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5 Ways to Reverse Autoimmunity That Have Nothing To Do With Food

By: Eileen Laird
When we follow the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, food is foremost in our mind. We avoid the foods that exacerbate autoimmune disease. We look forward to the day when we can eat them again. And we go out of our way to eat healing foods, like bone broth and organ meats. The right food is essential, but healing is about more than just food. Lifestyle affects autoimmunity just as strongly. Healthy choices turn off inflammatory genes, while a stressed-out lifestyle turns them on. Here are five things you can do to help your body heal:

1.    Sleep: If you’re like most of us in the United States, you prioritize everything above sleep. You stay up late to “get important stuff done.” You rise early to squeeze more time into your day. Some people even pull all-nighters to meet a deadline. Here’s the thing: there is nothing more important than your sleep. That is when your body heals itself. The less you sleep, the less you will heal; this is a biological fact you cannot override. You also can’t “catch up” on sleep. Although you may feel less tired after 1 or 2 good night’s sleep, the inflammation you have ramped up in your body takes much longer to tone down. You need a minimum of 8 hours every night, and 10 is even better.

2.    Get Outside: In modern life, it’s easy to forget that human beings evolved to live outdoors. We are designed to make vitamin D from sunlight, and its deficiency is associated with many diseases, including autoimmunity. Our circadian rhythms are set by the natural cycle of day and night and affect our body on a genetic and cellular level. We are meant to move our bodies outside during the day, and sleep deeply in the dark of night. Modern life often has us doing the opposite, sitting inside all day and then finding it impossible to sleep at night. Our health suffers as a result. Do your best to get outside every day, even if just for a short while. Take a walk, lie in the sun, read in the shade, breathe in the fresh air, you can even work outside by answering phone calls and encouraging “walking meetings”. Remember there’s a world outside these walls.

3.    Learn to Say No: Let’s face it: healing takes time. Not just in terms of patience and reversing our symptoms over the long-term. It also takes an incredible amount of time every day: cooking our food, prioritizing sleep, and making time for other healthy activities like relaxation, exercise, detox baths, etc. It requires putting yourself first, which can feel very unnatural, especially if you have a family and you’re used to putting yourself last. It’s necessary, though. When you’re sick, your whole family suffers alongside you. Prioritizing your health helps everyone. So, where are you going to find the time? Answer: you need to say no to something else – several somethings, actually. Take a good look at your life and see what responsibilities you can let go and transfer to someone else. If you don’t think you can let anything go, consult an objective friend to help you prioritize.

4.    Learn to Love Your Body: With autoimmune disease, we’ve been told our bodies have betrayed us, are attacking us, and have become our enemies rather than friends. This simply isn’t true. The body’s whole purpose is to keep us healthy and alive, and they’ve done everything in their power to do so, until they could do no more. Symptoms are their way of telling us something is wrong, and autoimmunity is a miscommunication within the body, not an intentional war within. If we want to heal, it’s much more effective to realize that we are one with our bodies. We can’t live without them. When we get angry, blame and hate our bodies, we’re actually hating ourselves. That’s not a healing stance and often leads to bad choices. Practice loving your body (and yourself) instead. If your child is sick, do you get mad at them, or do you nurture them, and do everything in your power to help them be well? Don’t our bodies deserve that same unconditional love? Don’t we?
5.    Take a Computer-Free Day: I saved this one for last, because it gives you the chance to turn off your computer as soon as you finish this article. Have you noticed that your attention span is really short lately? That you can’t sit still, you lack focus, you bore easily, you feel anxious all the time, and are easily irritated? These are all direct effects of constant intermittent use of the computer throughout the day and night. This includes smartphones, tablets and desktops. Partly it’s how we use them – in small time fragments every few minutes throughout the day. Partly it’s the blue light they emit at night that’s over-stimulating to our brains and bodies. See if you can go 24 hours with no computer use whatsoever. It that feels overwhelming, start with 8. Here’s a tip: keep a notebook nearby and when you feel a compulsion to send an email, post to social media, or research something on the internet, write it down. You can do it tomorrow. As the hours pass, those compulsions pass too, and a deep relaxation sets in that you likely haven’t felt in a very long time. That deep sense of peace is incredibly healing, and it’s amazing to realize that just a few decades ago in our computer-free past, we felt that way most of the time.
Eileen Laird

