Vegetable Oils: Beware of Common Fats That Are Even More Dangerous Than Trans Fats

by on Aug.31, 2014, under Health

By Dr. Mercola

Nina Teicholz is an investigative journalist and author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. Nina was one the reporters who initially broke the story on the dangers of trans fats, 10 years ago, in an article for Gourmet magazine.1

It received an enormous amount of attention, which eventually led to a contract for a book on trans fats. At the same time, she was working as a restaurant review critic, and the meals she received from the chef were foods she’d never eaten before.

“Liver, creamy sauces, cheeses, red meat – and I found them to be delicious. Rich, earthy textured foods. I also found that I lost this stubborn 10 pounds I had been fighting for the most of my adult life, and my doctor said my cholesterol levels were fine.”

These are the types of foods that are said to be really bad for your health, yet she had the complete opposite experience. As an investigative reporter, she felt compelled to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Along the way, she also discovered that while trans fats are now increasingly on the “outs,” the vegetable oils replacing trans fats may be even more harmful…

How Trans Fats Became the Backbone of the Food Industry

Most edible oil chemists are men, Nina notes, but there was one woman in the field, Mary Enig PhD, who had been warning people about trans fats starting in the late 1970s.

No one was listening to her though, and she was widely regarded as a bit of a crackpot. An independent thinker, Dr. Enig was also a pioneer in educating people—myself included—about the health dangers of unfermented soy.

“Trans fats come about when vegetable oil is hardened,” Nina explains. “Vegetable oils only entered the American food supply in the early 1900s.

Before 1900, American housewives cooked with lard and butter. Then vegetable oils, first in the form of cottonseed oils, came in. The very first hardened vegetable oil product was Crisco, introduced in 1911.

That’s when trans fats, which are produced when you harden oil through hydrogenation, entered the US food supply.”

Hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine quickly became the backbone of the food industry. They ramped up from zero percent of the food supply to seven or eight percent today.

According to Nina, the increase in the amount of vegetable oils we eat is the single biggest increase in any kind of food nutrient over the course of the 20th century.

According to one calculation, we now eat more than 100,000 times more vegetable oils than we did at the beginning of the century. Vegetable oils were virtually nonexistent at the beginning of the century. Now, they make up about 7-8 percent of all calories consumed by the American public.

“Every packaged food—every cookie, cracker, microwave popcorn, frozen food—everything was made with trans fats. And our French fries were fried in them,” she says.

“But it turns out that trans fats – due to the work of Mary Enig (who signaled the alarm) and another researcher whom you’ve interviewed, Fred Kummerow – they were found to have health problems. They interfered in the basic cellular membrane functioning.”

Trans Fat Harm Was Identified in the 1930s

Indeed, Dr. Fred Kummerow—now nearly 100 years old— realized the hazards of trans fats in the 1950’s, and was the first researcher to publish a paper on it in 1957. He discovered that it’s not cholesterol that causes heart disease, rather the trans fats are to blame.

Still, trans fats didn’t become a major issue in the US until the early 2000s, when it was found that they slightly raise your LDL cholesterol. Since the expert community is so focused on cholesterol to the exclusion of everything else, they started banning trans fats based on that cholesterol effect.

“That was also the reason that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used to finally decide to put trans fats on the food label. They wanted consumers to know that foods contained trans fats because by the late 2000s, they were considered really to be a dangerous kind of fat,” Nina says.

“To me, it’s definitely true that trans fats are not healthy for us. But I’m not sure that they were condemned based on the right reason.”

The Cholesterol Fallacy

In the 1950s, saturated fats were condemned on the basis of them raising your cholesterol. At that time, we had only a primitive understanding of what causes heart disease. But we could measure HDL and LDL cholesterol, and the research community focused in on LDL, which became known as the “bad cholesterol.”

Since then, a large number of clinical trials have shown that LDL cholesterol levels, except in extreme cases, actually are very poor predictors of heart attack risk.

And, as our understanding of biomarkers has evolved over the last 15 years, it turns out there are other biomarkers that far more accurately predict heart risks, such as your LDL particle number.

“But going back to trans fat, it was condemned on the basis of LDL. It seems like the wrong piece of evidence against trans fats. There were plenty of other things that were worrisome about trans fats that make that perhaps not a bad decision, except for one big thing—nobody really thought about what would replace trans fats,” Nina says.

Heated Vegetable Oils Create Harmful Oxidation Byproducts

On a side note, there’s also the issue of glyphosate contamination and genetic engineering that make vegetable oils of today even more hazardous than the earlier varieties. That said, from the very beginning, vegetable oils always had the problem that they were unstable.

When heated, especially to high temperatures, they degrade into oxidation products. More than 100 dangerous oxidation products have been found in a single piece of chicken fried in vegetable oils, Nina says.

“That’s the reason that vegetable oils were hardened to be able to be used in the first place,” she says. “They couldn’t be used simply as oil. Once there was a technology that figured out how to use them just as oils by actually changing the fatty acid structure in oils, vegetable oils in bottles like Westin Oil and Zola Oils came to the market, in the 1940s.

But even back then, in a number of animal experiments that were done, there were tremendously worrying results. Animals would get cirrhosis of the liver or enlarged liver. And then when they were eating heated vegetable oils, they would die prematurely.”

So, while trans fats are being recognized as harmful and are  in the process of being completely eliminated, we’re still faced with a huge problem, because restaurants and food service operations are reverting back to using regular vegetable oils (such as peanut, corn, and soy oil) again for frying. But these oils still have the worrisome problem of degrading into toxic oxidation products when heated!

Trans Fats Are Being Replaced with Equally Worrisome Oil Products

The latest issue of Wise Traditions, the Weston Price journal, has a great article that is an excerpt from her book, in which she discusses this topic. Most of you reading this are now well aware of the dangers of trans fats, and that the FDA is in the process of banning them completely. That’s great news, but the question is, what is trans fat being replaced with? The answer is that the oils they’re currently using in lieu of trans fats create toxic oxidation products, which in fact may be more toxic than trans fat.

“I stumbled on this topic because a vice president of Loders Croklaan, a big fats and oils producer, said to me, ‘I just heard this terrifying talk by a man in a company who does all the cleaning for fast food restaurants.’… He said they have been having problems since restaurants started getting rid of trans fats in their fryers around 2007… The new oils were building up gunk in the drains and on the walls.

