by fatty build up. This means that you are much more likely to become hypoglycemic or low blood sugar between meals – as you don’t have enough sugar in your warehouse to use for blood sugar between meals.

This same fatty liver problem also gets in the way of how glucagon would burn fat between meals, causing glucagon to synthesize sugar in an inappropriate and out-of-control manner, making blood sugar go high even though you haven’t eaten. This is why diabetics wake up with very high fasting blood sugar levels. These are complicated metabolic problems that are more difficult to fix than simple case insulin resistance.

Furthermore, your pancreas starts to tune out leptin, meaning that leptin resistance is occurring at the level of beta cells and the beta cells aren’t getting the leptin message to stop making insulin in a timely manner. This causes extra insulin to be made, which excessively lowers blood sugar by turning sugar to fat, while simultaneously inducing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar symptoms. This makes a person want to eat again two to three hours after the previous meal, in turn making the whole problem worse.

And it’s about this time, with metabolism clogged and broken, that a young overweight person goes to the doctor and finds out he or she is type II diabetic.

If the problem continues, then inflammation begins to damage the insulin-secreting beta cells. Not only are these beta cells now leptin resistant, causing them to overproduce insulin and get tired out, but they are getting damaged and their numbers are declining – meaning now they can’t make insulin either. This sends a person down a path of a mixture of type I and type II diabetes – with an autoimmune component sometimes thrown in for good measure, a problem that is seen progressively more often in today’s older type II diabetics.

The Complexity of Insulin and Leptin Problems
Well, if you thought that was hard to understand, then realize that the previous description was the rather simple explanation of the problem (and worth reading over again until you understand it). The metabolic problems of a diabetic patient are actually far more complex. To prevent yourself from becoming diabetic or to get over the problem, it is very important to understand even more information.

As your fat cells expand and cram into each other, a highly inflammatory state occurs within your white adipose tissue. These inflammatory signals aggravate and lock in the various problems discussed in previous sections. Another hormone made in fat, adiponectin, is a major player in this equation.

In health, leptin and adiponectin elevate in harmony, side by side. When leptin resistance occurs, which is common anytime someone starts gaining weight, then adiponectin levels begin to fall. The fall in adiponectin is caused by the inflammation in white adipose tissue. Interestingly, adiponectin is a primary anti-inflammatory hormone within white adipose tissue. Thus, the inflammation of progressive weight gain eventually overwhelms adiponectin, at which point serious problems really set in.

Once adiponectin levels fall too much, then inflammation in fat cells really ramps up. The greater the weight gain and leptin resistance, the farther adiponectin levels fall. When adiponectin levels fall your liver’s ability to process sugar and insulin dramatically worsen, and your muscles become resistant to insulin – speeding the onset of type II diabetes.

And that’s not all – your brain becomes insulin resistant which is actually caused by the leptin resistance, and this problem is now found to lock in all problems of insulin resistance around your body. A great deal of research indicates that the failure of insulin and leptin to register properly in your brain, along with falling adiponectin levels, creates a highly inflammatory state of affairs that is the prime cause of worsening blood sugar regulation and eventual type II diabetes.

Diabetic medication does not address these issues, and often makes them worse over time – even if blood sugar numbers appear better for a period of time. Treating blood sugar numbers is not treating the cause of anything. It’s like saying the cause of a house fire is because the Fire Department didn’t show up fast enough – so now let’s put a fire hydrant in everyone’s house so we can put out fires faster. That is an accurate analogy of how the Big Pharma-trained medical profession manages the type II diabetic population in our country. Even worse, their monopoly and inept care is sanctioned by the FDA and FTC as law, who act as police force bullies to stamp out any competing interests.

How to Solve the Diabetes Problem
There is no quick fix for type II diabetes, or even fasting blood sugar levels that are on the rise. To be healthy, your fasting blood sugar should never be above 90. However, real health is determined by achieving this number because your body is working properly.

There is no vitamin, mineral, or miracle pill that can automatically prevent or treat diabetes. What you are trying to do is create a nutritional environment that supports your body working normally.

Individuals with simple-case insulin and leptin resistance, who cut back on junk, exercise more, make appropriate dietary adjustments, and use some basic dietary supplement support can typically bring these smaller problems in line relatively quickly.

