Health News from Medical Practitioner
What Is Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. This encourages the body to get its energy from burning body fat which produces an energy source known as ketones. The diet helps to lower the body’s demand for insulin which has benefits for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
HOW KETOGENIC DIET WORKS?
On a ketogenic diet, blood glucose levels are kept at a low but healthy level which encourages the body to break down fat into a fuel source known as ketones. The process of breaking down or ‘burning’ body fat is known as ketosis. People on insulin will typically require smaller doses of insulin which leads to less risk of large dosing errors. The diet helps burn body fat and therefore has particular advantages for those looking to lose weight, including people with prediabetes or those otherwise at risk of type 2 diabetes.
THE BENEFITS OF KETOGENIC DIET
Ketone bodies produced from burning fat for fuel have been shown to have potent weight loss effects, help lower blood glucose levels and reduce people’s reliance on diabetes medication.
The diet has also shown evidence of having benefits on:
• Reducing high blood pressure
• Reducing triglyceride levels
• Raising HDL cholesterol levels (a good sign of heart health)
• Improving mental performance
Are You Deficient In The Bone Vitamin Or Hormone D?
Vitamin D also known as the bone vitamin or the hormone D is a fat-soluble prohormone that effects the expression of more than 200 genes in your body. It is essential for optimal health and naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. And yet there is a widespread vitamin D deficiency!
You can bring blood vitamin D to optimal levels through repeated sun exposure. But sunscreens and less sensible sun exposure to sun make that difficult. The American Academy of Dermatology has reaffirmed that vitamin D should not be obtained from unprotected ultraviolet (UV) exposure from the sun or indoor tanning devices. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol. The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], also known as calcitriol.
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcaemia tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodelling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D. Many cells have vitamin D receptors, and some convert 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D.
Serum concentration of 25(OH)D is the best indicator of vitamin D status. It reflects vitamin D produced cutaneously and that obtained from food and supplements and has a fairly long circulating half-life of 15 days. 25(OH)D functions as a biomarker of exposure, but it is not clear to what extent 25(OH)D levels also serve as a biomarker of effect (i.e., relating to health status or outcomes). Serum 25(OH)D levels do not indicate the amount of vitamin D stored in body tissues.
In contrast to 25(OH)D, circulating 1,25(OH)2D is generally not a good indicator of vitamin D status because it has a short half-life of 15 hours and serum concentrations are closely regulated by parathyroid hormone, calcium, and phosphate. Levels of 1,25(OH)2D do not typically decrease until vitamin D deficiency is severe.
There is considerable discussion of the serum concentrations of 25(OH)D associated with deficiency (e.g., rickets), adequacy for bone health, and optimal overall health, and cut points have not been developed by a scientific consensus process. Based on its review of data of vitamin D needs, a committee of the Institute of Medicine concluded that persons are at risk of vitamin D deficiency at serum 25(OH)D concentrations
Caution: Individuals consuming more than 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D (from diet and supplements) should periodically obtain a serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D measurement. Do not exceed 10,000 IU per day unless recommended by your doctor. Vitamin D supplementation is not recommended for individuals with high blood calcium levels.
The White Devil that hidden in your food
Today, an average American consumes about 17.4 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. While this is down by about a fourth since 1999, when Americans’ sugar consumption was at its peak, it is still significantly higher than the 12 teaspoons that the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, has set.
This is definitely alarming, considering the average Englishman in the 1700s consumed only 4 pounds of sugar per year — and that was mostly from healthful natural sources like fruits, quite unlike the processed foods you see in supermarket shelves today.
What’s even more disturbing is that people are consuming excessive sugar in the form of fructose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This highly processed form of sugar is cheaper to produce, yet 20 percent sweeter than regular table sugar, which is why many food and beverage manufacturers decided to use it in their products.
HFCS is found in almost all types of processed foods and drinks today. Just take a look at this infographic to see just how much fructose is hiding in some of the most common foods you eat.
The bad news is that the human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar, especially in the form of fructose. In fact, your body metabolizes fructose differently than sugar. As explained in the next section, it is actually a hepatotoxin and is metabolized directly into fat — factors that can cause a whole host of problems that can have far-reaching effects on your health.
What Sugar did to your body?
Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of clinical paediatrics in the division of endocrinology in the University of California and a pioneer in decoding sugar metabolism, says that your body can safely metabolize at least 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
But since most Americans are consuming about three times that amount, a majority of the excess sugar becomes metabolized into body fat — leading to all the debilitating chronic metabolic diseases that many people are struggling with. Here are some of the effects that excessive sugar intake has on your health:
• It overloads and damages your liver — The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.
