Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Most Important Vitamin Women Need and Haven’t Heard Of

Article written by Steve Macari for Harper's Bazaar

It is rare that I would write an article about a single nutrient, but there is one that I believe to be a game changer and needs to be brought in to the public eye—the Vitamin K2. The human body needs a variety of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids) to function properly. When you are deficient in a particular nutrient, health problems generally arise. Since the human body is remarkably resilient it can take years to see any outright “symptoms” of a particular nutrient deficiency. These symptoms generally involve not feeling as good as you used to, changes in skin quality, low energy, hormonal imbalances, joint pain, digestive issues, the list goes on.

What is interesting about Vitamin K2 is that it was not until 1997 that researchers figured out the important role it plays in the human body (imagine all the other things we don’t know). While many people are familiar with Vitamin K1 (present in leafy greens such as kale and spinach and plays a role in blood clotting) most have never heard of Vitamin K2. Simply put, Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in directing calcium where it belongs and away from where it doesn’t belong. It does this through it’s interaction with a few other nutrients, namely Vitamin A and Vitamin D.

Why is K2 so important?

Vitamin K2 is involved in numerous functions in the human body but is especially important for women. Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, says:

“For the prevention of everything from wrinkles to cancer, Vitamin K2 is the missing nutrient for women’s health. Most women don’t need a calcium supplement, but Vitamin K2 will channel dietary calcium to the right places. And everyone is taking Vitamin D, but without K2 we’re not getting all the benefits of Vitamin D, and even risking harm from it.”

Bone Health - While most associate calcium with bone health the fact of the matter is that calcium (particularly supplemental calcium) plays a very insignificant role in ensuring adequate bone density and Vitamin K2 plays a very strong role. Vitamin K2 does this via its relationship with two other key nutrients, Vitamin A (Retinol not Beta-Carotene) and Vitamin D.

Dental Health - Look no further than Dr. Weston A. Price in understanding the importance of Vitamin K2 for ensuring proper dental health. His research showed that dental decay, tooth sensitivity and other issues can be addressed naturally, simply by ensuring adequate K2 in the diet. He found remarkable dental health (and overall health) in indigenous tribes throughout the world. These peoples had straight, cavity free teeth and rarely brushed. Their diet was very high in K2 and the other fat soluble nutrients (A and D).

Cardiovascular Health - For years we believed that clogged arteries were the results of saturated fat. We now know that this is not true. While there are many layers to cardiovascular disease the real culprit might be a lack of Vitamin K2 in the diet. Those blockages in your arteries are mostly calcium. Vitamin K2 keeps calcium out of your arteries and in your bones, where it belongs.

Wrinkles - Consider regions of the world that have a high vitamin K2 intake and you will find people who look considerably young for their age (i.e. Tokyo - where Natto, the richest food source of Vitamin K2 is consumed regularly). There is also a strong correlation between early signs of aging (wrinkles, loose skin) and low bone density.

Healthy Veins - Varicose veins are technically a disease of the cardiovascular system and like the related section above, involve calcium being deposited where it doesn’t belong. This can lead to veins that have lost their integrity and are more susceptible to bulging.

Where to get it?

Food sources of a particular nutrient are always best, however it can be a challenge with Vitamin K2 since the foods with the highest concentrations are rather obscure and not commonly consumed (see list below). That being said you can supplement with Vitamin K2. I would probably argue that Vitamin K2 is the single most important nutrient you should be including in your supplement routine (with Magnesium a close second).

The foods highest in Vitamin K2:

• Natto (fermented soybeans)

• Goose Liver (and other liver)

MyAchingKnees comment: Yeah, I'm all about Goose liver!

• Dairy products from animals that are eating fast growing spring grass (milk, butter, ghee).

• Cheeses - Gouda and Brie have the highest concentration but any cheese from a grass-fed animal will have Vitamin K2. Consider having some fruit and cheese as a snack.

• Egg yolks from a pasture raised chicken also contain K2. Eat 2-3 egg yolks a day.

Why is deficiency so common?

• It is a nutrient that is not present in high concentrations in many commonly consumed foods.

• The increased consumption of processed foods and a departure away from eating traditional foods (which are notoriously nutrient dense - nose to tail eating, grass-fed dairy, fermented foods, animal fats, etc.).

MyAchingKnees comment: My wife takes 105 micro grams of Vitamin K (in the form of Phylloquinone) each day, and while everyone knows the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is very low for most nutrients, this amount of Vitamin K provides 135% of the RDA. While this article by Steve Macari is excellent, this article and others stressing the importance of a single nutrient could have the tendnancy to push people to supplement with this one nutrient and not consider the fact that people need all the nutrients to order to work synergisitically to provide the body with optimal health.



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Monday, April 13, 2015

Toxins Are Killing Our Brains,....and more

For decades, chlorpyrifos, marketed by Dow Chemical beginning in 1965, was the most widely
used insect killer in American homes. Then, in 1995, Dow was fined $732,000 by the EPA for
concealing more than 200 reports of poisoning related to chlorpyrifos. It paid the fine and, in
2000, withdrew chlorpyrifos from household products. Today, chlorpyrifos is classified as “very
highly toxic” to birds and freshwater fish, and “moderately toxic” to mammals, but it is still used
widely in agriculture on food and non-food crops, in greenhouses and plant nurseries, on wood
products and golf courses.
   