When problems are more serious they are complicated by the fact that the liver, pancreas, white adipose tissue, circulatory system, and subconscious brain have been irritated and even damaged by inflammatory compounds. This fact alone takes time to heal – it is not a simple nutritional deficiency – it is more like a badly sprained ankle.

Additionally, the liver, muscles, and circulation are clogged with accumulating fat. This is like trying to cook a meal in a filthy kitchen, it is going to be challenging. This problem will only gradually improve as weight is lost, it never improves until the weight is lost, and it is always getting worse if weight is being gained.

The solution is to create a pattern of health, rooted in a good diet and exercise, wherein these more advanced problems can begin to correct themselves. Type II diabetes is completely reversible for almost everyone – if only diabetics knew what to do.

Dietary Basics to Correct Type II Diabetes
Dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, is critical for the repair of blood sugar problems. Soluble fiber is vital for slowing the rate at which sugar enters your blood, thus enabling your insulin system to function with less stress. It also helps you maintain healthier levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Individuals struggling with blood sugar issues need 35 to 50 grams of fiber per day, much of it as soluble fiber (a higher level than the 25 grams the government recommends for general health). Higher amounts are also very helpful to curb appetite and support weight loss.

A serving of fruit or vegetables or a cup of oatmeal average about 4 grams of soluble fiber per serving. Legumes have about 8 grams of soluble fiber per serving (avoid soy). It is really easy to get higher amounts of soluble fiber with high quality fiber drinks. Pysllium, oat beta glucan concentrates, arabinogalactan, and partially hydrolyzed guar gum are just a few of the many fiber options available for consumers to easily boost soluble fiber intake.

Protein is vital in the repair of blood sugar metabolism. A minimal objective for protein intake is three-fourths of your ideal weight in grams of protein per day. To improve insulin function, the key proteins that help are rich in branch chain amino acids – especially leucine. Unlike any other amino acids, leucine directly communicates to insulin, instructing it to work efficiently in muscle. This not only helps preserve your muscle mass as you lose weight, it helps your muscles use glucose as fuel, in turn supporting healthy insulin function. Whey protein also helps leptin enter your brain more efficiently, supporting normal insulin function in your nervous system.

The highest sources of leucine-containing foods are animal and dairy sources. Cottage cheese and red meat top the list; other sources include milk, cheese, eggs, pork, fish, chicken, legumes, peanuts, nuts, and seeds. If you avoid red meat and dairy products, it is harder it is to get leucine-containing foods in higher amounts – though not impossible. Using whey protein makes it easy. I always recommend individuals stay away from processed soy protein (like soy protein drinks), as it is anti-thyroid in higher amounts.

The key foods to eliminate are refined carbohydrates, refined sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. Complex carbohydrates and fruit should be eaten at meals, several servings of each per day. Saturated fat and cholesterol-containing foods do not need to be avoided – just don’t eat them in excess. A bite or two of dessert is permissible at a dinner meal, but never between meals or as a snack. Avoid adding any sweetener to food, whether natural or artificial, as they skew your taste buds to be addicted to food in larger amounts than you truly need. Soda drinks should be completely avoided. Coffee or tea in moderation. Eat organic whenever possible. Raw foods and vegetable juicing is great – go easy on the carrots and apples/fruit.
The Five Rules of the Leptin Diet

As I have explained in my books, Mastering Leptin and The Leptin Diet, there are five basic rules for eating that help correct leptin and insulin problems. They are:

Rule 1: Never eat after dinner.
Rule 2: Eat three meals a day (do not snack).
Rule 3: Do not eat large meals.
Rule 4: Eat a breakfast containing protein.
Rule 5: Reduce the amount of carbohydrates eaten.

While these rules are fairly simple, they are backed by considerable cutting-edge science. They help you extract more energy from less food. They form the foundation for a healthy style of eating that you can follow for a lifetime without any feeling of deprivation.

Some individuals who are type II diabetic may struggle a bit to go five hours between meals or make it through the night. This does not mean the rules are wrong, it simply means that liver and pancreatic fitness need to be restored. You can eat four smaller meals four hours apart to get started, or gradually implement rules until you can do them all. As you improve, work towards the three meals a day. You will be surprised how easy and effective it actually is. Numerous type II diabetic patients have made dramatic improvement by following the Leptin Diet.