• It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signalling — Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” which then fails to stimulate leptin or “the satiety hormone.” This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance.
• It causes metabolic dysfunction — Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL cholesterol levels, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure.
• It increases your uric acid levels — High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – An Essential Contribution
Two types are plentiful in oily fish:
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): The best-known omega-3 fatty acid, EPA helps the body synthesize chemicals involved in blood clotting and inflammation (prostaglandin-3, thromboxane-2, and leukotriene-5). Fish obtain EPA from the algae that they eat.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): In humans, this omega-3 fatty acid is a key part of sperm, the retina, a part of the eye, and the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain.
DHA is present throughout the body, especially in the brain, the eyes and the heart. It is also present in breast milk.
The Benefits of Taking Omega3 Fish Oil
• Fish oils, rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, are well-established as cardioprotective nutrients. • New evidence supports the benefits of omega-3 supplementation in a wide range of metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease.
• Omega-3s have been shown to help with depression and some types of dementia, perhaps largely through their powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
• Even cancer, autoimmune disease, and kidney disorders are showing signs of responding favourably to omega-3 supplements.
• Like many inflammation-fighting strategies, fish oil may work best before major clinical disease is evident, highlighting the importance of prevention.
Quality counts with all supplements, but it is especially critical when considering fish oil.
The sources, processing, shipping, and final concentration of fish oil products are critical indicators of their quality—and many falls short.
Before choosing a fish oil supplement, you should consider two important categories:
1. Concentration and value
2. Freshness and sustainability
As an example, a readily-available commercial “natural fish oil” supplement sold at a major pharmacy chain offers an enormous jar of softgels at an apparently reasonable price. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that the recommended dose contains 1,000mg of “total fish oil,” but only 300 mg of “total omega-3” fats—and some there are no details about exactly how much EPA and DHA is present.
That means that just 30% of the daily dose may be composed of beneficial EPA/DHA. Alaskan Pollock, which is sustainably caught in the clean arctic Bering sea where the fishery has a 37-year record of sustainable fishery management. The Alaskan Pollock fish stock has shown an increase of 65% in biomass, according to 2014 NOAA assessment and is caught with selective mid-water, pelagic trawl (not destructive demersal bottom trawl fishing practices which destroy the floor bed of the sea). Within hours of catch, the wild-caught Alaskan Pollock are hand-sorted and processed to ensure maximum freshness and the lowest possible totox value. Totox is an important measure of an oil´s oxidation level. Have you ever smelled or even tasted a rancid oil? It´s really disgusting, that´s why freshness is key!
Finally – be smart and only consume products which are certified by the MSC (Marina Stewardship Council) – ultra-low bycatch and non-target species <1% and carry the official label to help save the planet and the diversity of species, please don´t buy products from waste or the farmed salmon industry or made from fish, who could become endangered soon such as Anchovies or Sardines.
Glutathione – The “KING” of All Antioxidants
Glutathione is a tripeptide comprised of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine) present in most mammalian tissue. Glutathione acts as a master of antioxidant, master of immune booster and master of detoxifier agent. Glutathione is also important as a cofactor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, in the uptake of amino acids, and in the synthesis of leukotrienes.
As a substrate for glutathione S-transferase, this agent reacts with a number of harmful chemical species, such as halides, epoxides and free radicals, to form harmless inactive products. In erythrocytes, these reactions prevent oxidative damage through the reduction of methaemoglobin and peroxides. Present within every cell, glutathione is the body’s primary defense against free radicals. Unfortunately, the body’s need for glutathione is sometimes outpaced by its ability to produce it. Glutathione is at its lowest level in the morning and should be replenished daily through a healthy diet and supplementation.
Glutathione is an antioxidant used by every cell and tissue in the body. Although critical for a number of processes, it has limited use as dietary supplement due to rapid breakdown during oral ingestion. To achieve a higher level of glutathione in our body, you will need to take the precursor of glutathione which has a lower molecular weight and is well absorbed via oral administration. L-cysteine, L-glutamine and glycine are glutathione precursor that has been used in therapeutic practices for several decades.
Glutathione deficiency occurs when your body is unable to produce enough glutathione to cover all the functions which this master antioxidant performs.
Decreased glutathione levels are usually the result of a lifestyle that is characterized by the many factors that deplete glutathione.
Glutathione deficiency leads to:
• increased oxidative stress
• greatly reduced ability to detoxify
• accumulation of toxins and heavy metals
• inability to repair DNA
• cell mutations
• weakened cell membranes
• reduced supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cells
• eventual cell death
These processes directly affect the state of the immune system and often become the main cause of the onset of the disease, or its progression, severity, and response to treatments.
