I recently listened to one of those infomercials that promised to solve every health problem under the sun. I ended up paying quite a bit to buy their reports because they mentioned one “little” thing that has been causing me quite a lot of problems. They mentioned calcification. When I got the reports, I looked through them eagerly to find the answer to what causes calcification to occur where it isn’t supposed to be. The answer was at the back of one of the smaller books I received. Continue reading
It has long been taught in health orthodoxy that a low-fat diet was ideal for preventing disease; but more and more, this idea is being called into question. As more and more new research comes in, the orthodox medical establishment has had to grudgingly admit that perhaps their theories have been wrong all along. On the weight maintenance side of things, we have been taught that higher intake of dietary fat makes us gain body fat, but research is now showing that the opposite may be the case. Continue reading
I am currently reading An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases by Moises Velasquez-Manoff. In a nutshell, it is about how the decreasing biodiversity of our environment is creating more disease. It is about how our agricultural methods, sanitation methods, and compulsive cleaning have in very short order eliminated many of the microorganisms and parasites that we evolved to deal with. Continue reading
I am currently reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price. Dr. Price was concerned about the degeneration of dental health that he was seeing in his practice. He decided to go out and find populations where dental health was still good. He traveled the world looking for people still eating traditional diets. This book was first published in 1939, but it would be very difficult to write such a book today because virtually all populations now include modern foods in their diet. Continue reading
There’s a rather interesting study of aspartame done by amateur scientist, Victoria Inness-Brown. In a 2½ year multigenerational study of rats, a whopping 67% of the female rats developed tumors the size of golf balls or larger! That’s huge on a rat. Necropsies done by a county veterinarian on several of those animals revealed that these tumors were cancerous. Birth defects were seen in subsequent generations. Continue reading
I’m continuing to read Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan MD. I’ve got a new reason to exercise while losing weight. Exercise is important because it generates signals to transdifferentiate your fat. This encourages fat cells to redifferentiate into other cells such as muscle cells. Recent studies suggest that the cells of our body are capable of changing purpose as needed. So if the body decides that fat cells are no longer needed but muscle cells are, for instance, it can send signals to the fat cells to relocate and convert themselves into muscle cells. Without exercise, the fat cells simply shrink and wait for the opportunity to suck up calories and grow again.
From the book:
How Fat Cells Change
Nearly every step of the fat cell self-improvement program has been replicated in the lab. Though no one knows exactly how it functions in the body, it might go something like this: First, an individual fat cell loses much, or all, of its lipid stores. Then the shriveled fat cell gets a signal to dedifferentiate into a more mobile cell type, one that is chemically indistinguishable from a stem cell. The cell exits the fat tissue by way of the bloodstream and, once in circulation, is directed to go wherever growth is occurring—a muscle, say. Upon arrival, the cell attaches to the wall of a tiny blood vessel and waits for the stimulus to migrate into the muscle tissue itself. Once it gets the right signal, it moves inside the matrix of the new tissue and redifferentiates to match the other cell types in its new location. Whatever the exact sequence of cell reassignment, the abilities of the magical morphing cell suggest that our body is composed not of cellular specialists, but of generalists, ready to be retrained and reassigned at a moment’s notice. And that’s encouraging news because it tells us that, if we know what we’re doing, our best health may still be ahead of us.
Shanahan MD, Catherine (2011-04-22). Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food (p. 287). Big Box Books.
Transdifferentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow. Song L. FASEB Vol 18, June 2004, 980-2.
I continue to read Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan MD. According to Dr. Shanahan, the most dangerous foods are vegetable oils, sugars, and foods that convert to sugar during digestion. She gave an interesting description of how the two combine to create coronary artery disease. I’ve never seen it laid out quite the same before. It’s a very compelling description of the process if it’s true. It actually explains how the epithelial lining of the arteries becomes injured in the first place, which is something other explanations fail to do.
To sum it up, sugar in the bloodstream damages lipoproteins (HDL, LDL, VLDL). The lipoproteins, in turn, spill their loads into the bloodstream where it should not be. If that load contains mega-trans-fats from damaged vegetable oils (which happens when heat is applied, either during production or cooking), those fats cause oxidative damage to the fats in the membranes of the cells of the epithelial lining of the arteries, resulting in a literal burning of the cells. Gruesome! The body then attempts to repair that damage by sending cholesterol and white blood cells to the injured site. These repairs become the arterial plaques of atherosclerosis.
Dr. Mercola sent out a link this morning to an article praising salt. There was a meta-analysis study done, and salt restriction was linked to higher heart death rates. Imagine that. Those with the highest intake of salt had the lowest heart death rate, and significantly so. Dr. Mercola does say that salt restriction can help some people with high blood pressure, but apparently it’s a limited subset. There’s a list of other problems that can occur with salt restriction as well. The article includes stats and study links.
Who would think that we’d actually see a medical doctor post an entry on his blog called “Add lard to your larder”? Dr. Michael Eades, the author of Protein Power, did just that. Among interesting points that he made, he said that the Mediterraneans are actually eating lard more than olive oil. The olive oil they produce in the region is for export. That certainly changes the face of what many believe is one of the healthiest diets!
In another of his posts about “The best low-carb book in print,” he quotes study summaries from the book. One study was particularly interesting. They looked at an ADA low-fat/high-carb diet against a low-carb/high-fat diet. I like studies like this because it pits one intervention diet against another, thus eliminating the conscientiousness factor when comparing the diets. Even though the high-fat dieters were eating considerably more saturated fat, the blood levels of saturated fat decreased from their pre-diet numbers, both in terms of percentage of fat in the blood and in terms of the absolute serum content. By the latter measure, saturated fat in the blood dropped 30% in the high-fat group, even though they were eating more saturated fat. Triglycerides fell by 51% in this group. The latter figure did not surprise me much because I already knew that triglycerides increase with carb intake. It would have been nice to know how they did weight-wise, but Dr. Eades did not quote those results. I guess I’ll have to get the book to find out.
I have been looking into research on low-carbohydrate diets and cancer. They are just beginning to do studies for the purpose of looking into this issue. I suspect that this is because it has been so literally politically incorrect to look at low-carb diets that it just wasn’t done for a long time. After all, the government and other major medical agencies have been promoting low-fat/high-carb diets for some time now, and these are what have been tested most. Anyway, test tube and animal studies of low-carb diets are showing good results. A few human studies are underway, but they are only allowed to enroll cancer patients who have exhausted other options.
Compliance is a big problem with low-carb diets. People love their carbs. They’re so addictive. One cancer study looking at low-carb diets is having problems with that issue. Participants just don’t want to give up cakes, cookies, chocolate, soda, or whatever. And these are people who have had PET scans to determine that their tumors are consuming glucose preferentially. You’d think they’d be motivated.
Diet and Cancer: Ongoing Research. Nutrition and Metabolism Society.
Low Carb, High Protein Diet May Help Fight Cancer By David Liu, Ph.D. and editing by Elizabeth Hutchinson.
Carbohydrate restriction in patients with advanced cancer: a protocol to assess safety and feasibility with an accompanying hypothesis. Eugene J. Fine, MD, MS, C. J. Segal-Isaacson, EdD, Richard Feinman, PhD, Joseph Sparano, MD. COMMUNITY ONCOLOGY. January 2008.
Carbohydrate restriction may slow prostate tumor growth. Health News Track, 2009.
A Holistic Approach to Cancer. Weston Price Foundation.