Eileen Laird is reversing rheumatoid arthritis with the paleo lifestyle and can be found on her blog Phoenix Helix:


5 Reasons Your Kids Should Be Eating Organ Meat

Michelle Fitzpatrick, author of the blog Happy Paleo Kids, has worked with special needs children and their families for over 13 years to promote development and mental health. She adopted a “Paleo Diet” to lose weight after baby number 3, and quickly saw that the benefits of eating nutrient-rich, plant-and-animal-based foods would benefit her entire family. After applying the Paleo Philosophy to her family, she felt compelled to find a way to bring the science behind the impact of food on child development to the masses. Follow her blog, Happy Paleo Kids, or keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About 95% of the times I mention “offal” (aka organ meat) I get the “wrinkled nose” response. Liver, kidney, heart and other organ meats aren’t my favorite foods, but I make a point of serving them at least once a week. Organ meats are nutritional powerhouses with numerous benefits for kids’ growing brains and bodies. They tend to be less expensive than other cuts, which means you can increase your weekly nutrient profile and decrease your budget at the same time. Bonus!


Here are just a few reasons your child should eat organ meat 1-2 times per week:

1. B vitamins. Organ meat contains an abundance of B vitamins, a family of nutrients that have been shown to play an important role in child behavior and development. A recent Australian study found that adolescents with lower intakes of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate were more likely to demonstrate aggressive and antisocial behaviors, and those with low B6 and folate intake were more likely to demonstrate symptoms of depression.[1] Deficiencies in B vitamins have been found to contribute to impulsivity, irritability, aggression, hyperactivity, anxiety, fatigue, depression, temper tantrums, and poor concentration.

2. Protein. Protein is an important macronutrient that most kids’ diets are seriously lacking. It is a building block for the entire body and the amino acids that comprise protein play roles in hormone regulation, enzyme reactions, and nutrient transportation. Research has found that children with diets low in protein are more likely to have aggression, hyperactivity, and conduct problems.[2] Chronic protein deficiency also contributes to poor academic performance, poor memory, and cognitive deficiencies in children. [3] Organ meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein to meet your growing child’s needs.

3. Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the body. It regulates calcium in the blood, promotes bone health, assists in the production of serotonin (an important neurotransmitter), protects against depression, improves muscle tone, contributes to insulin regulation, and more.[4] Children with ADHD[5], autism[6], and depression have been found to have lower blood levels of vitamin D than their typically developing peers. Studies on rats have found that developmental deprivation of vitamin D leads to impaired attention and impulsivity.[7]

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Organ meat is the best source of DHA and EPA (the types of omega-3 fatty acids from animals) aside from seafood. DHA is one of the primary cells found in the human brain, so consuming it (obviously) has beneficial impacts on brain function and development. One study demonstrated that children who take a DHA supplement have increased brain activity in areas of the brain necessary to attend to tasks.[8] Children who consume higher levels of DHA demonstrate better short-term memory, increased ability to attend to tasks, better academic skills, and fewer problem behaviors.[9]  They have fewer respiratory illnesses (who doesn’t want that), decreased risk for type 1 diabetes, and fewer incidents of eczema and asthma.

5. Vitamin A. Organ meat is the best source retinol (vitamin A derived from animal), without a doubt. (Liver holds the title for the organ meat with the most vitamin A). Vitamin A contributes to hormone production, thyroid function, digestion, vision, bone development, and healthy blood. Carrots and other orange veggies are a great source of carotene (pre-form vitamin A), which has great antioxidant properties. However, the body does not efficiently convert carotene in to retinol, meaning that eating meat is necessary in order to provide the body with sufficient vitamin A.

Other nutrients found in organ meat include: minerals (such as iron, zinc, selenium), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin E, purines, vitamin C (and I used to think that only came from plants!), vitamin K, and amino acids. Check out some good organ meat recipes to start with here and make a commitment to serve it one time per week!

… What’s your favorite offal recipe?

[1] Herbison, C.E., Hickling, S., et al. (2012). Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behavior. Preventive Medicine. 55(6).

[2] Lui, J. & Raine, A. (2006). The effect of childhood malnutrition on externalizing behavior. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 18(5).

[3] Kar, B.R.., Rao, S.L., & Chandramouli, B.A. (2008). Cognitive development in children with chronic protein energy malnourishment. Behavioral Brain Function: 4(31).