This kind of gunk would harden, and workers would scrape for days and not be able to get it off. The conventional cleaners didn’t work anymore. It’s turning out to be these highly volatile airborne chemicals. When the restaurants’ uniforms would be cleaned, the chemicals were so volatile that they would have problems of piles of uniforms spontaneously combusting in the back of trucks. And then they would go to the dryers. The heat of the dryers, even after the restaurant uniforms were cleaned, would cause fires.” [Emphasis mine]

The cleaning company ended up producing a more potent chemical cleaner to scrub off the polymers off the walls and uniforms. Unfortunately, the nutrition community is not studying these volatile vegetable oils. Others, primarily in the molecular biology and genetics fields are, but the different fields are not communicating with each other.

Even Low Levels of Aldehydes Cause Massive Inflammation

One group in Taiwan is studying this issue because women have much higher rates of lung cancer than men. They think it may be related to the fact that women, particularly in Asian countries, stir-fry in unventilated spaces using vegetable oils. In Norway, there’s another research group trying to assess the effects on worker health in restaurants.

“[These volatile compounds] are very hard to study because they are very ephemeral, literally changing from one second to the next…They’re very unstable. They’re hard to isolate,” Nina explains. “One thing they did was simply to show that these products exist.  There’s a whole category called aldehydes, which are particularly worrisome.

A group doing research on animals have found that at fairly low levels of exposure, these aldehydes in animals caused tremendous inflammation, which is related to heart disease. They oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is thought to be the LDL cholesterol that becomes dangerous. There’s a link to heart disease. There’s also some evidence that links these aldehydes in particular to Alzheimer’s. They seem to have a very severe effect on the body.”

One researcher has found that aldehydes cause toxic shock in animals through gastric damage. We now know a lot more about the role your gut plays in your health, and the idea that aldehydes from heated vegetable oils can damage your gastric system is frighteningly consistent with the rise we see in immune problems and gastrointestinal-related diseases.

“When the FDA got rid of trans fats… restaurants began to use these regular liquid oils instead… they were the cheapest possible option to use… The FDA really did not consider any of this literature about these oxidation products. When you implement a law, you’re supposed to look at the risks. What will happen if you implement a new regulation? In this case, the FDA did not,” Nina says.

In hearing this, it appears as though cooking with vegetable oil could be a “new” occupational hazard (having occurred within the last 10 years or so) for restaurant workers. If vegetable oils volatize and gum up into polymers that are nearly impossible to clean, and that are damaging fryers, equipment, and causing uniforms to spontaneously combust, what is it doing to the workers’ lungs? Larger fast food chains are aware of this issue, and have implemented a number of fixes to address it. But smaller restaurants may be unaware of this problem, thereby placing workers at potential risk. The same applies if you’re regularly cooking with vegetable oils in your home.

Saturated Fats Are Stable, and Therefore Ideal for Cooking

Tallow is a hard fat that comes from cows. Lard is a hard fat that comes from pigs. They’re both animal fats, and used to be the main fats used in cooking. One of their benefits is that, since they’re saturated fats, they do not oxidize when heated. And saturated fats do not have double bonds that can react with oxygen; therefore they cannot form dangerous aldehydes or other toxic oxidation products.

“They’re solids at room temperature. That’s why they make great cooking fats and have always made great cooking fats. But we don’t think about that. This whole chain of events has happened because we demonized saturated fats,” Nina notes.

Fortunately, we’re now seeing cracks in the prevailing dogma about saturated fats. In March of this year, a groundbreaking meta-analysis reviewed the clinical trial evidence and the epidemiological evidence, and came to the conclusion that saturated fats really cannot be said to cause heart disease. Another meta-analysis three years earlier came to the same conclusion.

Saturated Fat—It Does a Body Good…

The benefits of saturated fat are many. Some appear to be uniquely traceable to saturated fat. For example, you need saturated fats for brain and immune system health. Another argument is that animal foods in general, including meat cheese, butter, dairy, and eggs, contain high amounts of vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, and you have to have the fat that comes naturally in animal foods along with the vitamins in order to absorb those vitamins.

“If you’re drinking skim milk, you don’t have the fat you need to absorb the vitamins in milk. Without absorbing the vitamins, you can’t absorb the minerals. These are uniquely nutrient-dense foods. Vitamin B6 and B12, you can’t get in plant foods. They’re really nutrient-dense foods that come packaged in the fat that you need to absorb them, along with protein. They’re kind of a perfect package of nutrient-dense food,” Nina says.

Nina also points out that many clinical trials over the past decade have clearly showed that a diet higher in fat and restricted in carbohydrate results in health improvements such as weight loss and a reduction in risk factors for diabetes, and heart disease. A high-fat diet typically means eating animal foods. Of course, there are very healthy saturated plant fats as well—coconut oil and palm oil, specifically. (Avocado, another healthy fat, is unsaturated.)

“[Coconut and palm oil] have been used for millennia in Asian cultures. They are making a big comeback in part because vegans who don’t want to eat animal products have found that they still need a fat for cooking that doesn’t oxidize when it’s heated… Coconut oil fills that function. In the food industry, they’ve started to bring back palm oil, which has a lot of saturated fat in it and is a good way to make food that lasts long on a shelf, because again, saturated fats are more stable and long-lasting.”

Healthy Eating Guidelines for the 21st Century

So, what’s the general 21st century revised rule for healthy living and eating? One of the most important points is that you do not need to avoid saturated fats. Saturated fats were unfairly condemned in the 1950s based on very primitive evidence that has since been re-analyzed. The evidence now clearly shows that saturated fats do not cause heart disease. Moreover, your body needs saturated fats for proper function of your:

Cell membranes Heart Bones (to assimilate calcium)
Liver Lungs Hormones
Immune system Satiety (reducing hunger) Genetic regulation

“Another key piece of information is that a high-fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet looks healthier for losing weight, and making your heart disease biomarkers and diabetes biomarkers look better. There’s a real range in how much carbohydrates people will tolerate,” Nina says.

Many people need to increase the healthful fat in their diet to 50-85 percent of daily calories. This includes not only saturated fat but also monounsaturated fats (from avocados and nuts) and omega-3 fats. When it comes to cooking fats, few compare to tallow and lard in terms of health benefits and safety. These are the cooking fats that were originally used, and they’re excellent frying fats. To learn more, I highly recommend reading Nina’s book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, which contains nine years’ worth of research.