How Dietary Supplements Can Help Correct Type II Diabetes
Many people will be able to correct type II diabetes simply by increasing exercise, following the Five Rules of The Leptin Diet, and improving the quality of food they are eating. Because type II diabetic patients have significant issues with inflammatory tissue damage and fat that is accumulating in all the wrong places, dietary supplements generally make the process of improvement easier. For some people they make the process possible. Choose a level of supplement support that makes sense to you. Add to it, or adjust it, so as to help yourself stay on track. It is the consistency of your entire program over a number of months that is your path to getting better.

The following list of supplement ingredients is by no means complete, as many other nutrients positively influence blood sugar and insulin. These are nutrients I have used in clinical nutrition practice with outstanding results. My point is to illustrate the many options and ways nutrition can help support healthy blood sugar metabolism.

Nutrients that have a positive influence on blood sugar and insulin:

DHA fish oil – It is now clear that patients with higher levels of DHA have lower amounts of insulin resistance. DHA is known to reduce the inflammation associated with blood sugar and insulin problems. It is also clear that DHA directly boosts the production of adiponectin by white adipose tissue, a hormone that may be key to the prevention of type II diabetes.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon is known to improve insulin resistance by activating gene-related metabolic signaling. It individuals with metabolic syndrome it has been shown to have improved fasting blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, percentage body fat and increased lean body mass. Cinnamon directly inhibits excess sugar from caramelizing body cells and tissues (AGEs –advanced glycation end products).

Banaba leaf – The active component in banaba leaf, corosolic acid, has been shown to support weight loss while lowering levels of blood sugar, insulin, and triglycerides. This helped prevent fatty build up in the liver while raising the very important level of diabetes-preventing adiponectin. Banaba is a traditional remedy for diabetes in the Philippines – and new studies are showing it to have a powerfully helpful influence on white adipose tissue – a mechanism unlike any drug.

Coffee berry – Coffee is well known to decrease the incidence of type II diabetes. Green coffee berries contain polyphenols and chlorogenic acid, a nutrient that helps your liver metabolize sugar effectively by modulating the enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase. It has been shown to improve glucose tolerance, while reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. It has also been shown to be effective for reducing mildly elevated blood pressure.

Chromium – Chromium helps blood sugar enter cells by supporting the natural function of insulin at the cell membrane. The nutrient is commonly lacking in individuals with type II diabetes. In type II diabetic patients chromium is found to improve glucose, insulin, cholesterol and Hemoglobin A1c.

Vanadium – Vanadium is a mineral with insulin-like properties that has been found to improve the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, even in diabetics. It helps promote better blood sugar metabolism in both muscle and liver.

Inula racemosa – Inula has been found to increase the sensitivity of insulin. In combination with Gymnema sylvestre it was found to guard against steroid induced blood sugar problems, indicating that it helps offset the effects of high stress on blood sugar metabolism.

Gymnema sylvestre – Gymnema sylvestre is widely regarded as a top herb to help combat the problem of type II diabetes. This herb has even been shown to boost the number of pancreatic beta cells – a really unique and helpful support nutrient.

Pterocarpus marsupium – Pterocarpus marsupium is a traditional remedy for diabetes from India. It has insulin-like properties and it has a regenerative effect on the beta cells of the pancreas (cells that make insulin).

Bitter melon – Bitter melon is another Eastern traditional remedy for diabetes, showing improved blood sugar and insulin function, improved lipids, protection for beta cells, and reduced oxidative stress.

Grape seed extract – Grape seed extracts also turns down inflammation in fat cells while boosting the highly protective adiponectin. They have been shown to assist blood sugar entry to cells with insulin-like activity. They also directly inhibit the advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that form in the circulatory system from excess sugar.

Resveratrol – Resveratrol activates the SIRT1 gene, turning on other genes that directly influence insulin function and fat burning, leading researchers to conclude it may be helpful for diabetics. It reduces inflammation in fat cells and boosts adiponectin, a key problem for diabetics.

R-Alpha Lipoic Acid – A nutrient that assists in carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity, while acting as an antioxidant in nerves to help diabetic neuropathy. A lack of ability to make lipoic acid during aging increases inflammation and insulin resistance. Lipoic acid also protects against the formation of AGEs.

Carnosine – Carnosine is a potent reducer of AGEs and can even reduce the glycation of LDL cholesterol, leading researchers to conclude that carnosine may have therapeutic potential in preventing diabetes-induced atherosclerosis.