[5] Kamal, M. , Bener, A. & Ehlayel, M.L. (2014) Is high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency a correlate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: 6(2)

[7] Turner, et al. (2013). Cognitive performance and response inhibition in developmentally vitamin D deficient rats. Behavioral Brain Research. 242


Is He Joking?

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDSupplements

It’s hard to believe in 2014. But it’s still going on.

Every so often I’ll read or hear a doctor or professional organization say there’s no evidence that a vitamin supplement does anything for anybody.

Eliseo Guallar and his colleagues at The American College of Physicians wrote an entire paper entitled, “Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.”(1)

And this kind of thing keeps getting repeated.

Just listen to Dr. Benjamin Caballero, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: “The evidence for supplementing with any vitamin … is just not there.”(2)

Or Jaakko Mursu, Ph.D. and colleagues on the Iowa Women’s Health Study: “Based on existing evidence, we see little justification for the general and widespread use of dietary supplements.”(3)

And Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic: “The concept of multivitamins was sold to Americans by an eager nutraceutical industry to generate profits. There was never any scientific data supporting their usage.”(4)

But the evidence that we do need to supplement our nutrient-poor diet continues to mount, until we could fill entire libraries with the evidence. So people see and hear this stuff and they become confused.

They come to me from all over the world as if there’s this great controversy about whether they should take a supplement or not.

I want to tell you what I always tell them. In my mind, there is no controversy. It is virtually impossible to get optimal nutrients for optimum health and aging from our diet.

And you’ll really be chronically deficient if you follow the RDI guidelines. Those were only designed to prevent illness, not to get you to your best health. If you follow them, you’ll be deprived.

What’s more, as the chart shows, most people don’t even get the RDI for nutrients… So people are not even meeting what would keep them nutritionally deprived even if they met the guidelines!

Even young people, who have a higher metabolism and can eat more food than the average 50 or 70-year-old, with all the extra food they eat, only 1% of them are getting the nutrients they need.(5)

Part of the reason is that our produce doesn’t have enough minerals. They’re grown on mineral and nutrient-depleted soils. Many of them have been genetically altered to grow faster which lessens their nutrients…

For every generation for the past century the nutrient content has gone down. And it’s going down faster in this century with the speed at which crops are being modified.

Did you know you would have to eat 26 of today’s apples to equal just one apple from 1914?(6)

Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture admits that vitamin and mineral levels have fallen by as much as 81 percent over the last 30 years.(7)

So it’s a brave new world. I’m not saying I have every solution to every nutritional problem, but I can tell you there is a problem there. And you need to be informed by someone so you can do something about it. Doctors burying their heads in the sand and saying there is no evidence of a problem is ignorance.

So what to do? It’s simple: Give your body back what you’ve been deprived of so you can get your nutrients, minerals and antioxidants for healthy aging and optimal health. Here’s how:

1) Increase your mineral intake. Magnesium, selenium, and the other essential minerals are mostly missing from the Western diet. Take chromium for example. Our food animals don’t eat their native diet of chromium-rich grass anymore, and there’s less chromium in produce.

It’s a crisis because chromium is a co-factor for insulin. Insulin uses chromium to transport sugar out of your blood and into your cells where it’s burned as energy. Without chromium, it leads to weight gain and diabetes. Even mild insulin dysfunction will make you have low energy levels, produce more fat, make you crave sweet foods, and gain pounds.(8)

But chromium can reverse this. One study took commercial pigs and fed them chromium and measured significant fat reduction. They changed nothing else about the pigs … all they did was give them chromium and they got lean.(9) They had an increase in muscle, as well.

An Austrian study gave one group of people a calorie-restricted diet and another group chromium for 26 weeks. The people in the chromium group lost just as much weight as the people eating almost nothing. The people taking chromium had increased lean muscle mass.(10)

You can get lots of chromium from grass-fed beef, ripe organic tomatoes and a source that may surprise you: red wine. Grilled steak, tomatoes and a glass of wine sounds like a tasty summer meal to me.

But you’ll still have to supplement. Because you need 400 mcg a day for optimal health, and even that delicious meal will only give you around 50 mcg.

2) Power and protect with CoQ10. Another supplement I recommend is one that I don’t know how you could get enough of without going through a lot of trouble, unless you take a supplement.