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The Science of Acupuncture

by on Aug.30, 2014, under Health

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By Dr. Mercola

Acupuncture is an ancient holistic health care system still widely practiced in China. It falls under the wider umbrella, known in the West as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which also includes the use of herbs and other therapies. Diagnostic systems also include tongue and pulse diagnosis.

Contrary to allopathic, symptom-based medicine, TCM and acupuncture aims to eliminate the root cause of your problem, which is said to originate in a dysfunction in your body’s energetic meridian system.

Western vs. Eastern Mindset

Meridian-based energy therapies like acupuncture are quite useful for treating a number of health problems; pain in particular. In China, acupuncture may even be used in lieu of anesthetic drugs during surgery, as demonstrated in the BBC documentary above.

As unbelievable as it seems, a young woman actually undergoes open heart surgery with acupuncture instead of general anesthesia.

There are several advantages to using acupuncture during surgical procedures, the Chinese surgeon explains. For starters, it doesn’t have the health risks of general anesthesia. Recovery is also much quicker, and the cost is about one-third.

While most westerners would balk at undergoing invasive surgery with nothing but a few needles keeping pain at bay, each year, millions of Americans do turn to acupuncture to relieve chronic pain, high blood pressure, nausea, and much more.

Acupuncture is considered an alternative to conventional forms of medicine in the West and is actually one of the oldest healing practices in the world. In China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries, acupuncture has been used for thousands of years, and its staying power isn’t merely a matter of superstition or coincidence.

In modern-day China, some hospitals offer acupuncture and allopathic medicine side-by-side, allowing patients to choose. They can also opt for a combination of both. For example, if an adverse drug effect occurs, the patient can opt for a reduced dose in combination with acupuncture.

Basic Principles of Acupuncture

TCM views the body as a cohesive one—a complex system where everything within it is inter-connected—where each part affects all other parts. They teach that lack of balance within this biological system is the precursor to all illness. The body exhibits symptoms when suffering from inner disease, and if it’s not re-balanced these symptoms may lead to acute or chronic illnesses of all kinds.

There are 14 major energy channels called meridians that flow through your body. An energy called chi circulates along the meridians to all parts of your body, including the internal organs and every cell. This chi is the vital force that literally keeps us alive. Vibrant health is a result of balanced, unimpeded flow of energy through the body.

According to TCM, illness and pain is the byproduct of energy blockages somewhere along one or more meridians. Each acupuncture point along the meridian acts like a pass-through or gate. Energy can get “bottle-necked” in these points, slowing down the flow; sometimes to the point of standstill. This is the precursor to pain and illness.

By inserting a thin needle into the congested or “clogged” area, it opens the gate and allows the energy to flow again. With the life-energy flowing smoothly, the body can now re-regulate the flow of energy, repair itself, and maintain its own optimal level of health.

Herbs and other therapies such as guacha, cupping, and moxibustion—the burning of herbs on or over the skin—can be used to support the healing.

History of Acupuncture

The science and art of acupuncture is well documented and spans across centuries, all the way back to the Stone Age. Records of its use have been found in many parts of the world, not just the Orient, as most commonly thought.

The Chinese medical compendium, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, is the oldest written record about acupuncture. It is thought to be the oldest medical book in the world, heralding from Emperor Huang Di who reigned between 2,696—2,598 B.C.

However, signs of acupuncture being used are found all over the ancient world.  There’s evidence of its practice in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Sri Lanka, parts of Europe, and South America. Even our North American Indians have used it.

The Eskimos, for example, are said to still use sharpened stones for treating illness. Written evidence of the use of acupuncture in Egypt and Saudi Arabia also exists. The Ebers papyrus of 1,550 B.C. describes a physical system of channels and vessels that is closely matched to the Chinese system of meridians.

Even older evidence than the examples above exist. In 1991, a 5,000-year-old mummified man was found along the Otz valley between Austria and Italy. Remarkably well preserved, a complex system of tattoos were discovered on his body, and verified to be directly on, or within six millimeters of, traditional acupuncture points and meridians.

Evidence Showing What Acupuncture ‘Does’

Some research suggests that acupuncture stimulates your central nervous system to release natural chemicals that alter bodily systems, pain, and other biological processes. In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an extensive review and analysis of clinical trials involving acupuncture. According to this report,1 acupuncture impacts the body on multiple levels, including:

  • Stimulating the conduction of electromagnetic signals, which may release immune system cells or pain-killing chemicals
  • Activation of your body’s natural opioid system, which may help reduce pain or induce sleep
  • Stimulation of your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which modulate numerous body systems
  • Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, which may positively influence brain chemistry

In the featured video, a team of researchers, along with an acupuncturist, conduct an experiment that has never been done before. Using high tech MRI imaging, they were able to visually demonstrate that acupuncture has a very real effect on the brain.

Acupuncture, it turns out, does something completely unexpected—it deactivates certain parts of the brain, particularly in the limbic system, decreasing neuronal activity, opposed to having an activating impact. Their experiment also clearly showed that superficial sham needling did NOT have this effect. The limbic system is associated with our experience of pain, adding further evidence that something very unique happens during acupuncture—it quite literally alters your experience of pain by shutting down these deeper brain regions.

Acupuncture Proven Effective for Pain and Osteoarthritis

One of the most common uses of acupuncture is for the treatment of chronic pain. One analysis2 of the most robust studies available concluded that acupuncture has a clear effect in reducing chronic pain, more so than standard drug-based pain treatment. Study participants receiving acupuncture reported an average 50 percent reduction in pain, compared to a 28 percent pain reduction for standard pain treatment without acupuncture. Another large, well-designed study3, 4 assessing whether acupuncture might work for osteoarthritis—a debilitating condition affecting more than 20 million Americans—also produced remarkably positive results.

This landmark study is also discussed in the video above. A total of 570 patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee were enrolled for this 26-week long trial. It was the longest and largest randomized, controlled phase III clinical trial of acupuncture ever conducted. None of the participants had tried acupuncture before, and none had had knee surgery in the previous six months. Nor had they used steroid injections. The participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or self-help strategies recommended by the Arthritis Foundation (the latter served as a control group).