Low glutathione also means that the prescribed treatments, instead of helping, may actually aggravate the condition since drugs cause further decline in glutathione levels. For example, it has been documented scientifically that glutathione levels can predict how long HIV patients are able to survive, or how well and with what side effects cancer patients can tolerate chemotherapy and radiation.
Research has shown that almost all chronic conditions are characterized by glutathione deficiency: HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, asthma, all cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, all diseases of liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and digestive system, fibromyalgia, flu and colds, peripheral neuropathy, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, skin disorders, seizures, tumors, autism spectrum disorders and more, as well as non-chronic conditions, such as burns, physical trauma and any type of surgery.
Only people with serious chronic conditions and those undergoing harsh treatments are severely deficient in glutathione. They respond quickly and positively to even minimal increases in glutathione levels.
Do You Need Supplements?
MANY PEOPLE ASK me whether or not they need nutritional supplements if they eat a healthy diet. The next question that almost inevitably comes up is what they should take and where they can get high-quality supplements. When deciding whether you should supplement, it is best to understand what the word supplement means. It is defined as something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
When you think of this in terms of nutritional supplements, they are meant to enhance your health. In a perfect world, no one would need supplements. But given the stress of our modern life, the poor quality of our food supply, and the high load of toxins on our brains and bodies, most of us need a basic daily supply of the raw materials for all our enzymes and biochemistry to run as designed.
Most people don’t understand the role of vitamins and minerals in our bodies and thought if we just had enough to prevent us from some horrible deficiency state like scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), then you didn’t have to worry about how much you were getting. I also thought that if you ate “enriched food” like white flour with a few vitamins added back in, or milk with vitamin D added in, additional vitamin supplementation was a waste.
What most people don’t realize is the same thing I was unaware of is the real reason our food supply must be “enriched” is because it is has be so processed that it is “impoverished” to start with. Today, even with our “enriched food,” over 92 percent of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins. That doesn’t mean they are receiving less than the amount they need for optimal health. That means they receive less than the MINIMUM amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases.
A USDA survey showed that 37 percent of Americans don’t get enough vitamin C, 70 percent not enough vitamin E, almost 75 percent don’t get enough zinc, and 40 percent don’t get enough iron. I would say 100 percent of us don’t have enough of the basic nutrients to create optimal health or give ourselves a metabolic tune up.
The foods you eat no longer contain the nutrient levels you require for optimal health for many reasons. Crops are raised in soil where nutrients have been depleted. Plants are treated with pesticides and other chemicals so they no longer have to fight to live, which further diminishes their nutrient levels and their phytonutrient content (not to mention the toxic exposure you receive from such chemicals). Animals are cooped up in pens or giant feedlots instead of roaming free eating the nutrient-rich wild grains and grasses they once consumed. Since cow’s stomachs are adapted to grass instead of corn, they must take antibiotics to prevent them from exploding.
To complicate this further all of us are exposed to hazardous toxins and chemicals that poison our bodies, we live with too much stress, we don’t sleep enough, we don’t exercise enough, and we are inflamed making the nutritional demands on our bodies even heavier. Those with chronic illnesses are in even worse shape. Nutrients are not drugs and they don’t work as drugs do. They work with your biology by supporting normal enzyme function and biochemical reactions.
Must Have Supplements!
Must-Have Supplements and why you should take them
A whopping 89% of adults do not get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day! These foods are vital for maintaining good health because of their high vitamin and mineral content. The good news is that these nutrients are found in most multivitamins. Taking a daily multi will not substitute a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies, but it can provide nutritional insurance to help “fill in the missing nutrient gaps”, i.e. aid you in meeting your daily nutrient needs.
Even better, multivitamins also provide antioxidants, which are often naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are necessary to help fight damaging free radicals.
2. Vitamin D3
Experts recommend that adults get up to 1000 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D every day. This is the equivalent of 10 glasses of milk. Needless to say, many of us aren’t getting their daily requirement. Some foods are fortified with D but the vitamin is only naturally occurring in a handful of foods including some types of fish, like salmon and sardines. Eggs, cheese and mushrooms contain small amounts which make it very difficult to get enough D through diet alone. Fortunately, we also get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, but depending on the time of year, where you live, the use of sunscreen or the amount of outdoor activity you do, it may be difficult to get vitamin D this way.
Why is D so important? Not only does it help with calcium absorption and building strong bones and teeth, recent research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in supporting breast, colon and immune health.
