Sugar and Inflammation

Sugar and Inflammation

A high sugar diet is well known to cause bodily harm. Effects include making any disease worst, and of course, weight gain, and tooth decay. I would like to blog, however, about the low-grade chronic inflammation that occurs from a persistent diet high in sugar/starch, saturated and trans fat.

Inflammation is natural and the acute response of the body when faced with injury or infection. During inflammation, the body’s immune system activates. It is helpful and normal BUT chronic inflammation is not helpful can result in damage to healthy cells throughout including the gut and cause insulin resistance. A measurable increase in inflammatory markers can be found in the blood following such a diet.

This study scared me; folks having one can regular soda daily for 6 months had an increase of uric acid that causes inflammation and insulin resistance and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Those having a diet soda, milk, or water did not have inflammatory markers in their blood. Don’t forget the weight gain! Other studies have shown an increased risk of cancers, diabetes, and heart disease from diets high in refined sugars and refined carbs.

Note: Natural sugar, those in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are actually anti-inflammatory. Listen Up!  to the podcast from earlier this year on anti Inflammatory diet.

Realize if no insult to the body that requires an inflammatory response to mend, then inflammation will do bad things to the body. Pain, just one negative effect, can result from chronic inflammation

 

 

 

Avocado +  Apple A Day

Avocado + Apple A Day

Yes, I do blog a bit more on heart conditions. Fact is so many Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease that much research and commentary is warranted. So let us look to the produce aisle and specifically to avocados. Avocados are quite high in healthy fats, carotenoid (critical for eye health), but now they are recognized as heart-healthy!

Previous data supported bad cholesterol-lowering by eating apples regularly. But move over apples after a 2-week diet, researchers have shown overweight individuals who ate one avocado daily had lower LDL specifically a subtype -small density LDL. Small, dense LDL cholesterol particles are especially harmful by encouraging plaque build up in blood vessels. Don’t want them around.

Interesting if you follow a moderate-fat diet without avocados yet the diet incorporates the same monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocados, the results are not the same.

Hence there is something else in the avocado that influences its action on bad cholesterol. Certain medical conditions make eating avocados a no-no. If your doctor wants you to avoid foods that create histamine or has said stay away from foods that enhance inflammation, DO NOT eat avocados! Also best to check with your healthcare provider.

 

 

Read Dates On Products?

Read Dates On Products?

Expiration day (Use Before) means the last day a product may be safely consumed. We are the most expensive and wasteful healthcare system in the world according to many, and rest assured throwing away drugs because of past expiration dates contributes.

In fact, “expired” medicines can remain potent decades after their manufacture. In theory, a determined shelf life might be 1-5 years but all bets are off once a container is opened, the picture changes and no one knows precisely the ‘new’ expiration date.

Lawyers for big pharma say proceed at your own risk however there have not been any reports of toxicity from using expired drugs. Yes, perhaps your blood pressure might not come down if it is 5 years old and not stored properly.

Reviewing the medical literature I found a study, showing the active contents of flucloxacillin capsules, cefoxitin injection, captopril tablets, and theophylline tablets remained 98% intact 18-170 months past their expiration dates. Wow!

I want to touch on the phrase ‘best used by‘ as it DOES NOT mean ‘expiration date’. The date informs the consumer that after that date the product potency, taste, freshness, and even nutrition may degrade.

One Size Does Not Fits All

Nobody argues the body does need adequate hydration. As for most things ‘one size does not fit all’.

Should we have 8 glasses of water a day? Probably a good idea if you are an active healthy adult or a growing child.

Health condition, diet, activity and how our kidneys work- urine output – factor in. Losing water (ex. sweat, diarrhea) means you need more. Folks with heart failure and kidney disease have to monitor and limit their intake, so yes intake of water is personalized!

Listen to your body it talks to you – you’ve heard me say this often, well here same applies. Thirst ‘signals’ from our body include not urinating in 2-4 hours and dark-colored urine (although many medical conditions can cause this). Yes, whenever you feel thirsty you had better drink fluids.

Be smart, you know you are out for a hike so over hydrate and carry fluids, conditions and weather can changes.

Note: Caffeine, ice tea is not water, sure it helps but carries complicating facts, furthermore caffeine is a diuretic!

October is Eczema Awareness Month

October is Eczema Awareness Month

While all itching skin problems are not eczema, more than 30 million Americans have it. Roughly 10-20% of us develop some form in infancy or childhood. Appearances and location depend on the age of onset. Infants can show skin changes anywhere on the body, however, onset childhood starts at skin folds – elbows, knees, and neck.