Significant differences in response was seen by week eight and 14, and at the end of the trial, the group receiving real acupuncture had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function compared to baseline assessments—a 33 percent difference in improvement over the sham group.  According to Stephen E. Straus, M.D., Director of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):5

“For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size, and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee. These results also indicate that acupuncture can serve as an effective addition to a standard regimen of care and improve quality of life for knee osteoarthritis sufferers. NCCAM has been building a portfolio of basic and clinical research that is now revealing the power and promise of applying stringent research methods to ancient practices like acupuncture.”

Other Science-Backed Uses for Acupuncture

However, chronic pain is only one of 30+ proven uses for this natural treatment. Chinese doctors assert that acupuncture can be used to treat virtually ANY illness, but for those looking for scientific validation, the World Health Organization’s analysis concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for the following diseases and conditions.

According to the WHO’s analysis: “Some of these studies have provided incontrovertible scientific evidence that acupuncture is more successful than placebo treatments in certain conditions.” The report again confirmed its benefits for pain, saying: “The proportion of chronic pain relieved by acupuncture is generally in the range 55–85 percent, which compares favorably with that of potent drugs (morphine helps in 70 percent of cases) and far outweighs the placebo effect (30–35 percent).”

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever) Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke) Dysentery, acute bacillary Dysmenorrhoea, primary
Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm) Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders) Headache
Hypertension, essential Hypotension, primary Induction of labor
Knee pain Leukopenia Low back pain
Malposition of fetus Morning sickness Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction) Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain Renal colic Rheumatoid arthritis
Sciatica Sprain Stroke
Tennis elbow

More Potential Uses for Acupuncture

While further research is needed, acupuncture has also demonstrated therapeutic effects in the treatment of the following health problems, according to the WHO’s report.


Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm) Acne vulgaris Alcohol dependence and detoxification Bell’s palsy
Bronchial asthma Cancer pain Cardiac neurosis Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
Cholelithiasis Competition stress syndrome Craniocerebral injury, closed Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
Earache Epidemic haemorrhagic fever Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease) Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
Female infertility Facial spasm Female urethral syndrome Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Gastrokinetic disturbance Gouty arthritis Hepatitis B virus carrier status Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
Hyperlipaemia Hypo-ovarianism Insomnia Labor pain
Lactation, deficiency Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic Ménière disease Neuralgia, post-herpetic
Neurodermatitis Obesity Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence Osteoarthritis
Pain due to endoscopic examination Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome) Postextubation in children
Postoperative convalescence Premenstrual syndrome Prostatitis, chronic Pruritus
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome Raynaud syndrome, primary Recurrent lower urinary-tract infection Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Retention of urine, traumatic Schizophrenia Sialism, drug-induced Sjögren syndrome
Sore throat (including tonsillitis) Spine pain, acute Stiff neck Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Tietze syndrome Tobacco dependence Tourette syndrome Ulcerative colitis, chronic
Urolithiasis Vascular dementia Whooping cough (pertussis)
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Does One Type of Physical Exercise Best Prevent & Slow Alzheimer’s?

by on Aug.28, 2014, under Health

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Best-Selling Toothpaste Contains Hazardous Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical

by on Aug.27, 2014, under Health


By Dr. Mercola

Some of the most obvious ones include soaps and antibacterial wipes, but you can also find it in cutting boards, toys, clothing, household furnishings, pet food dispensers, and much more.

Despite the pervasive use of this chemical, troubling questions linger about its potentially harmful effects, especially for children.

Research has shown that triclosan can alter hormone regulation and may interfere with fetal development.

Animal studies have also raised concerns about its ability to affect fertility, and bacteria exposed to triclosan may also become resistant to antibiotics. Even an increased cancer risk has been suggested.

In short, while you’re disinfecting your body and your home to keep your family safe from potentially harmful bacteria, you may actually be causing far more harm than good in the long run.

Triclosan Removed from Soap, But Still Found in Best-Selling Toothpaste

Three years ago, Colgate-Palmolive responded to safety concerns brought forth by consumer groups by removing triclosan from its soap products. But the company left it in its best-selling toothpaste, Colgate Total. (Colgate Total is the only triclosan-containing toothpaste sold in the US.)

But if triclosan can cause serious health problems when used topically, surely using it in your mouth is not going to be any safer, as chemicals are readily absorbed in your oral cavity.

For example, zinc-containing denture creams like Fixodent, Poligrip, Super Poligrip, and others, have been linked to zinc poisoning.1 Toxic effects include serious neurological problems, including neuropathy.

There are even class-action lawsuits underway by people who have been poisoned by their denture creams. With regards to triclosan-containing toothpaste, Bloomberg2 reports:

“Total is safe, Colgate says, citing the rigorous Food and Drug Administration process that led to the toothpaste’s 1997 approval as an over-the-counter drug.

A closer look at that application process, however, reveals that some of the scientific findings Colgate put forward to establish triclosan’s safety in toothpaste weren’t black and white — and weren’t, until this year, available to the public.”

Toxicology Studies Withheld from Public View

According to the featured Bloomberg report, 35 pages of summaries of the toxicology studies performed on triclosan were initially withheld by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

They only became available via a Freedom of Information Act request from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The toxicology summaries are now available on the FDA’s website.3

A crucial point that has been noted before is that the FDA relies on company-backed science to “prove” that a drug or product is safe and effective. This despite the fact that industry-funded research is almost never impartial, thanks to obvious and massive conflicts of interest.

Many people still do not take this into consideration. They believe that “FDA approved” means that the FDA has performed some sort of independent scientific study. It hasn’t.

At best, the FDA carefully reviews the research submitted, but there’s plenty of room for cherry-picking and other strategies that can skew the safety profile. According to the featured report:

“The recently released pages, taken alongside new research on triclosan, raise questions about whether the agency did appropriate due diligence in approving Total 17 years ago, and whether its approval should stand in light of new research, said three scientists who reviewed the pages at Bloomberg News’s request.”

Triclosan Is One of the Most Prevalent Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals on the Market

For example, some animal studies showed that triclosan caused fetal bone malformations in mice and rats. Colgate claimed the findings were irrelevant. But bone deformations may hint at hormonal effects, affecting the endocrine system. There were also apparent weaknesses in Colgate’s cancer studies.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including: breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.

According to Thomas Zoeller, a biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who specializes in how chemicals affect the endocrine system, there are an estimated 800-1,000 endocrine-disrupting chemicals on the market.

But triclosan is one of the top 10 used on a regular basis by most people. Subsequently, removing triclosan may have a much greater impact than removing other chemicals.