You’d have to hunt wild animals and eat their internal organs fresh … but I wouldn’t even recommend that today. Yet that’s where CoQ10 concentrates. You need it because it powers every single cell in your body. It’s so important that revealing how CoQ10 works won Peter Mitchell the Nobel Prize in 1978.

The best source of CoQ10 is the closest thing you’re going to get to a wild animal – grass-fed meat. I was lucky to grow up eating grass-fed beef, and I still do today. Grass-fed beef contains more CoQ10 than any other meat on the planet.

You can take a CoQ10 supplement, but many of the powder and tablet forms are worthless. They won’t get absorbed into your cells.

That’s why I recommend the ubiquinol form of CoQ10. It’s already in the form your body uses. Take 50 mg of ubiquinol each day (to increase its effectiveness, combine CoQ10 with PQQ).

What I do is take a good multivitamin, multi-mineral, and a multi-antioxidant. I figure I’m getting a lot of the bases covered to get me back to optimal nutrient status. In fact we’ve gone to great length to formulate our own supplements according to what I believe is deficient in our environment.

To Your Health,
Al Sears, MD



1. Guallar E, Stranges S, Mulrow C, Appel L, Miller E. “Enough is enough: Stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements.” Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(12):850-1.
2. Caballero B. “Should healthy people take a multivitamin?’ Clev Clin J Med. 2010;77(10):656-7.
3. Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack L, Park K, Jacobs D, “Dietary Supplements and Mortality Rate in Older Women.” Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(18):1625-1633.
4. Klein E, et. al. “Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).” JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549-56.
5. Shay C, et. al. “Status of Cardiovascular Health in US Adolescents: Prevalence Estimates From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2005–2010.” Circulation. 2013; 127: 1369-1376.
6. Lindlahr, 1914: USDA 1963 and 1997
7. “Vegetables without Vitamins,” Life Extension Magazine March 2001
8. Tsai, Chung-Jyi, Leitzmann, Michael F., Willett, Walter C., et al, “Macronutrients and Insulin Resistance in Cholesterol Gallstone Disease,” Am. J. of Gastroenterology, 2008;103:2932-2939
9. Lindemann, M. D., Wood, C. M., Harper, A. F., et al, “Dietary chromium picolinate additions improve gain: feed and carcass characteristics in growing-finishing pigs,” J. Anim. Sci. 1995; 73:457-465
10. Bahadori, B., Wallner, S., Schneider, H., et al, “Effect of chromium yeast and chromium picolinate…” Acta. Med. Austriaca 1997; 24(5):185-7

Are Antioxidant Supplements Really Killing People?

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetVeggies

If you’ve been a student of health and nutrition for any length of time, you’ve probably seen your share of confusing (and downright misleading) headlines in the mainstream media that cast doubt on the benefits of organic foods and nutritional supplements.

It seems that the media is eager – even gleeful – to report any negative findings that pour cold water on growing public enthusiasm for natural and organically-grown foods and nutritional supplements. Here are just a few headlines that have run over the past few years:

•    Organic Food Hardly Healthier, Study Suggests (CBS)
•    Organic Food Adds No Vitamins for Extra Cost, Research Finds (The Washington Post)
•    Multivitamin Researchers Say “Case Closed” After Studies Find No Health Benefits (CBS)
•    Men Who Take Omega-3 Supplements at 71% Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer (NY Daily News)
•    Hold the Salmon: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Linked to Higher Risk of Cancer (Time Magazine)

Even the medical journals have gotten in on the act. At the end of last year, the Annals of Internal Medicine published an editorial, with the title, “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements,” dismissing the results of hundreds of studies that have proven the benefits of intelligent supplementation with vitamins and minerals.

It should come as no surprise that in the cases listed above the studies were either poorly conducted or clearly biased. In many cases they show a very weak association – with no proof of causation.

But that doesn’t stop the media from blaring the most sensational headlines, delving no deeper than a titillating sound bite and failing to provide even the most basic critical analysis of the research or conclusions drawn from it.

Regarding the fear mongering headlines about omega-3s and prostate cancer cited above – a study which did not even look at omega-3 supplementation – Jonny Bowden, PhD, wrote that the media’s portrayal of the findings was “disgraceful, incompetent, and scientifically illiterate.”

Conspiracy… or Just Bad Science and Sloppy Journalism?

It would be easy to conclude that the clear pattern of one-sidedness is the result of some conspiracy.