From an article published on The Atlantic, over a year ago, titled "The Toxins That Threaten Our
Brains", by James Hamblin, who does the population a good turn by helping identify 12 common
toxins and, as Hamblin puts it "....... (these) dozen chemicals are responsible for widespread
behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is
likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that
may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind."
   
You are going to have to go here to read the entire article, but the keys points are:   

The major toxins identified are - Manganese; Flouride; Chlorpyrifos; DDT/DDE;
Tetrachloroethylene (PERC); Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE);  Aresnic; Lead; Mercury;
Toluene; Ethanol; and, Polycholorinated Biphenyls (PCB). 
 
The problem with toxic substances is that their effects can be insidious. Take the example of lead—a chemical that lingered in gasoline, house paints, and children's toys for decades before scientists realized the true extent of the damage.
 
Several years ago, a four-year-old boy in Oregon began complaining of stomach pain and vomiting. Doctors reassured his parents that it was likely a viral illness, but his symptoms worsened, and he became completely unable to eat. He also had a badly swollen cheek. The doctors determined that the boy had bitten himself, so severely that it must have been during a seizure. Blood tests showed that he was anemic, and subsequent tests found that he had extremely high levels of lead (123 micrograms per deciliter of blood).
 
The doctors began treating the boy with medication to help clear the lead. They also set out to find out where the lead was coming from. An investigation of the boy’s home, which was built in the 1990s, found no lead paint. Despite treatment, though, the boy’s lead tests remained abnormally high. So the doctors did an x-ray.
 
Inside the boy’s stomach was a one-inch metal medallion, which appeared bright white on the x-ray image. His parents recognized it as a toy necklace they had purchased from a vending machine approximately three weeks earlier. The state environmental quality lab later found that the medallion contained 38.8 percent lead. The manufacturer later did a voluntary recall of 1.4 million of the metal toy necklaces.
 
In 1921, lead was starting to be added to Gasoline to increase it's octane rating and therefore power.   In the 1960's strudies began to show that exposure to leaded gasoline and paint as well as other substances were poisoning people.   Finally in 1975, the EPA required a gradual phasing of lead out of gasoline.   But it didn't end there,......the Center of Disease Control (CDC) has incrementally decreased the threshold on how much lead was toxic from 60 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to .5 micrograms per deciliter
 
Magnanese used to coat the insides of soda pop cans for a common source  of this toxin.    Symptoms of magnanese poisoning can be similar to Lou Gehrig's disease and multiple sclerosis.
 
Flouride, found in toothpaste and actualy given to us by dentists to swish throughout our mouths, can be benficial in low doses.   Higher doses of fluoride exposure has negative effects on brain growth.
 
Mercury is another common toxin in many forms and can cause damage to the kidneys, lungs as well as the brain.    Many different items from flourescent lights, to dental amagam fillings to certain cosmetics contain mercury in one form or another.
 
MyAchingKnees comment:  Knowledge of, and risk mitigation to toxin exposure are part of my plan for individual optimal health which I call the chair of health with the four legs being:  1 - reduce high glycemic, processed foods and eat as a low glycemic diet as you can; 2 - take quality nutritional supplents to ensure your body recieves all the nutrients for a strong immune system to protect against degenrative diseases; 3 - avoid toxins to minimize the onset of immune system degradation; 4 - live a physically life.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

What 5 Popular Diets Get Wrong

Molly Shea published this article - "What 5 Popular Diets Get Wrong" - on Yahoo.com Health.

If you’ve nixed gluten from your life or shunned all cooked foods, you probably think you’re doing what’s best for your body. But according to Vani Hari, a.k.a. the "Food Babe," there may still be important nutrients you’re missing — and toxic ingredients you might be eating.

Vani, a food activist and author of The Food Babe Way, is known for calling out corporations such as Kraft and General Mills for including unnecessary artificial additives in their foods. She’s spent years researching food politics, nutrition, and diets — so if there’s a downside to a popular diet, Vani knows it. In this exclusive video, she shares how five popular diets might steer you wrong. To start:

If you’re a Paleo fan, don’t overdo the meat consumption! Eating a combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds can help keep you disease-free.

Given gluten the heave-ho? Always read the ingredients label and skip processed, packaged gluten-free foods.

Raw foodies should steer clear of sugary foods such as agave nectar — though raw, the fructose it contains can cause a serious blood sugar spike.

Gone vegan and substituting soy for meat? Watch out for soy protein isolate, a common ingredient that Vani warns is made with a carcinogenic gas.

If you stick to a Mediterranean diet, don’t fall for cheap olive oil that’s cut with lower-quality ingredients.