Other Disinfectant Chemicals That May Cause More Harm Than Good

A recent article in Scientific American4 also discusses new research showing that other common household disinfectants produce adverse health effects too. The study, published in Reproductive Toxicology,5 assessed the reproductive toxicity of alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC).

These two disinfectants are commonly found in commercial and residential disinfectant products. (These quaternary chemicals are commonly referred to as “quats.”) Mice exposed to these chemicals took longer to get pregnant and had smaller litters. They also had more miscarriages and more distressed fetuses. Forty percent of the exposed females died from labor difficulties. According to the authors:

The results suggest that quaternary ammonium compounds affect both the maternal ability to achieve and sustain pregnancy and the developing fetus… Long term exposure decreased fertility and fecundity and caused dam mortality in a dose dependent manner. This study highlights the importance of testing the toxicity of mixtures over individual compounds.”

Safety Problems Are Often Found by Chance…

An interesting side note here is the back story of how researchers were prompted to investigate these chemicals (ADBAC and DDAC) in the first place. According to Scientific American:

“Hunt and Hrubec came upon the finding unexpectedly. Both observed breeding problems in research mice at their separate facilities after changing to disinfectant products containing the quat combination. Hunt determined that quat residues in the caging materials contributed to breeding failures and poor pregnancy outcomes.

For Hunt, the experience was a bit of déjà vu: In 1999, she discovered what was then a little-known chemical, bisphenol A, in water bottles mimicked estrogen and disrupted hormone levels in her lab mice. The finding helped spur investigation of the health risks associated with BPA Hunt said both incidents illustrate a problem with the way that new and existing chemicals are regulated in the US. Thousands of products have entered the market in the past few decades with little information on potential health impacts, she said. ‘The onus is really on consumers to determine which products are safe. That’s not OK.’”

When you consider this chain of events, it really raises questions about the accuracy of any number of studies into completely unrelated fields. A researcher may be using animals to study, say, the effects of a particular drug, and depending on the soap they use to clean the lab, the health outcomes of the animals may be skewed, for better or worse! In most cases, they may never put two and two together—unless they switch cleaning products in the middle of a trial and notice sudden alterations in their research results that cannot be explained…

Triclosan May Affect Thyroid Function

As noted by Professor Caren Helbing Ph.D. at the University of Victoria in Canada, the chemical structure of triclosan is similar to thyroid hormones and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This similarity allows it to attach to hormone receptors. Helbing’s research shows that tadpoles exposed to triclosan suffered stunted development and leg deformations. The metamorphic process these frogs undergo is mediated by thyroid hormones. Her findings were published in the Journal of Aquatic Toxicology6 in 2006, which concluded that: Exposure to low levels of triclosan disrupts thyroid hormone-associated gene expression and can alter the rate of thyroid hormone-mediated postembryonic anuran development.”

While Colgate cites a Cochrane Review7 as supporting evidence for Colgate Total’s safety and effectiveness, the review in question focused on the toothpaste’s effectiveness in fighting bleeding gums and inflammation; not its long-term safety… The review, which covered more than 30 studies published between 1990-2012, found “moderate quality evidence” that Colgate Total is more effective than other toothpastes with respect to reducing gum bleeding and inflammation, but the authors, Philip Riley and Thomas Lamont, noted that the studies did not really allow them to assess any long-term adverse effects.8

Antibacterial Chemicals Found in Pregnant Women’s Urine and Newborns’ Cord Blood

In one recent study,9, 10, 11 traces of triclosan, triclocarban, and butyl paraben were found in the urine of pregnant women and their newborns’ cord blood. The women in the study were all residents of Brooklyn, New York. This demonstrates that everyday, real-world exposure to these chemicals is indeed pervasive. Shockingly, triclosan was detected in 100 percent of all urine samples, and 51 percent of cord blood samples. Triclocarban was detected in 87 percent of the urine samples, and 23 percent of the cord blood samples.

And, as reported by The Atlantic:12 “In another, still-unpublished study, the researchers found that all of the cord blood samples contained ‘at least one paraben,’ according to Dr. Rolf Halden, director of ASU’s Center for Environmental Security.” Paraben esters have also been found in 99 percent of breast cancer tissue samples, suggesting a strong link between the chemical and breast cancer development.

Making matters worse is that there’s very little evidence that antibacterial products will actually help you avoid disease. So you’re exposing yourself to these harmful chemicals for no good reason… Most recently, a randomized trial13 investigating the effectiveness of hand sanitizers in a school setting found that they “did not prevent disease of severity sufficient to cause school absence.”

Other Toothpaste Chemicals to Beware of

There are also other chemicals in toothpaste that may do more harm than good. Fluoride is one obvious one that I’ve written about quite extensively. But many toothpastes also contain surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). Surfactants are chemicals responsible for the foaming action of the toothpaste.

But these chemicals can also interfere with the functioning of your taste buds.  As noted in a previous Lifehacker article,14 they suppress taste receptors responsible for tasting sweet notes. As noted in the article, they also “break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.

This is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth. So, choosing a toothpaste that does not contain SLS or SLES will allow you to taste your food properly after brushing your teeth. This may also be part of why coconut oil works so well for oral hygiene, as it helps maintain a more natural balance of lipids on your tongue, while still having potent antibacterial properties.

Keeping Yourself and Your Home Clean, Safely

I strongly encourage you to ditch all of your chemical disinfectants, including your antibacterial soaps, laundry detergents, and bath and kitchen cleansers, in favor of more natural alternatives. No study has shown that a vigorous program of home disinfection leads to a reduction of illness in a family. They have, however, shown that disinfectants can cause harm. It is best to use any soap minimally on your body as it removes the sebum that your body produces, which is full of beneficial fats designed to protect your skin from infection. Using soap will remove not only dirt but also these useful fats.

For those times when you need to do a bit of cleansing, one of the best non-toxic disinfectants is a mild soap and warm water. You can use this for washing your hands, your body, and for other household cleansing. Another all-purpose cleanser that works great for kitchen counters, cutting boards, and bathrooms is 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Simply put each liquid into a separate spray bottle, then spray the surface with one, followed by the other.

In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner. The best results came from using one mist right after the other — it is 10 times more effective than using either spray by itself and more effective than mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one sprayer.

Coconut oil also has potent disinfectant properties, and can be used to disinfect wooden cutting boards. Sunlight is another powerful disinfectant, and drying your laundry in the sun is one of the best ways to save energy and wind up with fresh, clean linens and clothing. Truly, there’s no need to expose your family to dangerous chemical disinfectants. As an added bonus aside from the health benefits, using this type of natural homemade cleanser is much less expensive than commercial varieties.