It is clear that nature’s toolbox offers an impressive array of nutrients that support healthy blood glucose and insulin metabolism. While no person should ever consider these as a treatment in and of themselves, they are a potent array of natural options that can be plugged in, as desired, to an overall diet, exercise, and medical treatment plan to help address the very difficult problem of type II diabetes.

Type II diabetes is at epidemic levels in America, reaching down to teenagers and young adults in startling numbers. This problem signifies that key regulatory systems have lost their natural balance – meaning that homeostasis has been compromised. Unfortunately, this locks in a path to poor quality health, the early onset of many serious disease, and early death. The medical profession, relying on Big Pharma drugs, has not been able to solve this problem and actually makes it worse on a routine basis.

In order to make progress an overall program of lifestyle improvement must be undertaken on a consistent basis. There are no shortcuts. There is little margin for error. Weight must be lost in a gradual and consistent way. Weight gain during any “treatment” means the “treatment” is an utter failure. A healthy program requires making dietary adjustments that have been explained in this article. Consistent exercise is mandatory, the more the better. Dietary supplements can be plugged into an overall program to help the program of recovery go easier – and in some cases may be the key to getting the program on track or keeping it from getting derailed. There are many options. Type II diabetes can be prevented and in many people it can be completely reversed.

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About the author: Byron J. Richards, Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist, nationally-renowned nutrition expert, and founder of Wellness Resources is a leader in advocating the value of dietary supplements as a vital tool to maintain health. He is an outspoken critic of government and Big Pharma efforts to deny access to natural health products and has written extensively on the life-shortening and health-damaging failures of the sickness industry.


Inhaler Drugs Increase Risk of Heart Attacks, Death

January 23, 2009

Inhaler Drugs Increase Risk of Heart Attacks, Death

People taking inhaled drugs to treat a widespread lung condition may be at increased risk of heart attack and death, according to a Veterans Affairs study conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers analyzed the results of 17 different studies on the risks of inhaled drugs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD involves excess mucus and thickened, narrowed airways, combining the symptoms of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. According to Aaron Milstone of Vanderbilt University Medical School, this leads patients to feel as if they are “living the entire day under water, unable to come to the surface.”

COPD affects 24 million people in the United States and kills more than 100,000, making it the country’s fourth leading killer.

The researchers found that patients who were taking inhaler drugs to treat COPD had a 1.8 percent chance of developing heart disease, in contrast with only 1.2 percent of COPD patients who had been given other drugs or placebos. This would translate into one extra death for every 40 patients who used the inhalers for one year, the researchers said.

The drugs in question are ipratropium (marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals as Atrovent) and tiotropium (jointly marketed by Boehringer and Pfizer as Spiriva Handihaler).

Earlier this year, Boehringer and Pfizer told the FDA that their product might increase the risk of stroke, but they later retracted that claim, saying it was based on an improper analysis of data.

Because other drugs for the treatment of COPD also have potentially serious side effects, the study authors stopped short of recommending that patients discontinue the use of inhaled medications. Instead, they recommended that patients attempt to improve their cardiovascular health before beginning the drugs, through measures such as quitting smoking, using oxygen and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.

Sources for this story include:

Insulin Mimickers in Black Tea Could Help Prevent Diabetes

January 18, 2009

Insulin Mimickers in Black Tea Could Help Prevent Diabetes

Natural chemicals contained in black tea might mimic insulin’s effects in the body and help protect against diabetes, according to a study conducted by researchers from Dundee University and the Scottish Crop Research Institute, and published in the journal Aging Cell.

“There is definitely something interesting in the way these naturally occurring components of black tea may have a beneficial effect, both in terms of diabetes and our wider health,” said lead researcher Graham Rena.

Scientists discovered that a variety of compounds that are found in black tea have the same effect on proteins known as “foxos” that insulin does.

“Foxos have previously been shown to underlie associations between diet and health in a wide variety of organisms including mice, worms and fruit flies,” Rena said. “The task now is to see whether we can translate these findings into something useful for human health.”

While much research has been conducted recently into the health benefits of green tea, black tea has received less attention.

“In some studies, black tea consumption has been associated with a lower incidence of heart disease and cancer, but the mechanisms are far from clear,” the researchers wrote. “With the exception of water, tea is the most popular drink globally, but despite this, little is known about the biological availability of black tea polyphenols in vivo or the molecular target(s) mediating the effects.”