MyAchingKnees comment: All good (and short) advice. But looking at why most diets really fail is that they simply do not provide the required nutrients the person needs. Eating nothing but beef gets the closet to providing all the required nutrients, however even that falls way short. This is why you see peope on short and long term diets, losing weight, then gaining it back...and being sick and tired inbetween.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

5 common myths about supplements, debunked

5 common myths about supplements, debunked, article By Dr. Michael Smith published on FoxNews.com with my comments as well

As more aging adults consume supplements, an increasing number of myths have also begun to circulate online. For starters, many people who think that a specific supplement to aid an ailment coupled with a healthy diet provides adequate nourishment for the body. But depending on a few factors, that may or may not be true.

Here’s the truth about that belief, plus 4 other commonly believed supplement myths:

1. Eating a healthy diet means you don’t need a multivitamin.

If you think getting all your fruits and veggies is enough to nourish your body, you’re overlooking one important fact: A plant is only as nutritious as the soil in which it was grown. It doesn’t matter how much produce you’re eating if your fare is grown in nutrient-poor soil. And the unfortunate truth is that the nutrient content of our soil— and thus our crops— has been steadily declining for decades.

Today’s population faces another barrier to nutrition that previous generations haven’t: toxicity. In the United States, an astonishing 84,000 synthetic chemicals are manufactured or processed today, and about 1,000 new chemicals are introduced each year.

MyAchingKnees comment: Finally, a Doctor on main line internet sites that backs up what I know to be true - you cannot get all your daily nutrients from today's foods alone. You likely could 40 years ago, but not today. That's not just because of the rise in GMO foods, availability of processed foods, and the nutrient poor soil producing nutrient deficient produce,...it's also because of the rise in everyday toxics we are exposed to.

2. Supplements can’t help relieve stress.

Today’s 24-hour, information-saturated, digitally connected way of living is a recipe for chronic stress. Various burdensome demands are placed on us, all of which we feel must be addressed immediately.

Stress may seem insignificant. But it’s killing us, literally. A landmark study published in 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a link between chronic stress and a higher risk of mortality in older adults.

Thus, if you have daily stress, a strong case can be made for supplementing with a daily multivitamin— even when you follow a healthy diet.

MyAchingKnees comment: The truth is that no supplements can ward off stress, but quality nutritional supplements can help our bodies deal with the effects of stress. Even then each person has to find a way to alleviate the mental and emotional stress from our daily lives. Some people sky dive, some do moto- cross and some may just read or knit - it doesn't matter what you do, just that is helps put you in a place that is mentally and emotionally stress free.

3. ‘Suggested dose’ is just a suggestion.

Just about everything we consume or apply— from prescription drugs and dietary supplements to face creams and skin serums— has a specific amount that maximizes benefit and minimizes risk.

Taking less than the suggested dose of a supplement is probably a waste of money, as there’s very little chance that you’ll experience any benefit. However, taking more than suggested can increase your risk of developing side effects, and that’s why it’s important to take the amount specified on the label.

But there’s a caveat to this myth. Some multivitamins are actually under-dosed. They are formulated based on the Recommended Daily Intake or Recommended Daily Allowance (RDI/RDA). Both of the dosing systems are too low— as they were designed during World War II to protect the public against vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Instead, there’s a better, more optimal dosing system called the Ideal Daily Intake, or IDI.

The IDI is an average of the doses of all vitamins and minerals that pertains to when a clinical benefit can be seen. Take, for instance, vitamin C: The RDI/RDA for this vitamin is between 50 and 100 mg/day. At this dose, you won’t develop scurvy, a disease that results from vitamin C deficiency. But what about all the other health benefits attributed to vitamin C, like improved cardiovascular health? Based on the vitamin C studies published within the last 10 to 15 years, the ideal daily dose starts at 500 mg/day.

MyAchingKnees comment: This is absolutely good advice. I won't go down the complete list, but for example I take 2,160% of the RDA for Vitamin C; 3,340% of the RDA for Vitamin B12; 1000% of the RDA for Vitamin D. When I provided a list of nutrients and the percentages vice the RDA to my wife's cancer doctors, their response was "Oh my!". They advised her to quit taking the supplements during radiation - we refused. She breezed through radiation - the Doctors couldn’t understand why she did so good, and going on two years she remains, as the Doctors say, brain cancer free, their number 1 patient and the model of a successful cancer case. They (the Doctors) just refuse to believe that 1 - people, especially patients, need daily nutritional supplementation, 2 - that quality nutritional supplements can help protect healthy cells and do not protect the cancer cells they are irradiating or poisoning, and 3 - nutritional supplements are necessary in much higher doses that the RDA recommends.

4. Everything you need to know is on the label.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring proper labeling, if you want to be absolutely sure that the supplement or multivitamin you’re taking is the right fit for you, I’d advise calling the manufacturing number on the back of the label.

Ask the manufacturer’s representative if they’ve tested the product and can provide proof of its claims. You can specifically ask for a Certificate of Analysis. If they can provide such proof, then that builds confidence that product you’re about to purchase contains what the label says it contains and that it’s the best option for your nutritional needs.