[-] Sources and References
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A year on a high-protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system

by on Aug.27, 2014, under Health

From : Ergolog

A protein rich weight-loss diet, in which thirty percent of the energy is derived from proteins, works better than a traditional slimming diet, in which proteins make up only twenty percent of the energy provision. Moreover, a high-protein diet is just as good for your cardiovascular system as a traditional weight-loss diet – even if you stay on it for a year. Australian researchers at the University of South Australia drew this conclusion from a human study involving 68 heavily overweight men.


Protein-rich weight loss
It’s pretty much generally agreed that you lose weight faster the more protein you consume, and that this kind of diet also helps retain muscle mass. It’s not yet completely clear though whether there are long-term negative health effects of a high-protein diet.


Experimental setup
In the study, which the Australians published in Nutrition & Diabetes, obese men (average age 50) were put on a diet of 1700 kcal daily for a year. As a result of this they lost weight gradually.


Half of the men were given a traditional diet: 20 percent of the energy was derived from protein and 50 percent from carbohydrates. [HC] The other half of the men were put on a high-protein weight-loss diet. [HP] The energy in this diet was derived for 30 percent from protein, and 35 percent from carbohydrates.



1yearhighproteindietforweightloss5 A year on a high protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system

1yearhighproteindietforweightloss4 A year on a high protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system


proteinshake A year on a high protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system

Body composition
Both groups lost about the same amount of weight in the year that the experiment lasted. But the men who had been on the high-protein diet lost more body fat and retained more lean body mass – and, yes, the differences were statistically significant.



1yearhighproteindietforweightloss A year on a high protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system


The men in both groups became healthier. Their blood pressure went down, their cholesterol levels improved, their blood sugar and insulin levels went down, as did the amounts of triglycerides and CRP in their blood.



1yearhighproteindietforweightloss2 A year on a high protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system

1yearhighproteindietforweightloss3 A year on a high protein slimming diet is good for cardiovascular system


“In conclusion, in overweight and obese men both a high protein and high carbohydrate diet reduced body weight and improved cardiometabolic risk factors”, the researchers write. “Consumption of a high protein diet was more effective for improving body composition compared with an high carbohydrate diet.”


Nutr Diabetes. 2012 Aug 13;2:e40. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2012.11.

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Improve your learning with turmeric

by on Aug.27, 2014, under Health


Turmeric – Latin name Curcuma longa – improves storage and retrieval of new information in rats that are aging artificially. This emerged from an animal study that researchers at Seoul National University in South Korea published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.


Experimental setup
The researchers performed experiments on rats, in which they induced premature aging by giving them large quantities of galactose, which boosts free radical activity. If this process happens in the brain then its ability to store and use information will decrease.


koenjitcurcumin Improve your learning with turmeric

The researchers gave some of the lab animals galactose for 10 weeks; others were not given galactose. Half of the animals in both groups were given 300 mg turmeric extract per kg bodyweight in the last three weeks of the experiment. You can calculate the human equivalent of this dose here.


Improved information processing
In the last week of the experiment the rats had to swim in an aquarium where a platform had been hidden just under the surface of the water. The rats that were prematurely senile found the platform less quickly than the healthy animals, but turmeric largely negated this effect of aging.



curcuminlearning Improve your learning with turmeric

brainhipp Improve your learning with turmeric

The hippocampus plays an important role in the storage and retrieval of new information in the brain. Turmeric boosted the activity of the transcription factor CREB [pCREB] and the concentration of the growth factor BDNF. BDNF makes brain cells grow and develop.


These effects were present in both the aging and healthy rats. It might just be the case that turmeric extracts not only help improve learning processes in older people, but also in younger ones.



curcuminlearning2 Improve your learning with turmeric

curcuminlearning3 Improve your learning with turmeric


curcuminstructure Improve your learning with turmeric

The researchers suspect that the effects are largely due to curcumin [structural formula on the right]. They used high doses because the body does not absorb curcumin easily. Read here and here on how you can boost uptake.


The Korean government funded the research.


J Med Food. 2014 Jun;17(6):641-9.

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Glucosamine and Chondroitin Use Helps Maintain Healthier Levels of Inflammation

by on Aug.26, 2014, under Health

By Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS, August 8, 2014, abstracted from “Associations between glucosamine and chondroitin supplement use and biomarkers of systemic inflammation” in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Therapeutics
Between 2003 and 2006 more than half of U.S. adults reported taking dietary supplements, up from 40% between 1988 and 1994 (1). Of the supplements taken, glucosamine and chondroitin are among the mostpopular, often taken together as a singledaily supplement for osteoarthritis. While their biologiceffects are still not fully understood,lab and animal studies suggest the primary mode of action of glucosamine and chondroitin is through affecting inflammation levels (2,3,4).
Now a new study in humans (5) suggests glucosamine and chondroitin use may be an effective way to help manage inflammation levels. The study involved 217 subjects (111 men, 106 women) between the ages of 50 and 75 participating in the Vitamins and Lifestyle Study (VITAL) (6). They completed a home interview and questionnaire concerning their glucosamine and chondroitin supplement use. They also provided blood and urine samples to measure for levels of inflammation.
The researchers found “high pill use” of both glucosamine and chondroitin to affect blood levels of an inflammatory protein called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and urinary levels of PGEM, the breakdown product of the inflammatory protein PGE2.
The following results were observed:
What Was Measured
Chondroitin Users (High Use*)
hsCRP Levels
36% lower than nonusers (actual data not provided)
PGEM Levels
27% lower than nonusers (actual data not provided)
Glucosamine Users (High Use*)
hsCRP Levels
28% lower than nonusers (actual data not provided)
PGEM Levels
24% lower than nonusers (actual data not provided)
 *High Use = 14 or more pills per day
For the researchers, “glucosamine and chondroitin is associated with reduced hsCRP and PGE2” and “these supplements might have anti-inflammatory potential” but “further work is needed to more definitively evaluate the anti-inflammatory potential of [glucosamine and chondroitin].”