More than 20 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes, and the World Health Organization estimates that more than 350 million worldwide will have the disease by 2030.

But Rena warned that the preliminary research from the current study should not lead people to stop taking diabetes medicine and drink black tea instead.

“People shouldn’t be rushing to drink masses of black tea thinking it will cure them of diabetes,” he said. “We are still some way from this leading to new treatments or dietary advice.”


Fruit Rich in Polyphenols Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline

January 17, 2009

Fruit Rich in Polyphenols Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline

Fruits rich in polyphenols may help protect against the oxidative stress that has been linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from three Korean universities and published in the Journal of Food Science.

“Our study demonstrated that antioxidants in the major fresh fruits consumed in the United States and Korea protected neuronal cells from oxidative stress,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, additional consumption of fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, and oranges may be beneficial to ameliorate chemopreventive effects in neurodegenerative disease.”

Researchers took a cancer cell line derived from the forebrains of rats, intended to simulate human neurons. These cells were exposed to hydrogen peroxide after being treated with varying concentrations of fruit extracts.

Treatment with fruit extracts led to a significant increase in cell viability and decreased oxidative damage compared with the control group. The most effective extract was from apples, but the orange and banana extracts also functioned well. At the highest concentration, the orange and banana extracts provided 103 and 118 percent more cell protection than the control treatment.

Researchers believe that Alzheimer’s disease might be caused by the build-up of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain, due to increased cell death from oxidative damage. Because the fruit extracts in the current study protected nerve cells against oxidative stress, the researchers believe they might provide a protective benefit against Alzheimer’s as well.

A prior study found that when mice with Alzheimer’s disease were given apple juice with naturally occurring antioxidants, they exhibited improved cognitive performance and their brain tissue appeared to be protected from oxidative damage. More recently, a different study found that the flavones hesperidin, hesperetin, and neohesperidin – naturally occurring chemicals found in citrus fruits – protected against DNA and cell damage, including from hydrogen peroxide.

An estimated 13 million people around the world suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.


Six household chemicals to avoid

January 16, 2009

Six household chemicals to avoid

Is your house toxic because of the cleaning products you’re using?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning about early exposure to chemicals during childhood and one of the main sources is household cleaning products.
Toxic Nation, an offshoot of Environmental Defence, has some helpful suggestions on how to clean out your house and find non-toxic alternatives. You can also learn more from the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment (CPCHE).

Here’s a list of six household cleaners to avoid and alternatives to detox your home.

1. Antibacterial cleaners
It may be safer to take your chances with the germs. These cleaners contain triclosan, a form of dioxin, linked with weakened immune systems, decreased fertility,
hormone disruption and birth defects. There is also a danger of triclosan mixing with the chlorine in tap water to form the deadly chlorinated dioxins.
Alternative: Regular soap, which kills 99.4 percent of germs. Antibacterial soap kills 99.6 percent.

2. Air fresheners
Air fresheners actually stop you from smelling by coating nasal passages with an oil film or by releasing nerve deadening agents. One main ingredient, formaldehyde, is a carcinogen, causing allergic reactions, dermatitis, headaches, mucous membrane irritations, joint and chest pain, depression, fatigue, dizziness and immune dysfunction. Another main component, phenol, causes skin eruptions, cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse and in extreme cases, coma.
Alternative: Open the window or use an exhaust fan.

3. Dishwasher detergent
Dishwasher detergents are the number one cause of accidental child poisoning. They contain a dry form of highly concentrated chlorine that is poisonous and have been known to produce skin irritations or burns, and cause eye injuries and damage to other mucous membranes. Residue built up on dishes can transfer into your hot meal.
Alternatives: Buy phosphate and chlorine free detergent.

4. Oven cleaners
Among the most dangerous chemicals in households, these cleaners contain sodium hydroxide (a derivative of lye) so corrosive it can eat through the top layer of skin and cause severe tissue damage. It’s also caustic for eyes and lungs. Also contains benzene, toluene, xylene, methanol and ethylbenzene, which are all known carcinogens, damaging to the nervous system and unborn children. Residue can be released as toxic fumes into the air when the oven is heated.
Alternative: Make a scrub of baking soda, salt and water paste.