MyAchingKnees comment: I agree that what's on the label is not what is in the bottle of way too many products. There is nothing to guarantee the label and contents for food grade products. And calling the company to ask them to verify the quality is poor advice. What do you think they are going to say? And manufacturers doing self-analysis? Really? Oh well, like I say “Let the consumer beware.”

5. Miracle cures exist.

That miracle cures are available is another myth that needs to be put to rest. Good companies producing quality supplements don’t have to stoop to this level to get you to buy their products.

A supplement formulated with quality nutrients and backed by rigorous published science is all that’s needed. Supplements, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, can play a role in helping you stay healthy.

MyAchingKnees comment: Miracles? A miracle is an event or outcome not explainable by natural or scientific laws. When I take my nutritional supplements, on a daily basis and do so going on the last (almost) 10 years, I fully expect not to get sick. I fully believe that I am giving my body the nutrients for optimal health. I have experienced too many positive results such as great reduction in joint pain, lack of seasonal (or any) sickness, as well as renewed vigor as I approach 60 years old. Miracle? No. Optimal health is what I have come to expect.



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Friday, March 20, 2015

Investigation Of Supplements At Target, Walmart, Walgreens, And GNC Reveals Troubling Discovery

From an article by Jenna Birch, posted on Yahoo! Health

As some supplements contained fillers like powdered rice, asparagus, and houseplants. the supplement industry has come under fire recently over concerns regarding regulations and effectiveness of the. And now, new findings by the New York State attorney general’s office may add fuel to the fire.

Earlier this week, four major retailers — Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and GNC — were accused of selling herbal supplements that lacked ingredients claimed on the label. Some even contained additional, potentially harmful ingredients.

MyAchingKnees comment: Really!?!? Not only do these major retailers not make most of the supplements they sell, the one's they do sell are made via food grade manufacturing process which does not to guarantee what's ion the label in in the bottle. You have no idea if what you are buying and putting in your body is what that bottle claims is in each dose. If you are one of those non-supplement believers, who came to that conclusion after twenty, thirty years or so of taking supplements without seeing any results so therefore think that nutritional supplements don't do you any good,....well here's a news flash - you were not taking what you thought you were taking. If you took a quality supplement, something made via pharmaceutical grade standards then you would see a change in your health. Likely a huge chance in your health. I have not been sick in almost ten years. Yet my younger and more physically studly friends get sick all the time. And they spend hundreds of dollars a month of food grade products. I tell them, "hey, if that work for you, then keep on with your bad self."

The attorney general’s team tested 24 products in total. Roughly four out of five supplements tested did not contain the medicinal herbs they were supposed to, and were instead rife with “cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies,” according to a New York Times report.

This prompted four cease-and-desist letters from the attorney general’s office to the retail chains for explanation on how these potentially hazardous supplements could have been sold in the stores. “Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal,” says Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general, according to The Times. “They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families — especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients.”

Among the problem supplements was a ginseng pill from Walgreens marketed for increased endurance and vitality — but contained little more than garlic and rice powder. Another was a ginkgo biloba supplement from Walmart that was mainly a mix of powdered radish, houseplants, and wheat — and its label said it was wheat- and gluten-free.

Walgreens is pulling the problematic supplements from shelves. Walmart plans to reach out to suppliers and take necessary action to ensure the safety of its customers. GNC says the company is willing to cooperate following this investigation, but stood behind its own supplements and testing system. Target so far has not issued a comment.

The attorney general’s office conducted its test by purchasing 78 bottles of the four retailers’ top brands from a dozen Walmart, Target, GNC, and Walgreens stores in the state. Then, they used a type of “DNA barcoding” that analyzes short sequences of DNA within organisms (like herbs and plants) contained within a substance.

Health care experts have warned about the potential dangers of the unregulated supplement industry for some time, including in a 2012 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Certain ingredients, like high amounts of caffeine, pose risks for certain consumers.

Since supplements are not currently subjected to the FDA’s testing standards, some experts say it’s impossible to tell how safe they really are. In 2013, for instance, nearly 100 hepatitis cases were linked with a contaminated supplement.

Dr. Pieter Cohen, a supplement-safety expert and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, told The Times this news may be a major setback for supplements. “If this data is accurate, then it is an unbelievably devastating indictment of the industry,” he says. “We’re talking about products at mainstream retailers like Walmart and Walgreens that are expected to be the absolute highest quality.”

Admittedly, though, Cohen says these results are a bit eyebrow-raising, since so many of the supplements were shown not to contain any of the labeled plant DNA. He hypothesizes that manufacturing wiped away some of the DNA coding, so the herbal and plant ingredients were present — they just weren’t detectable. However, this would not seem to explain the contaminants in the pills.

Ashley Harris, RD, a dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says you should always talk to a health care professional before taking a supplement. Even if it appears effective for treating or curbing a certain condition, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone — or healthy.

"There is always potential for dangerous interactions with current medications, supplements, or health conditions,” she tells Yahoo Health. “So supplement use needs to be reevaluated with any change in your medication regimen or health status, and several supplements may need to be discontinued prior to surgeries."