Greg Arnold is a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Hauppauge, NY.  You can contact Dr. Arnold directly by emailing him at or visiting his web site at

1.     “Dietary Supplement Use Among U.S. Adults Has Increased Since NHANES III (1988–1994)”. NCHS Data Brief, No 61, April 2011 from the CDC website
2.     Xu CX, Jin H, Chung YS, et al. Chondroitin sulfate extracted from ascidian tunic inhibits phorbol ester-induced expression of Inflammatory factors VCAM-1 and COX-2 by blocking NF-kappaB activation in mouse skin. J Agric Food Chem 2008;56:9667–9675.
3.     Iovu M, Dumais G, du Souich P. Anti-inflammatory activity of chondroitin sulfate. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2008; 16 Suppl 3:S14–18.
4.     Sakai S, Sugawara T, Kishi T, et al. Effect of glucosamine and related compounds on the degranulation of mast cells and ear swelling induced by dinitrofluorobenzene in mice. Life Sci 2010;86:337–343.
5.     Kantor ED. Associations between glucosamine and chondroitin supplement use and biomarkers of systemic inflammation. J Altern Complement Med 2014 Jun;20(6):479-85. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0323
6.     White E, Patterson RE, Kristal AR, et al. VITamins And Lifestyle cohort study: study design and characteristics of supplement users. Am J Epidemiol 2004;159:83–93
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The One Test Your Doctor Isn’t Doing That Could Save Your Life

by on Aug.22, 2014, under Health


Insulin resistance doesn’t happen overnight. When most of your diet includes empty calories and an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars, liquid calories, and carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes, your cells slowly become resistant to the effects of insulin.

Your body increasingly demands more insulin to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even. Eventually your cells become resistant to insulin’s call, resulting in insulin resistance.

The higher your insulin levels are, the worse your insulin resistance. Your body starts to age and deteriorate. In fact, insulin resistance is the single most important phenomenon that leads to rapid, premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer.

Insulin resistance and the resulting metabolic syndrome often comes accompanied by increasing central obesity, fatigue after meals, sugar cravings, high triglycerides, low HDL, high blood pressure, problems with blood clotting, as well as increased inflammation.

Even without these warning signs, one test can determine high insulin levels years or even decades before diabetes develops. Early detection can help you reverse these symptoms, yet doctors rarely use this crucial test that can detect high insulin levels.

Why Doctors Miss the Initial Warning Sign of Insulin Resistance

Doctors have been trained to measure a person’s fasting blood sugar, or the glucose levels present in your blood, at least eight hours after your last meal. Most don’t express concern until results show blood sugar levels reaching 110 mg/dl. That’s when they start “watching it.” Then, once your blood sugar reaches 126 mg/dl, your doctor will diagnose you with diabetes and put you on medication.

The important thing to note is that blood sugar is the last thing to increase…so for many people, a fasting glucose test detects diabetes too late. Long before your blood sugar rises, your insulin spikes. High insulin levels are the first sign that can precede type 2 diabetes by decades, Damage begins with even slight changes in insulin and blood sugar.

A two-hour glucose tolerance test can help detect high insulin levels. This test measures not only glucose but also insulin levels, yet doctors rarely order it. Instead, they usually don’t express concern until blood sugar is over 110 or worse, over 126, which is diabetes.

Many of my patients have normal blood sugar levels but very high insulin levels and other signs of pre-diabetes, yet when they come to see me they have not been diagnosed with pre-diabetes.

Even when they have a blood sugar level over 100 mg/dl and a two-hour glucose tolerance test result of over 140 mg/dl, 90 percent of patients who display these conditions have not been diagnosed. That’s because doctors don’t measure insulin.

Think about this. Insulin resistance contributes to most chronic disease in America, a country with world-renowned health care, yet 90 percent of people who have this condition have not been diagnosed. One test could change all that.

I recommend early testing for everyone:

  • Over age 50
  • With a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • With central abdominal weight gain or abnormal cholesterol
  • With any risk of insulin resistance (even children)

Ask your doctor for a 2-Hour Insulin Glucose Challenge Test. This should be done when fasting, with blood sugar and insulin levels checked at fasting, then again at one- and two-hour intervals.

Your blood sugar levels should be less than 80 mg/dl fasting and never rise above 110 or 120 mg/dl after one and two hour checks. Your insulin should be less than 5 mg/dl fasting and should never rise above 30 mg/dl after one and two hour checks.

If your results show high insulin, you need to eliminate the things that are sending your biology out of balance and include what’s needed to help your body rebalance itself. These eight interventions can become extraordinarily powerful to normalize insulin:

  1. Eat whole, fresh foods. Food is information that controls your gene expression, hormones, and metabolism. Choose low-glycemic real foods including fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, non-gluten grains, nuts, seeds, and high-quality animal protein.
  2. Remove all sweeteners. Far from the free pass some people consider them, artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels and contribute to insulin resistance. One study in the journal Diabetes Carefound sucralose (Splenda) could raise glucose and insulin levels. Give up sugar but also stevia, aspartame, sucralose, sugar alcohols like xylitol and malitol, and all of the other heavily used and marketed sweeteners unless you want to slow down your metabolism, gain weight, and increase insulin resistance. Many of us have lost touch with what constitutes “sweet,” and we have to retrain our taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness of, say, natural vanilla or roasted almonds.
  3. Control inflammation. Dietary sugars of all kinds and refined vegetable oilsare the biggest contributors to inflammation. They increase insulin levels and turn on genes that lead to chronic inflammation, creating a downward spiral into more inflammation, poor blood sugar control, and chronic disease. Besides removing the offending foods, address food sensitivities and allergies to control inflammation. Incorporate plenty of anti-inflammatory foods including wild-caught fish, freshly ground flax seed, and fish oil.
  4. Increase fiber-rich foods. Whereas our Paleolithic ancestors got 50 – 100 grams of fiber a day, we now average less than 15 grams. Studies show high-fiber foods can be as effective as diabetes medications to lower blood sugar without the side effects. Fiber slows sugar absorption into the bloodstream from the gut. Eat a wide variety of fiber-rich plant-based foods including nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
  5. Get enough sleep. A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found in healthy subjects, even a partial night of poor sleep contributes to insulin resistance.  Make sleep a top priority to normalize insulin levels. Avoid eating three hours before bed and take an UltraBath to raise your body temperature and relax your muscles. Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, only use your bed for sleep and sex, and try herbal therapies or melatonin if necessary.
  6. Address nutrient deficiencies. A number of nutrients play a role in insulin management, including vitamin D, chromium, magnesium, and alpha lipoic acid. Deficiencies in any nutrient can stall your biochemical machinery, knocking your blood sugar levels out of balance and making you more insulin resistant.
  7. Incorporate the right exercise. Exercise might be the most powerful medicine to manage blood sugar levels and make your cells more insulin sensitive. When it comes to exercise, time becomes a huge hurdle for many people. That’s why I recommend high-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called burst training, which you can do in just minutes a day. A study in the Journal of Obesity found among its other benefits,burst training helped decrease fasting insulin and reduce insulin resistance. Combining burst training with weight resistance provides the most effective, efficient way to normalize blood sugar and insulin levels.
  8. Control stress levels. Chronic stress elevates cortisol, your main stress hormone. Increased cortisol levels elevate blood sugar and promote the accumulation of belly fat that I commonly see in patients with insulin resistance or diabetes. You can’t eliminate stress, but you can reduce its impact. Find what works for you. That might be meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or exercise.

