Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Right Fats Help You Lose Weight

From Dr. Joseph Mercola

For those who think a low-fat diet is the best way to lose weight ... think again. That's because the "old" fat stored in the body's peripheral tissues -- belly, backside and thighs -- can't be burned efficiently unless "new" fat is eaten or generated in the liver, according to researchers.

A team developed mice that were genetically engineered to be absent of an important fat-synthesizing enzyme in the liver. Consequently, the mice were unable to produce new fatty acids in the liver, which presented a problem for the mice, as liver fatty acids are vital for maintaining normal metabolism for:


Moreover, when the mice were placed on a no-fat diet, they developed fatty liver disease (their livers filled quickly with fat) and suffered from low sugar levels; and because their livers were unable to burn the old fat, extra pounds were accumulated.

The Liver Needs "New" Fat

Based on their findings, researchers found that in order to regulate fat burning the liver must receive "new" fat -- the fat that is consumed in food or freshly made in the liver as glucose is converted to fat by fatty acid synthase. Researchers also saw the effect of added dietary fat could be duplicated when the mice were treated with a drug that activated the PPAR-alpha found in all mammals and central to metabolic processes that extract energy from dietary components like carbohydrates and fats.

Thus, those who strive to lose fat stored in the peripheral tissues may find promise in consuming small amounts of dietary fats that could effectively activate PPAR-alpha and fat burning pathways through the liver.

Cell Metabolism May 2005;1(5):Pages 309-322

Science Blog May 9, 2005

While the above study provides strong evidence as to the overall importance of consuming fat as a regular part of your diet, please be sure to remember two vitally important points:

Not all fat is created equal. In other words, certain types and forms of fat are extremely nutritious and necessary to maintain optimal health, while others should be avoided at all costs.

While the results of this study suggest that assuring an adequate, overall intake of fat is obviously important, obtaining the proper balance of different types of fats may be even more so.

Types of Fat

The types of fat I recommend you avoid completely fall into two categories: Hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or trans fats

Liquid vegetable oils

Hydrogenated fats are typically found in margarine and shortening, as well as processed and/or fried foods like french fries and fried chicken, doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.

They are formed by chemically altering the structure of vegetable oil so that it becomes hardened; these fats are one of the worst "foods" you can possibly consume, as they are converted into trans fat. Research has proven them to play an important role in the development of:

Heart disease

Liquid vegetable oils include any oils that require mechanical pressing and processing to be created (coconut and olive oils are traditional oils that can be created without the use of machines). These oils are very unstable and typically rancid before they are even opened, and the heat used in cooking with these oils further damages them.

Consuming vegetable oils also leads to an imbalanced intake of fatty acids (discussed below), as the omega-6 fats, which are typically high in these oils, were never meant to be consumed in such high amounts.

To understand this concept, consider for a moment how much oil you might find in a typical ear of corn, or cup of soybeans. Certainly nowhere near the amounts used when cooking with liquid oils derived from these foods. Also consider how difficult it would have been for humans, living before the modern age, to squeeze even a drop of oil from such foods without the aid of a machine.

A Balanced Intake

During Paleolithic times, when our ancestors ate a diet that was most natural for their bodies, the ratio of omega-6:3 fats was anywhere from 3:1 to 1:1.

Currently, Americans consume omega-6 and omega-3 fats at a ratio anywhere from 20:1 to as high as 50:1. Needless to say, this is a tremendous difference.

At the end of the 19th century, Americans consumed less than one pound of liquid vegetable oil a year. At the turn of the 20th century, that amount had increased to 75 pounds per year. Nearly all vegetable oils are loaded with omega-6 fats. We were simply never designed to eat so many processed vegetable oil fats. When one combines this with a decline in the intake of clean fish and fish oils, we have a prescription for disaster.

The Best Fats to Eat

Following three simple rules when selecting the fats to consume in your diet will help assure that you are getting the proper types of fats, in the proper ratios.

Choose only fats that would have been available to you in pre-industrial times, when oil-pressing machines, chemicals and other technology used in creating modern fats were unavailable. The fats that fall into this category include fish oil (mechanical processing is used to create fish oil, but the amounts of it you would consume still mirror the intake of pre-modern humans) coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and any fat that is naturally present in the food you are eating.

Comment: To lean more about fats, check out my website Confused About Fats.

Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. To be removed from this e-mail program, reply back and say unsubscribe.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Vitamin D - More May Be Better

15 May 2005

Vitamin D has long been known to help keep your bones in good shape. The May issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers new research that shows vitamin D may play a much bigger role in overall health.

Several recent studies have considered the effects of low vitamin D on health aside from bones. In a controlled study of elderly women, those taking vitamin D and calcium had much better leg strength and fewer falls than the women taking only calcium. Another study, of patients ages 10 to 65 with musculoskeletal pain, found 93 percent were deficient in vitamin D.