In addition, if you choose to take a supplement, find the safest brands you can. “Because there is limited regulation with supplements on the market, it is important to do your research,” Harris says. “There are several third-party agencies who evaluate the purity and potency of supplements that you can use to guide you. Look for the USP or NSF International stamp of approval, or you can check out Consumer Lab.”

The attorney general’s investigation was spurred by a 2013 Times story about potential supplement fraud. See below for the complete list of supplements the New York attorney general asked retailers take off shelves.

GNC:

•“Herbal Plus” Gingko Biloba
•“Herbal Plus” St. John’s Wort
•“Herbal Plus” Ginseng
•“Herbal Plus” Garlic
•“Herbal Plus” Echninacea
•“Herbal Plus” Saw Palmetto

Target:

•"Up & Up" Gingko Biloba
•"Up & Up" St. John’s Wort
•"Up & Up" Garlic
•"Up & Up" Echinacea
•"Up & Up" Saw Palmetto
•"Up & Up" Valerian Root

Walgreens:

•“Finest Nutrition” Ginko Biloba
•“Finest Nutrition” St. John’s Wort
•“Finest Nutrition” Ginsberg
•“Finest Nutrition” Garlic
•“Finest Nutrition” Echinacea
•“Finest Nutrition” Saw Palmetto

Walmart:

•“Spring Valley” Gingko Biloba
•“Spring Valley” St. John’s Wort
•“Spring Valley” Ginseng
•“Spring Valley” Garlic
•“Spring Valley” Echinacea
•“Spring Valley” Saw Palmetto


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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every Day

An older article reposted on Natural Health News and Discovery. While it is the easy answer to say that some of our foods cause cancer, it is not that much harder to understand that it is largely the nutrients we consume or don't consume that affect our bodies response to the toxics, infections and stress of daily life. In other words, you could do away with all the foods on this list and still be sick or get cancer.   It is common sense that the better and broader the nutrients you consume, the better you can ward off sickness and degenerative diseases, one of which is cancer.

16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every Day

It’s probably not something you think about every day, whether or not the foods you are eating could contain carcinogens, but with almost 1.5 million people diagnosed with some type of cancer just last year, perhaps it’s time to look at what is in our foods that could be causing such a huge number of new cancer patients. Here is a list of the top 10 foods that you most likely consume every day that may contain carcinogens or be suspected of causing cancer.

1. Microwave Popcorn

Those little bags of popcorn are so convenient to just stick in the microwave, you wouldn’t think for a minute that they could be dangerous to your health, but they are. First, let’s talk about the bag itself. According to Wikipedia, conventional microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid ( PFOA). This is a toxin you can find in Teflon also. According to a recent study at the University of California, PFOA is linked to infertility in women. Numerous studies in lab animals and humans show that exposure to PFOA significantly increases the risk of kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas and testicular cancers. You can read more about this substance and the above mentioned studies at cancer.org.

Now, let’s talk about the contents. Although every manufacturer uses slightly different ingredients, most of them use soybean oil (a GMO product) as well as various preservatives such as propyl gallate, a chemical that is causes stomach problems and skin rashes.

Now they don’t actually say they are using GMO corn kernels, but that’s because the government says they don’t have to. Even if they don’t use GMO corn, you can bet they aren’t using organic corn! Also, applied to the popcorn itself, is a chemical called diacetyl. Use of this chemical caused Conagra Foods to remove it from their brand of popcorn, ACT, because it was causing lung diseases in the workers at their factory.

2. Soda Pop

Perhaps you heard about the recent study that was published in May in the American Journal of Nutrition? It found that people who consumed more than one soda per day had a higher risk of stroke than people who did not drink sodas.

Loaded with sugar, sodas are an empty source of calories that cause weight gain and contribute to the nationwide epidemic of obesity. Drinking large amounts of this rapidly digested sugar causes your blood sugar to spike which can lead to both inflammation and insulin resistance. Soda is often the root cause of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, which is when the contents of the stomach leak into the esophagus causing not only pain but an actual burning of the esophagus from stomach acid.

Although sodas are not a direct cause of ulcers, they are known to irritate and make those with ulcers have more pain. Sodas also contain artificial colorings and food chemicals like derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI); no wonder soda pop has been shown to cause cancer.

3. Canned Tomatoes

Actually, most canned foods are a concern because of what the can is lined with. The lining of almost all canned foods are made with a chemical called bisphenol-A, or BPA. A study published in May of 2013 by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences showed that BPA actually affects the way genes work inside the brain of rats.

Even the FDA agrees that there is a problem with BPA as it is supporting efforts to either replace or at the very least, to minimize the amounts found in canned foods. You know it must be bad when even the very lax FDA is concerned! Tomatoes are exceptionally dangerous due to their high acidity, which seems to cause BPA to leech from the lining of the can into the tomatoes themselves.

The level of BPA can be so high in fact; you should seriously consider not feeding them to children. Due to FDA laws, there are no standards for labeling BPA so simply because a can does not say it has it does not mean that it does not contain BPA. Be safe and avoid cans. Cook fresh or buy glass bottles.