According to a study in the journal PLOS Medicine, pharmaceutical companies spent $57.5 billion on marketing and promotion in 2008.  This was almost double what they spent on research and development ($31.5 billion)!

You don’t have to be a diehard cynic to assume that these companies are getting what they pay for – not just from mainstream newspapers, broadcast networks and websites – but also from the research institutions and scientists themselves (which also benefit handsomely from pharmaceutical largesse).

US consumers now spend more than $28 billion annually on nutritional supplements. More than 50 percent of Americans take some form of nutritional support. And tens of millions of people are waking up to the shortcomings of conventional medicine, the dangers of many pharmaceutical drugs…and the health risks associated with processed foods and chemically intensive agricultural methods.

It should be no surprise that Big Food and Big Pharma would want to put a lid on this growing rebellion any way they know how…and exerting some form of control over the information that is released is certainly one way to do that.

But it’s also clear that many of the studies that get the most press are flawed in major ways… while the media fails to question or analyze their findings in any meaningful way.

Do Antioxidants Make Cancer Worse?

Just last week, I saw that a prominent science blog had posted an article with the title, “Antioxidants Can Make Cancers Worse.”  And they included a bowl of blueberries as the main corresponding image – as if cancer patients should strive to avoid blueberries, perhaps opting for a jelly donut instead!

I also noticed that more than 41,000 people had shared this article on Facebook – many of them no doubt attempting to rub it in the face of their more health conscious friends.

So, let’s look beyond the kneejerk headlines and examine the studies that this article was based on with a bit more critical analysis and common sense. Are there any flaws in the original research? It turns out there are…

The most recent study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The researchers reviewed previous studies which appeared to show that antioxidant supplements can make certain cancers worse… or increase your risk. They wanted to understand the possible cause.

Two of the studies they referred to were The Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) and The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).

The CARET Trial set out to show that high-dose beta carotene and vitamin A supplements could prevent lung cancer. The results were disappointing – to say the least. According to WebMD, “Lung cancer, heart disease, and death from all causes shot up in those who took high-dose beta-carotene.”

The media jumped on the story en masse – with fear inducing headlines emblazoned on every major paper. The medical journal The Lancet ran a quote on its first page, stating: “The prospect that vitamin pills may not only do no good but can also kill their consumers is a scary speculation given the vast quantities that are used in certain communities.”

I won’t bother to compare the actual numbers of people killed by pharmaceutical drugs each year to those who died from taking supplements. I’m sure you’ve seen the decidedly one-sided statistics.

Unfortunately, for those who participated in the CARET study, the researchers did not use a natural or food-based form of beta-carotene. They used high doses of a chemically synthesized version that contains only one molecule (all trans beta-carotene) rather than the TWO synergistic and complimentary molecules that are found in natural beta-carotene.

While it is beyond the scope of this article, experts have cited numerous reasons and reams of peer-reviewed research to explain why the synthetic form of beta-carotene could increase cancer risk – rather than reduce it. One of the most compelling is that the synthetic form alone is actually a “pro-oxidant,” meaning that it can damage cells and lead to mutations.

As you can imagine, virtually no media outlets reported these facts. If they did, they might have run a more honest and accurate headline. Something along the lines of: “Taking High Doses of Synthetic Beta-Carotene (a Drug) is of No Benefit and May be Harmful (Especially for Smokers).”

Several years later, the SELECT Trial provided more fodder for the anti-supplement bandwagon. In this trial, the researchers wanted to determine whether taking high doses of vitamin E and/or selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. They embarked on this study, in part, due to the volumes of research which had already showed the potent anti-cancer benefits of selenium in particular.

Unexpectedly, however, follow up research on the male participants showed that selenium and vitamin E (alone or in combination) actually increased the risk of prostate cancer. As you can imagine, the media had another field day, with some headlines claiming that “antioxidants promote cancer.”

You have probably already guessed that this study was also flawed in several ways. First of all, participants only took one form of selenium – when there are actually three that have been well proven to exhibit benefits and which have complimentary properties.

More importantly, the substance that the researchers referred to as “Vitamin E” was actually the isolated compound alpha-tocopherol. This compound is never found on its own in nature. In fact, naturally occurring full spectrum vitamin E consists of a synergistic combination of four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.