Over 99% of total body calcium is found in the bones and teeth, so needless to say, it’s vital for strong and healthy teeth and bones. How important is it? Getting an adequate amount every day along with a healthy diet may help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. But bone health isn’t just a concern as you get older – consuming adequate amounts of calcium when you’re younger will help you in the long run by building up the calcium stores in your bones. Calcium can be found naturally in milk, cheese and yogurt, foods that are often avoided or consumed in small quantities. As a result, people, especially women, do not get enough calcium from foods alone, according to national surveys. Fortunately, adding a calcium supplement to your daily regimen can help you meet your daily needs.
Fact 1: 25% of men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
Fact 2: Calcium also plays a role in proper muscle function.
The recommended fiber intake is 25-35 grams per day and the average person only gets 15 grams daily. Fiber has many important functions in the body including:
Weight Management – Fiber increases your feeling of fullness and satiety so you eat less and wait longer between meals.
Heart Health – Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol when regularly eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. High soluble fiber foods include oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley and citrus fruits.
Digestion – Fiber provides relief from occasional constipation. It gently cleanses the colon and helps eliminate unwanted toxins from the body
5. Fish Oil/Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oils naturally provide the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). These essential fatty acids play many roles in our body from our heads to our toes. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for heart health as they support normal, healthy cholesterol levels and aid in the maintenance of normal blood pressure. In addition to heart health, omega-3 fatty acids provide dietary support for joint health, eye and brain function, and skin health.
The American Heart Association recommends that healthy people should consume 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA is essential for normal brain development of developing babies so pregnant women should consume at least 200 mg of DHA per day.
The average daily consumption of EPA + DHA is 0.1 to 0.2 grams, which is about 5 times lower than what health organizations recommend. In fact, a national nutrition survey found that 75% of Americans reported no intake of the omega-3 fatty acids in their daily diet!
Not into fish? Flax seed and flax seed oil is a great, vegetarian substitute that provides omega-3 fatty acids.
Probiotics are living organisms (or healthy bacteria) found in foods and supplements that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt, buttermilk and miso (fermented soybean paste). These beneficial bacteria are similar to those found normally in your body, which are often decreased by different lifestyle factors and health conditions. Probiotics help preserve a balance of good bacteria or “flora” in the digestive tract. They can help to replenish the friendly bacteria that can be depleted by age, poor diet, stress, antibiotic therapy and certain medical conditions. As a result, probiotics protect against harmful bacteria. Multiple scientific studies confirm that consuming probiotics regularly can significantly improve digestive and immune health. Supplementation has been shown to be especially beneficial for improving regularity and stomach comfort post-antibiotic therapy and during traveling. Additional research suggests that probiotics may also help maintain oral and skin health.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a protective antioxidant that protects from free radical damage that can result from many factors including aging and intense exercise. It is essential for healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels and collagen, the substance that forms the backbone of muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone, and also for the synthesis of the brain’s vital neurotransmitters. It’s essential for recovery and repair of cell damage, and, after strenuous training, it allows you to return to normal levels of muscle contraction sooner. In addition, Vitamin C is necessary for the absorption of iron and it may help support natural resistance and immunity.
Resveratrol is a dietary supplement found in the skins of red grapes and red wine. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, it has recently been found to actually activate genes that are linked to healthy aging. It’s difficult to get resveratrol from food and beverage sources. To get 500 mg of it, you would need to drink up to 1,000 glasses of red wine! Resveratrol is a polyphenol, an antioxidant that supports healthy aging by shielding cells from environmental impurities and free radicals that can destroy cells, damage tissues and promote the cellular aging process.
9. Grape Seed
Grape Seed and Grape Seed Oil is an excellent source of antioxidants. Here is the rundown of the importance of antioxidants:
Oxidation – Occasionally the bonds holding the body’s molecules together become damaged, leaving the oxygen molecules with an unpaired electron and creating an unbalanced state. These wobbly, unstable molecules are called free radicals. Free radical oxygen molecules react quickly to regain their balance by “stealing” an electron from the nearest stable molecule. This, in turn, creates another free radical, causing a chain reaction known as oxidation – the same process that causes cars to rust and apples to turn brown.
In the human body, oxidation damages cell structure and reduces the cells’ ability to function normally. Free radical damage can alter the genetic material (DNA) inside a cell, leading to unregulated cell growth, which could ultimately result in health concerns.
Free radicals are normal and necessary. However, too many free radicals can lead to cellular damage. Excess free radicals are produced when the body is overexposed to things like sunlight, alcohol, chemicals in food and water, certain drugs, air pollution, tobacco smoke, pesticides and herbicides, radiation, allergens, stress, excessive exercise and aging.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants are a class of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can help control damaging free radicals from forming in the body which may help protect cells. The effectiveness of an antioxidant is generally measured in terms of its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). Besides fruits and vegetables, several herbs also have demonstrated antioxidant activity and high ORAC value, including Green Tea Extract.