Anytime our skin shows signs of being irritated, no matter where or why the medical term is ‘dermatitis’. So why does skin becomes inflamed? Commonly it is a result of allergens and irritants. There are many factors but keeping your skin from becoming dry in the first place helps.

Besides seeking medical care, you need to get to the cause for you. For some, it is a certain food, stress, sweating, extreme temperatures, and even hormonal fluctuations. There are many other possibilities. Read more at https://nationaleczema.org

There are different types of eczema named by what causes it or how it appears. I will only mention the top 2 in this blog.

Atopic dermatitis – most prevalent, redness itching on face, arms, and legs. Eczema usually comes for the first time in childhood than later as adults set off by allergies.

Contact dermatitis -think poison ivy exposure; direct contact with something in your world that you u sensitive to.

Skip Liquid Biopsies For Cancer Detection – Check DNA!

A while back I blogged about a ‘liquid biopsy‘ – a blood test that looked for gene mutations to detect if the ‘on’ or off’  ‘methyl’ groups were attached to DNA to make cells go crazy and generate ‘cancer’ cells. Clever I said, but now there is another approach -a ‘next-gen’ approach -that looks for DNA from dead cancer cells circulating in our blood.

Researchers (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) looked at ‘free’ DNA in the blood of patients with over 20 types of cancer and some without a cancer diagnosis. Results were astounding – only 0.6% of the results incorrectly indicated cancer was present. Their test correctly ID’ed the organ or tissue of cancer origin in 89% of cases.

How cool and non-invasive is this? Still in development, but pray it soon hits the mainstream with the medical industry recognizing early detection saves not only money but more importantly lives.

 

 

Nasal Testosterone

Nasal Testosterone

News: Phase III study completed on nasal testosterone. Indications – so far on the label is for males with hypogonadism (small male genitalia) doses (4-8 hours) allows for the maintenance of testicular testosterone production and sperm production. Nasal does not suppress a man’s natural testosterone level but simply adds. I mention this only because of the prevailing winds of ‘machismo’.

Why shouldn’t men take hormones? TV ads health and nutrition stores and online testaments benefits of boosted testosterone. As with any hormone, a blood level is the best beginning point. Many health issues such as  Diabetes HIV, liver/ kidney disease, infection and more can affect one’s level. Dependents on age, both men and women have ‘normal’ levels of testosterone circulating.

Is it needed since viagra is available? This and more queries can be answered by reading such sites as Web MD low testosterone. Do you go to a physician for evaluation of possible symptoms and troubles that result from low testosterone, or do you go to Google and Amazon?

Even Consumer reports evaluate this hormone category.  Online searches for ‘buying testosterone results in TNTC ‘hits’. Nugenix Natural Testosterone Booster is Frank Thomas’s recommendation.

Replacement is so very different than over- ‘enhancing’ what our body makes and needs. Side effects are present read on this at Drugs.com.

Please be responsible find out if your body needs testosterone. Don’t subscribe to ‘more is better’ for the body.

 

Eat Less – Live Longer

Eat Less – Live Longer

If you eat less it is intuitive that your health will be better and you may live longer. Now a recent report has documented that adults under 50 with no heart disease nor diabetes, who restricted their calories by only 12% over 2 years had impressive health outcomes.

Individuals, aka calorie restrictors, saw significant improvements in multiple cardiovascular risk factors from where they were at the beginning of 2 yr. study:

Blood pressure increases as we age, that is why you see above an increase in the control groups BP numbers

  • • Systolic BP: +2.15 mm Hg (control) vs -2.20 mm Hg (calorie restriction)
  •  Diastolic BP: +1.55 mm Hg vs -3.40 mm Hg

 

Those partaking in the study also noted a 10% in body weight, mostly body fat.

The lipid profile also was found to be affected:

 

  • LDL-cholesterol: +0.03 mmol/L vs -0.23 mmol/L
  •  Total cholesterol to HDL-cholesterol ratio: -0.047 vs -0.532
  • Triglycerides: -0.03 mmol/L vs -0.27 mmol/L

Surveillance Needed

While pharmaceuticals are considered unsafe until proven safe, OTC ‘supplements’ are considered safe for use until proven not so. Do you know anyone who does not take supplements? Today, supplements sales amount to a multi-billion-dollar industry. Essentially, this industry has managed to go unregulated.

There is no entity overseeing, setting standards of purity or handling, as the FDA does for pharmaceuticals. So no one knows what standards for safety and efficacy, supplements meet. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), supplements such as dietary supplements were placed in the same category as food, which allowed supplement manufacturers to play by a very different set of rules. Please use sites such as consumerLab.com to review available and tested for accuracy supplements. There is a minimal annual fee, but I think it has been well worth it for my personal use.

FYI: Utah is known as the silicon valley of the supplement industry.