There is also research, published by the National Academy of Sciences, which shows that isolated alpha-tocopherol (the so-called “vitamin E” that was used in the SELECT study) actually displaces gamma-tocopherol in tissues and blocks its antioxidant effects.  The Life Extension Foundation, known for their superior nutritional research, believes that this could be directly responsible for the increases in cancer risk.

Of course, all you will hear about this study in the news is that “antioxidants can increase the risk of cancer.” But now you know better… and hopefully you are armed with a more common sense way to look at the frequent “scientific” nonsense that is reported in the media.

Arm Yourself with Knowledge (and a Whole Foods Diet!)

So, what can we take away from these reports and the studies they are based on?

1.    The first point is that you should always view alarmist headlines with a skeptical eye – and look deeper before drawing any kneejerk conclusions.

2.    You should also know as much as possible about the supplements you are taking. Are there studies proving that the dosage you’re taking is safe and effective? More importantly, are you taking a natural and complete form of the nutrient? There are plenty of supplements on the shelves of even the best health food stores that are made from synthetic ingredients – or which contain only fractions of the naturally occurring nutrient. These products could be a waste of money (at best) or possibly harmful (at worst).

3.    As much as possible, the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and micronutrients you consume should come from a widely varied diet of whole, natural foods.

Time and again, it is shown that Mother Nature provides the best medicine. Enjoy a few Brazil nuts each week (the most potent food source of selenium on the planet)… get the full family of vitamin E by enjoying almonds, avocados, egg yolks and dark leafy greens… dig into liver - the full-spectrum “multivitamin food” - several times a month… grind beef heart into your meat sauces (for a superior source of CoQ10)… and serve cooked carrots, winter squash and sweet potatoes for a bounty of beta-carotene.

Let food be your supplements, and supplements be your food. Not only will you get all of the benefits of nutrients as they exist in nature, you’ll eliminate the risk of harm from synthetic supplements and drugs that is often not discovered for decades to come.  


ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.



The Low Fat Lie

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetEat Butter

On June 23rd, the cover of Time Magazine prominently featured two words: “Eat Butter.”

In an article titled, “Ending the War on Fat,” the venerable mainstream publication finally put to rest one of the most detrimental myths about health and nutrition – the myth that saturated fat is to blame for heart disease.

But what the magazine didn’t mention in this otherwise excellent article, was that Time played a big role in popularizing this deadly misconception in the first place!

The Seven Countries Study… or the 22 Country Study?

In 1961, Time featured physiologist Ancel Keys on the cover, with an article about his Seven Countries Study, which compared heart disease mortality rates and fat consumption across seven countries. His comparison showed a “remarkable relationship.”

The countries with the highest fat intake had the highest levels of heart disease. The countries with the lowest fat intake had the lowest levels of heart disease.

At the time, Jacob Yerushalmy, a PhD statistician at the University of California at Berkeley, pointed out that we had fat consumption data in 22 countries. So why wasn’t it called “The 22-Country Study?”

It wasn’t called that, because Ancel Keys started with the conclusion. He cherry-picked the countries that matched his pre-conceived notion and threw out the ones that contradicted it. And most of them did! When all 22 countries were analyzed, the “remarkable relationship” remarkably disappeared.

In fact, the complete set of data actually suggested that those eating the MOST saturated animal fat had LOWER rates of heart disease!

Yet, despite the obvious flaws in his research, Ancel Keys’ study formed the basis of the “lipid hypothesis.” Unfortunately, the butter bashing and anti-saturated fat campaigns were not the only harmful dietary dictates perpetuated during this period.

The Rise of Sugars, Grains & Seed Oils (and the Decline of Public Health)

From the 1960s onward, the medical establishment, government health organizations and the processed food industry simultaneously urged the public to replace these wholesome, natural foods with high-carbohydrate, grain-based processed foods and industrially-produced seed and vegetable oils. They even began vigorous campaigns to steer people away from real butter and to replace it with deadly trans-fats – in the form of so-called “better-than-butter” spreads.

It wasn’t long before grocery store shelves were filled with low-fat and fat-free fake foods.

It also wasn’t long before the public health began to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Excess dietary sugar and carbohydrates along with omega-6 rich industrial seed oils are clearly implicated in insulin resistance, obesity and chronic inflammation – all of which increase your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases. It’s no wonder that the rates of obesity and disease began to skyrocket.

Forward thinking doctors, scientists and nutritionists have been warning against this unsound (and unproven) dietary dogma for decades. But it wasn’t until recently that mainstream medicine has finally begun to set politics aside and consider the science.