4. Processed Meats

What exactly are processed meats? This is a long list that includes, but is not limited to, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, most lunch meats like bologna or pimento loaf. Researchers who wrote in the journal of BMC Medicine said that the excessive salts and chemicals that are used when making processed meats are damaging to your health.

The study showed that 1 in every 17 people who were involved in the study died and those who ate 160 grams or more of processed meats increased their risk of early death as much as 44 percent within 12 years as opposed to those who ate 20 grams or less. This study involved people from 10 European countries and went on for almost 13 years.

All these processed meats contain numerous chemicals and preservatives, including sodium nitrates, which make them, look appealing and fresh but are well known carcinogens. Smoking meats seem to be particularly bad as the meat picks up tar from the smoking process. Yes, tar, the same deadly ingredient that cigarette smoke contains

5. Farmed Salmon

Although fish sounds like one of the healthiest foods possible, farmed salmon is one you should avoid. Unfortunately, more than 60 percent of the salmon consumed in the USA is farm raised. These fish are fed unnatural diets and are contaminated with chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, and other known carcinogens.

They live in very crowded conditions which results in these fish having 30 times the number of sea lice than wild salmon. (Doesn’t that sound appetizing?) Farmed salmon are fed chemicals to make their meat that reddish pink color that should occur naturally but doesn’t because of the diet of chicken litter that they are fed. Also, due to their diet, they have less of the healthy omega-3 that we think we are getting when we consume fish.

Studies have also shown that farmed salmon contain high levels of PCB’s, mercury, and cancer causing dioxins. Avoid farmed salmon and buy it canned or look for labels in your market that state the fish you are buying is wild sockeye salmon.

6. Potato Chips

Yes, we know, potato chips are cheap, great tasting, quick snack, however, the negative effects they have on your body may not be worth the little bit of pleasure you derive from these crispy snacks. Potato chips are high in both fat and calories, which are sure to bring on weight gain. A study done in the New England Journal of medicine found that eating just 1 once of potato chips per day caused an average 2 pound weight gain in one year.

Besides being full of trans-fats which can cause high cholesterol in most people, they have excessive sodium levels which, for many people, cause high blood pressure. Potato chips have artificial flavors, numerous preservatives, and colors as well, which is something else your body doesn’t need. Potato chips are fried in high temperatures to make them crispy but this also causes them to make a material called acrylamide, a known carcinogen that is also found in cigarettes. It’s hard to say no to your kids demands for chips sometimes, therefore, as a sneaky alternative, buy them baked potato chips or tortilla chips which are at least lower in both fat and calories.

Air popped popcorn and whole wheat pretzels are another healthier option. Or try baked apple chips or banana chips which are dehydrated. Both are crispy and are far healthier than regular potato chips.

7. Hydrogenated Oils

Let’s start from the point that all hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils. Vegetable oils cannot be extracted naturally like butter is, vegetable oils must be chemically removed from their source, and then they are changed to be more acceptable to consumers. They are frequently deodorized and colored to look appealing.

All vegetable oils contain high levels of Omega–6 fatty acids. An excess of Omega- 6 fatty acids cause health problems, such as heart disease and in increase in various cancers, especially skin cancer. You need a good balance of both Omega 3 and Omega 6. Try to get plenty of Omega 3 every day. You can do this in the form of supplements and grass fed meats, also fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are a very good source of Omega 3.

Hydrogenated oils are used to preserve processed foods and keep them looking appealing for a long as possible. Hydrogenated oils influence our cell membranes’ structure and flexibility, which is linked to cancer.

8. Foods that are highly salted, pickled, or smoked

Foods that are cured by use of nitrates or nitrites act as preservatives as well as adding color to the meat. Although nitrates do not cause cancer in and of themselves, under certain conditions these chemicals change once they are inside the body into N-nitroso composites. It’s this N-nitroso that is associated with a greater increase the risk of developing cancers.

Smoking foods such as meat or nuts causes these food items to absorb considerable amounts of the tar that smoke produces. Tar is a known carcinogen. Meats such as bacon, sausage, bologna, and salami are high in fat and salt.

Pickled foods are also very high in salts. There is overwhelming evidence that eating these types of foods greatly increases the risk of colorectal cancer and higher rates of stomach cancer. The rates of stomach cancer are much greater in places such as Japan where a traditional diet contains many foods that are highly salted, and/or smoked.

9. Highly processed white flours

Most of you have already heard by now that white flour is not a good thing, but you most likely have no idea just how bad it really is for your health. Refining grains destroys its natural nutrients. Mills are no longer content with waiting for their flour to whiten with time; mills now bleach flour with a chemical called chlorine gas.

The EPA states that chlorine gas is a dangerous irritant that is not safe to inhale and in large quantities can be lethal. White flour lurks in many processed foods. White processed flour has a very high glycemic rate which quickly raises the blood sugar level and insulin levels, which can be a direct cause of diabetes, not to mention it is believed that it spreads cancer cells by feeding the cells directly.

Cancerous tumors feed mostly on the sugars in your bloodstream. By avoiding refined grains such as white flour, you can avoid, or at the very least, starve tumors.