If this seems like a lot, don’t worry. I’ve created a 10-Day Detox Diet Challenge that will help you address, step-by-step, each of these areas. This Challenge includes live coaching support from my nutrition team and me, community support and a complete toolkit. To learn more or to register, click here.

What other strategies would you add to control blood sugar, normalize insulin levels, and reduce your risk for obesity and chronic illness? I welcome you to share your thoughts here or on my Facebook fan page.

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

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Elderly muscles need more protein

by on Aug.21, 2014, under Health

From Ergolog

A well-balanced meal – or a portion of protein in the form of a shake – boosts the synthesis of muscle protein. At least, it does if you ingest a high enough total quantity of protein. The optimal amount of protein depends on your age, sports scientists at the University of Toronto discovered. The older you are, the more protein you need.


proteinshake Elderly muscles need more protein

Pulsed proteins
If you serve elderly people all the protein they need in 1 meal, then their muscles will benefit from this. Strength athletes aged between 20 and 30 show optimal growth if they consume 20 g after a workout, but people in their seventies need 40 g for this. There are plenty of references in the literature to the fact that the body metabolises protein differently as we get older. To be more exact: it seems that your muscles only wise up to proteins if you consume them in sufficient quantity – and that this requirement increases with age.


Experimental setup
Researchers at the University of Toronto measured the number of grams of protein needed for optimal postprandial myofibrillar protein synthesis in two groups of men. The average age in one group was 22, and in the other 71.


Muscle protein synthesis
In the young men the maximum effect on muscle protein synthesis happened at an intake of 0.24 kg protein per kg bodyweight. If you look at lean body mass [LBM], then the effect was optimal at 0.25 g protein per kg LBM.



proteinmeamuscleproteinsynthesisage2 Elderly muscles need more protein


In the older men the effect was optimal at 0.4 g protein per kg bodyweight – or at 0.6 g protein per kg LBM.



proteinmeamuscleproteinsynthesisage Elderly muscles need more protein


“The protein intake references derived herein could be considered when setting protein intakes for older men (based on a balanced three-meal daily protein intake) and when developing nutritional strategies to maximize myofibrillar protein synthesis and, potentially, maintain muscle mass”, the researchers write.


J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2014 Jul 23. pii: glu103. [Epub ahead of print].


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Exercise and low-carb diet combo excellent way to lose weight

by on Aug.20, 2014, under Health

From :

Burning a couple of hundred kcal extra a day by exercising more is a great way to lose weight. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your food is another good way to lose weight. It’s a shame you can’t combine the two – because if you’ve got a low blood sugar level your muscles can’t perform well and you can forget doing exercise. Or not? Nutritionists at the University of South Australia have a different view of the matter.

Low carb
No, a low-carbohydrate diet isn’t necessarily the only way to lose weight, and yes, low-carb weight loss is fine. For an overview of all the articles on low-carb diets on this weblog, click here.


Many trainers are not at all in favour of low-carbohydrate eating patterns. Athletes need carbs, they say. Without glucose athletes don’t have the energy to train. And trainers say this not because they are stupid, but because they listened carefully when they did their training course. It’s still in textbooks and course material – and all the information is based on good scientific research.


The researchers at the University of New South Wales took another good look at the effect of aerobic training on pain tolerance. They got a dozen students to cycle at One disadvantage to these studies is that they are all of short duration. In practice, a body that’s used to a high-carb diet needs a few days – and sometimes even a few weeks – to get used to a diet in which the energy is derived mostly from fats and proteins.



verylowcarbdiet Exercise and low carb diet combo excellent way to lose weight


Experimental setup
The Australians wanted to describe the long-term effects of a low-carb diet on performance capacity, so they put a group of about twenty overweight adults on a low-carb diet for a year [LC]. An equal-sized control group got a high-carb diet [HC]. Both low-carb and high-carb diet provided the subjects with a couple of hundred calories less than they burned.


Body composition
After a year both groups had lost about the same amount of fat. The differences between the two groups were not significant.



fatoxidationverylowcarbdietversushighcarbdiet Exercise and low carb diet combo excellent way to lose weight


Performance capacity
During the year that the study lasted the subjects did not do any extra sport. Before they started the diet and at the end the researchers tested their physical condition on a treadmill and measured their muscle strength. The weight loss made the subjects in both groups a little fitter; both groups performed equally well.



fatoxidationverylowcarbdietversushighcarbdiet2 Exercise and low carb diet combo excellent way to lose weight


Fat burning
The people on the low-carb diet burned more fat during moderately intensive exercise on the treadmill. The high-carb diet had the opposite effect. The difference between the effect of the low-carb and the high-carb diet was statistically different.



fatoxidationverylowcarbdietversushighcarbdiet3 Exercise and low carb diet combo excellent way to lose weight

fatoxidationverylowcarbdietversushighcarbdiet5 Exercise and low carb diet combo excellent way to lose weight


The subjects in both groups burned the same number of kcals on the treadmill.


“Compared to a high carb diet, long-term consumption of a low carb diet did not impair exercise tolerance or exercise capacity in overweight and obese individuals”, the researchers conclude. “A low carb diet shifted fuel utilization during submaximal exercise to favor fat oxidation with no effect on rating of perceived exertion. Overall, these data suggest that compared to a high carb diet, prolonged consumption of an low carb weight loss diet should not impact adversely on physical function or the ability to perform exercise.”


J Am Coll Nutr. 2014 Jul 2:1-7. [Epub ahead of print].+

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