Researchers are looking at the role vitamin D may play in other diseases. Part of that interest is driven by the lower incidence of prostate, colon and breast cancers; multiple sclerosis; and Type I diabetes in regions that receive higher amounts of direct sunlight throughout the year. Skin exposed to sunlight can generate the equivalent of thousands of international units (IU's) of vitamin D.

Now the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that adults through age 50 take 200 IU of vitamin D daily. The recommendations go up for older adults: 400 IU for ages 51 to 70, and 600 IU for those over age 70.

These recommendations were set to prevent severe bone disease. Researchers are increasingly concerned that these standards are too low. The studies suggest that the best levels for overall health may be higher than those recommendations, perhaps in the range of 800 to 1,000 IU a day.

If you're concerned about getting adequate vitamin D, talk to your doctor. The safest way to get vitamin D is from foods and dietary supplements. The notion of exposing yourself to sun to increase vitamin D remains extremely controversial because of increased skin cancer risk.

Comment: I will continue to let all of you know how much evidence there is that we need more vitamin D in our diets. Multiples usually only carry 400 IU's, which is not near enough. We take 2,000 to 4,000 IU daily of Vit D3 and have for a long time. The normal amount of vitamin D that a person working outside in the sun all day would be over 30,000 to 40,000 IU daily.

Vitamin D3


Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. To be removed from this e-mail program, reply back and say unsubscribe.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Scientists discover key to a longer healthier life

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

06 May 2005

Scientists have prolonged the lives of laboratory mice by 20 per cent using a technique that boosts the natural antioxidants of the body.

If similar results are applied to humans then it would mean average lifespans could be extended from the present 75 years or so to more than 100 years.

The findings demonstrate for the first time the important role damaging oxidising substances called "free radicals" play in the ageing process, the researchers said.

Free radicals are electrically charged, highly reactive substances produced as by-products of biological metabolism. They have been linked with heart disease, cancer and other age-related disorders. The mice were genetically engineered to produce high levels of a human enzyme called catalase which destroys the chemical hydrogen peroxide, a rich source of free radicals in the cells of the body.

A study in the online journal Science Express found some of the mice lived for an average of up to five and half months longer than they would normally. The scientists also found that the longest-lived mice were those with the highest levels of the catalase enzyme in the tiny powerhouses of the cell, called the mitochondria, thought to generate many free radicals.

Peter Rabinovitch, professor of pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle and leader of the study, said the findings supported the idea that the mitochondria are one of the key factors that influence the ageing process. "This study is very supportive of the free-radical theory of ageing," he said. "It shows the significance of free radicals, and of reactive oxygen species in particular, in the ageing process."

Although it would not be possible to perform the same genetic engineering on humans, the study on mice has helped scientists to identify the chemical reactions in the body that protect against the damaging actions of free radicals. This could lead to new anti-ageing drugs, he said.

"What we're realising now is that by intervening in the underlying ageing process, we may be able to produce very significant increases in 'health span' or healthy lifespan."

Comment: Actually this has been known for a long time. It was the main premise for the book written back in 1969 by Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw called Life Extension, A Practical Scientific Approach and was instrumental in taking me into a new direction in Anti-Aging. The idea is that if we saturate the body with ample antioxidants, it slows down the aging process and protects us from molecular damage that ends up in disease and premature aging. This is also the premise behind Orthomolecular Medicine, conceived by Linus Pauling and followed by me in my practice. To learn more about antioxidants, check out this webpage, antioxidants.


Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. To be removed from this e-mail program, reply back and say unsubscribe.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Low-Salt Diets May Harm Heart, Study Says

HealthDayNews -- New research would appear to upend long-standing advice to limit daily salt intake if you want to protect your heart.

In fact, the new study suggests, the less salt you eat, the greater your risk of dying from heart disease.

The controversial findings, to be presented Saturday afternoon at an American Heart Association meeting in Washington, D.C., challenge U.S. Food and Drug Administration and American Heart Association recommendations that people consume no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of table salt) a day.

"We believe these data do not support" the current guidelines, said lead researcher Hillel W. Cohen, an assistant professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "We are urging those who make these guidelines to go back to their data and look at additional data prior to making universal recommendations."

In their study, Cohen's team collected data on 7,278 men and women who participated in the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. During a follow-up of more than 13 years, the researchers looked for the number of deaths from heart disease and the number of deaths from any other cause.

According to Cohen, they found that the intake of less than 2,400 mg of salt a day was associated with a 50 percent higher risk of heart disease.

And they found that as the intake of salt went down, mortality went up: For each 1,000-mg reduction in salt intake, the risk for cardiovascular mortality rose by 1 percent.

"We found that those who had an intake of salt that was less than the 2,400-mg recommendation had higher mortality," Cohen said. "That was true for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality."