10. GMO’s

Genetically modified organisms, more commonly called GMO’s, are foods that have been modified by chemicals and grown with chemicals. In a study done by Dr. Pusztai at the Rowett Institute in Scotland, rats were fed GMO foods, especially potatoes. ALL rats showed damaged immune systems, pre-cancerous cell growths, along with smaller brains and livers, in just the first 10 days of the project.

American consumers believe that the FDA has approved these GMO foods and this is simply not the case. The FDA has NO testing procedures for GMO foods, NONE. The only human study ever published showed that those foreign genes that are present in GM food transfer to the DNA in the bacteria in our digestive systems.

We, the American consumer, are the guinea pig (or rat) in this case. Unfortunately, almost all grains, including soybeans, wheat, and corn, have been grown via GMO’s. GMO’s do not have to be listed on food labels, so read carefully and look for labels that state the food is GMO free.

11. Refined Sugars

Refined sugars are not only known to spike insulin levels, but also to be the most preferable food for cancer cells, thus promoting their growth. Cancers seem to have a sweet tooth. This is a known fact that has been around for many years.

The Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, back in 1931, first discovered that tumors and cancers both use sugars to “feed” themselves and/or to increase in size. In order to proliferate, cancer cells seem to prefer feeding on fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS); the reason is that HFCS is being metabolized by cancer cells most quickly and easily.

Now it is clear why high-fructose corn syrup is considered the worst offender. And since cakes, pies, cookies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other extremely popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with refined sugars and HFCS in particular, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days.

12. Artificial Sweeteners

Most people use artificial sweeteners to either lose weight or because they are diabetic and must avoid sugar. The main problem in all this is that there are numerous studies that show people who consume artificial sweeteners on a regular basis, such as in sodas, or coffee sweeteners, actually gain weight. It also does little or nothing to help those with diabetes.

In fact, artificial sweeteners actually make it even more difficult to control their blood sugar levels and worsen conditions that are related to diabetes such as cataracts and gastro paresis. Sometimes aspartame has been found to cause convulsions, which some people will mistake for an insulin reaction.

Not to mention that artificial sweeteners inhibit your body’s ability to monitor its daily calorie consumption and make the body crave even more sweets. Well, we’ve already discussed how refined sugars can cause cancer. There is mounting evidence that the chemicals that make up these sweeteners, especially aspartame, break down in the body into a deadly toxin called DKP. When your stomach processes this chemical, it in turn produces chemicals that can cause cancer, especially brain tumors.

13. Diet Anything

Diet foods, including frozen foods, or prepackaged foods labeled as “diet” or “low fat”, including diet sodas, generally contain aspartame, which is a chemical, artificial sweetener that we talk about in detail above. There are numerous studies showing that aspartame causes many diseases and sicknesses such as cancers, birth defects, and heart problems.

All “diet” food is chemically processed and made from super refined ingredients, excessive sodium levels, as well as artificial colors and flavors to make it taste good. Don’t ever forget, artificial anything is NOT real food! Although the FDA says that all these added chemicals are safe to eat, you might want to take their advice with a grain of salt. After all, don’t they also tell you that sugar and vegetable oils are safe to eat? (Not to mention GMO’s and fast food!)

There have been many studies that show that these additives, for some people, can actually be addicting. They feed that “feel good” part in your brain, similar to cocaine! Well, that actually makes sense because if you become addicted to these foods, the companies making them are certain to score a lot of money, aren’t they? Be smart and eat nature’s own, natural “diet” food; fruits and vegetables! (Organic, of course!)

14. Alcohol

An American study that followed the diet and lifestyles of more than 200,000 women for almost 14 years found that postmenopausal women who drank one drink per day or less had an almost 30 percent increase in breast cancer rates compared to women who did not drink at all. Alcohol use is the second leading cause of cancer, right behind tobacco use.

While a moderate or low consumption of alcohol can be healthy and lead to a reduced risk of heart disease, excessive drinking is known to cause heart failure, stroke, and sudden death. In 2007, experts working for the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer looked at the scientific evidence regarding cancer and alcohol use from 27 different studies. They found sufficient evidence to state that excessive alcohol use is the main cause of mouth, esophagus, liver, colon, mouth, rectum, and female breast cancers.

Don’t fret! You can still enjoy that glass of wine with dinner, but, for your health’s sake, no more than one!

15. Red Meat

For those of you, who love your T-bone steak, calm down. There is evidence that shows that red meat is actually a good thing in your diet, in small, infrequent amounts, Grass fed beef contains conjugated linoleic acid that actually fights against certain cancers. However, in a study done over a 10 year period, eating red meat every day, even a small amount, such as that quarter pound hamburger you like to enjoy at lunch, increased a man’s risk of dying from cancer by 22 percent and a woman’s chance by 20 percent.

A separate research study has shown that eating a lot of red meat increased the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Red meat seems particularly dangerous when talking about colon cancer. A study done in the US followed almost 150,000 people between the ages of 50 and 74. This study showed that the long term consumption of red meat significantly increased the amount of colon cancer found in the subjects studied.