5. Carpet and upholstery shampoo
Designed to knock the stain out, they may also take you out as well. The main ingredient, perchlorethylene (the same one used in dry cleaning), is a known carcinogen, damaging to the liver, kidney and the nervous system. Ammonium hydroxide, another ingredient, is corrosive, extremely irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages. Fumes are carcinogenic and known to cause dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, loss of appetite and disorientation.
Alternative: Use a mix of baking soda and water. Salt will take out wine or fruit stains. Club soda will remove lighter stains. Baking soda and cornstarch will deodorize.

6. Toilet, tub and tile bowl cleaners
Highly toxic, bathroom cleaners are a source of many poisonings, particularly since they are used in small, often windowless spaces. Most contain hydrochloric acid (corrosive to skin and eyes, and damages kidneys and liver) or hypochlorite bleach (corrosive to eyes, skin and respiratory tract, and known to cause vomiting and pulmonary edema if inhaled). These cleaners also contain benzene, toluene, xylene, methanol and ethylbenzene, which are all known carcinogens that damage the nervous system and cause birth defects.)
Alternative: Remove toilet bowl stains with pure vinegar. Dilute with water to remove soap scum. Washing soda or borax is also effective on tiles.


Brussels Sprouts Defend against All Types of Cancer

January 14, 2009

Brussels Sprouts Defend against All Types of Cancer

Plant phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts boost the body`s natural defense systems to protect against cancer and other diseases. Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables disarm cancer causing chemicals and encourage the body`s detoxification enzymes.

Evidence in the Netherlands suggests that Brussels sprouts keep the body free from cancer by promoting healthy DNA. DNA is responsible for cell division in the body. When DNA gets damaged, cells may begin to replicate much more rapidly than normal, which can cause a cancerous tumor to begin to form. Several studies reveal that Brussels sprouts have the ability to help protect DNA from damage.

Researchers compared two groups of healthy men. Half of these men ate 300 grams of Brussels sprouts daily, while the other men didn`t have any cruciferous vegetables in their diet. After three weeks, the men who ate their daily dose of Brussels sprouts had a 28% decrease in measured DNA damage.

Diminish Digestive Cancers with Brussels Sprouts

The phytonutrients in Brussels sprouts have been shown to protect against heterocyclic amines, which are the carcinogenic compounds found in grilled and charbroiled meat. These carcinogens are particularly associated with colon cancer. The study, published in Carcinogenesis, found that animals that were given Brussels sprout juice and heterocyclic amine carcinogen were less likely to develop the cancer.

The animals given Brussels sprouts had a reduction in pre-cancerous cells in the colon of 41-52% in the colon and 27-67% in the liver, and drastically diminished the size (85-91%) of pre-cancerous lesions in the liver. These amazing results seem to be a result of Brussels sprouts potent ability to detoxify the body and clear out the colon.

Brussels sprouts are also packed with fiber, which nourishes the cells lining the walls of the colon and prevents colon problems including cancer.

Brussels Sprouts Fight Bladder Cancer

Research published in the International Journal of Cancer shows that Brussels sprouts protect against bladder cancer. The diets of 697 people who were recently diagnosed with bladder cancer were compared with 708 people with the same age, gender and ethnicity who were healthy. The average daily intake of Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables was significantly lower in those with bladder cancer than in their healthy counterparts. Those who had the highest intake of Brussels sprouts and cruciferous vegetables had a 29% lower risk of bladder cancer that those who ate the least.

The benefits of these vegetables were highest in those who have the highest risk of bladder cancer, including men, smokers and older individuals.

Brussels sprout`s bladder cancer properties appear to come from their high levels isothiocyanates, which are potent anti-carcinogens. Isothiocyanates travel through the bladder to be excreted, making them particularly powerful against this form of cancer.

Breast Cancer Protection

Sulforaphane is released by Brussels sprouts and has been proven to trigger the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify the body of cancer-causing chemicals They have been shown to inhibit chemically-induced breast cancers in animal studies. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that sulforaphane can halt the proliferation of breast cancer cells, even in the later stages of their growth.

Defend Against Prostate Cancer

Research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle studied 1,000 men. It was shown that eating 28 servings of different vegetables a week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 35%. But those who ate 3 or more servings of cruciferous vegetables each week had a 44% lower prostate cancer risk.

Many people claim to not enjoy eating Brussels sprouts. If you are not a fan of this incredible food, try chopping them up into tiny peices and sprinkling them over a salad. You won`t even be able to taste them but you will still get the health enhancing benefits and defend your body against disease.