Cohen believes that the amount of salt that's right for one person may not be right for another. "It is likely that there are differences between individuals with regard to sodium intake," he said. "And it's clear that the data do not support the current recommendations."

According to Cohen, some people cannot tolerate high levels of salt, while others can. "From a biological standpoint, if one's kidneys are working reasonably well, sodium within the usual range of intakes shouldn't be a problem," he said.

Not surprisingly, the findings were challenged by at least one expert, who called them unreliable.

The study results probably reflect effective use of drugs to compensate for the harms of high salt intake, said Dr. David L. Katz, an associate clinical professor of public health and director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

"We have more and stronger antihypertensive medications than ever before," Katz said. "So yes, you can have your salt and normal blood pressure, too -- if you don't mind better living through pharmacotherapy."

As for the link between higher health risks and lower salt intake, Katz said he believed the real connection is the other way around. "Reducing salt intake is tough to do in a country where even breakfast cereal is salt laden," he said. "So I suspect the sickest people are those that work hardest to cut their salt intake."

"It should come as no surprise to learn that the sickest people have the highest mortality rate," he said.

Conventional wisdom is not about jumping to conclusions but is based on the slow accumulation of information over time, Katz said.

"It should not change every time a new research finding gets reported," he added. "The pursuit of scientific truth is not a straight line; there are many missteps, detours and dead ends along the way. But when first reported, it's the papers that ultimately prove to be wrong that sound most exciting."

And his personal advice? "I'm still watching my salt intake," he said, "and recommend you do the same."

More information

The American Heart Association can tell you more about salt in your diet.

Comment: I have never feared salt and the Hunza's, many who live to be over 100 years of age, are known to drink strong tea, mixed with butter and rock salt daily. Salt is important as a electrolyte, but so are other minerals, so there needs to be balanced. We use Morton Light Salt, and we use it liberally. Morton Light Salt is 60% potassium and 40% sodium chloride, a very balanced product. Use it generously.


Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. To be removed from this e-mail program, reply back and say unsubscribe.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

How sweet it's not...

Contributed by Nancy Appleton, PhD
Author of the book Lick The Sugar Habit

In addition to throwing off the body's homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. The following is a listing of some of sugar's metabolic consequences from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications.

Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.1,2

Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium. 3,4,5,6

Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.7,8

Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.9,10,11,12

Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.13

Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.14,15,16,17,18,19,20

Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.21,22

Sugar can weaken eyesight.23

Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract including: an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.24,25,26,27,28

Sugar can cause premature aging.29

Sugar can lead to alcoholism.30

Sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.31,32,33

Sugar contributes to obesity.34

Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.35,36,37

Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).38

Sugar can cause gallstones.39

Sugar can cause appendicitis.40

Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.41

Sugar can cause varicose veins.42

Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.43

Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.44

Sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.45,46,47

Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.48

Sugar can increase your systolic blood pressure.49

Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.50

High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar molecules attaching to and thereby damaging proteins in the body).51

Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.52

Sugar causes food allergies.53

Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.54

Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.55

Sugar can cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.56,57

Sugar can impair the structure of your DNA.58

Sugar can change the structure of protein and cause a permanent alteration of the way the proteins act in your body.59,60

Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.61

Sugar can cause cataracts and nearsightedness.62,63

Sugar can cause emphysema.64

High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in your body.65

Sugar lowers the ability of enzymes to function.66

Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson's disease.67

Sugar can increase the size of your liver by making your liver cells divide and it can increase the amount of liver fat.68,69

Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney such as the formation of kidney stones.70,71

Sugar can damage your pancreas.72

Sugar can increase your body's fluid retention.73

Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.74

Sugar can compromise the lining of your capillaries.75

Sugar can make your tendons more brittle.76

Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.77

Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.78,79

Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves which can alter your mind's ability to think clearly.80

Sugar can cause depression.81

Sugar can increase your risk of gout.82

Sugar can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease.83

Sugar can cause hormonal imbalances such as: increasing estrogen in men, exacerbating PMS, and decreasing growth hormone.84,85,86,87

Sugar can lead to dizziness.88

Diets high in sugar will increase free radicals and oxidative stress.89

High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.90

High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration and is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.91,92

Sugar is an addictive substance.93

Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.94

Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.95

Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.96

Your body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.97

The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.98

Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).99

Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.100

Sugar can slow down the ability of your adrenal glands to function.101

Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.102

I.V.s (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to your brain.103

Sugar increases your risk of polio.104

High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.105

Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.106

In intensive care units: Limiting sugar saves lives.107

Sugar may induce cell death.108

In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44 percent drop in antisocial behavior.109

Sugar dehydrates newborns.110

Sugar can cause gum disease.111


Comment: This is why I prefer Splenda and Stevia over foods that contain processed sugar.

Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. To be removed from this e-mail program, reply back and say unsubscribe.