On the other hand, the long term consumption of fish and poultry appeared to be protective in nature. Enjoy that T-bone, but not every night, perhaps not even every week. Save those steaks for a once in while treat and be sure you are consuming grass fed, organic beef for your best health.

16. Non-organic fruits

Fruits that are non-organic are contaminated with some very dangerous pesticides such as atrazine, thiodicarb, and organophosphates, as well as high nitrogen fertilizers. Atrazine is banned in European countries but still used here. This is a weed killer that causes severe problems in humans, especially in our reproductive capabilities.

A 2009 study found that when pregnant women drank water contaminated with atrazine, their babies had reduced body weights. Were you aware that the sewage from cities in the USA (nicely called bio solids) is used in the fields of farms in the USA as a form of fertilizer? You will never find organic food being cultivated in composted human sewage waste! Conventional foods are also subjected to an enormous amount of these types’ chemicals as well as hormones, to make the fruit and veggies grow bigger.

Apples are probably the worst offenders with pesticides showing on more than 98 per cent of all apples tested. Fruits with a 90 per cent positive rate of pesticide residue included oranges, strawberries, and grapes. Washing fruit does not remove 100 per cent of the residue. Pesticides are toxic chemicals to insects as well as human beings.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Early Signs Of Alzheimer's Disease Found In Patients As Young As 20

Article by Cassie Shirtsleeve, published on Yahoo! Health, about the trend of seeing Alzheimers in younger and younger patients and some life style tips on warding off these terrible disease.

Early Signs Of Alzheimer's Disease Found In Patients As Young As 20

This is the earliest that signs of Alzheimer’s evidence have ever been seen, but there are lifestyle tricks you can employ to help ward off the memory-decimating disease.

Alzheimer’s disease may not be just for grandparents to worry about: New groundbreaking new research from Northwestern University has found that amyloid protein — a hallmark of the devastating disease — starts accumulating in brain neurons of people as young as 20 years old.

Scientists believe this is the first time that such changes have been noted in human brains so young. In the study, lead researcher Changiz Geula and his team from the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and team analyzed neurons from the brains of 13 “normal” young people ages 20 to 66; 16 people ages 70 to 99 without dementia; and 21 people with Alzheimer’s, ages 60 to 95.

“It was the age that really that surprised us,” Geula tells Yahoo! Health. “In the young adults, we already see accumulation of amyloids.” This becomes worrisome when amyloid clumps grow in size and abundance. The difference between old and young in this study: While the amyloids themselves were present in younger people — and clumps were present as well — there was more clumping in the aging and Alzheimer’s population, says Geula.

“What this means is these neurons are susceptible to accumulate at a young age, but that the clumping really occurs in aging. During life, the substance needed to make clumps is available. And if you have susceptibility to form clumps, this could worsen.”

So what does this mean for you? First, know this: “In this study, we didn’t have a huge number of brains,” says Geula. “And this doesn’t mean that because young people have a measure of amyloids that everyone is going to get Alzheimer’s. It’s not an alarm.”

But there are susceptibility factors (that science knows a lot about) — and protective factors (that science doesn’t know as much about) — when it comes to Alzheimer’s, Geula says. “We have known for a while that if we want effective therapy for Alzheimer’s, we have to start early. What these findings suggest is the earlier the better.”

So start today and protect yourself — and your brain —with these techniques, no matter your age.

1. Kick bad habits—stat. “We know that general cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s aging can be enhanced by many things — most importantly, general health,” says Geula. In fact, many health factors — diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary function, and obesity — can increase your risk of the disease.

2. Clean up your diet. Healthy habits like eating a Mediterranean diet (rich in nuts, greens, whole grains, fruits and veggies, poultry, and olive oil) have been linked to better cognitive function and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

3. Work it out. Exercise has been shown to enhance cognitive abilities in everyone, including the old and even the Alzheimer’s population. “Some animal studies show that the total amount of amyloid can be reduced in animals through enhanced exercise and enriched environment,” says Geula. And not only can exercise keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay, some research suggests it can even turn it around. When people with mild cognitive impairment walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day, four days a week for 12 weeks, people improved their neural efficiency using fewer mental resources to perform the same task.

4. Better your brain. Mental exercise — keeping your mind engaged and challenged through a variety of exercises — can also help. Research suggests that people who play cards, do crossword puzzles, and challenge themselves mentally on a regular basis are at a lower risk for developing the disease than those who don’t. And thinking on the bright side actually does matter: Negative thoughts can hinder your brain’s ability to think straight and form memories, according to research from King’s College in London.

MyAchingKnees comment: Cassie's healthy lifestyle tips are pretty much congruent with my four legs of a healthy lifestyle: 1 - Maximize good foods, minimize bad foods, 2 - avoid toxins, 3 - live a physical life, but she doesn't mention 4 - take quality nutritional supplements. Nutritional supplements, providing they are quality, pharmaceutical grade products, as opposed to food grade supplements, serve to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function and ward off degenerative conditions,..such as Alzheimer's and a long list of others. If you don't believe that lack of nutrients is the predominant cause of degenerative disease early onset, then what do you believe causes it? What can you do about it then?

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