Saturated Fats Vindicated (Finally!)

The latest study to confirm the lack of evidence that saturated fat cause heart disease – and the basis for last month’s article in Time – was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This study reviewed more than 76 trials covering more than 650,000 participants. The authors concluded that,

“Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”

In one fell swoop these respected researchers called into question nearly every standard nutritional guideline related to heart health. But this was certainly not the first major study to find no link between saturated fat and heart disease.

A previous analysis of 21 studies covering almost 350,000 people and spanning more than two decades was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010. According to the authors of this study, “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD.”

Or consider The Women's Health Initiative. This huge government study cost nearly $750 million. Among 20,000 women in the study who adhered to an extremely low saturated fat diet for eight years, the researchers found that there was no impact on obesity, nor any measurable risk reduction (incidence or mortality) for heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer, or breast cancer.

The authors finally had to acknowledge that their results “…do not justify recommending low-fat diets to the public to reduce their heart disease and cancer risk.”

Thankfully, it seems that this madness is coming to an end. “It’s not saturated fat we should worry about," says cardiologist Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, author of the study featured in the Time Magazine article. "It’s the high-carb or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines.”

Question Conventional Advice, Follow Ancestral Wisdom

Hopefully, the message is clear: Conventional “low-fat diet” advice is counterproductive to your weight-loss efforts and your health. If you want to reduce your risk of disease and reach your ideal weight, pay attention to the TYPE of fats you eat, rather than the amount.

Here’s what you need to remember to choose healthy fats and avoid unhealthy ones…

•    AVOID OMEGA-6 FATS. These fats come primarily from vegetable and seed oils (such as corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, canola, cottonseed, peanut, etc). To avoid these ingredients, eliminate commercially fried foods and most processed foods from your diet (including chips, baked goods, sauces and dressings, etc.). You should also avoid conventionally-raised meats. For example, the meat from grain-fed cows can have up to 50 times more omega-6 than omega-3s.

•    ELIMINATE TRANS FATS. Read the nutrition labels in your home and DISCARD anything with the word “hydrogenated.” You’ll be surprised at where these artery bombs are hiding. These industrial fake fats are positively deadly. In fact, the Institute of Medicine issued a claim that, “there is no safe level to consume.”

•    CONSUME OMEGA-3 FATS. The best dietary sources of these healthy fats are wild salmon, sardines and mackerel, pastured eggs, wild game and grass-fed beef and bison. Walnuts, flax seeds and hemp seeds are good sources, but do not have the same benefits as the animal sources above. You should also consider a fish oil supplement.

•    CONSUME SATURATED FAT. Saturated fat should come primarily from the meat and other products (butter, lard, tallow, dairy) from animals raised on their natural diet (ie. grass-fed cows, pastured pork, free-range chickens and wild game). Coconut oil is also a very healthy source of saturated fat.

•    CONSUME MONOUNSATURATED FAT. This is the heart-healthy fat best known for its association with the “Mediterranean Diet.” Good sources of these fats include nuts, avocados and olives as well as the oils produced from these foods (olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, etc.) Naturally-raised meats and lard are also a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat.

Hopefully these recent studies – and the gradual awakening of the medical community – will mean that this dangerous dietary myth has seen its better days.


ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.


1.    Walsh, Brian. Ending the War on Fat. Time Magazine. June 12th, 2014
2.    Norton, Amy. Study Fails to link saturated fat, heart disease. Reuters Health. Feb. 4, 2010
3.    Berkey CS, Rockett HR, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Milk, dairy fat, dietary calcium, and weight gain: a longitudinal study of adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Jun;159(6):543-50.
4.    Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725. Epub 2010 Jan 13.
5.    Kuipers RS, de Graaf DJ, Luxwolda MF, Muskiet MH, Dijck-Brouwer DA, Muskiet FA. Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease. Neth J Med. 2011 Sep;69(9):372-8.

Sunlight Beats Prostate Cancer

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDSunny

Let me say this right up front:

Sunlight is one of the world’s natural prostate cancer cures.

You might have noticed I’ve been talking a lot lately about how to prevent and cure cancer.

I’d always been a little reluctant to talk about cancer. I wanted to make sure I didn’t do any harm by saying there are a lot of natural alternatives for preventing and fighting cancer.

But, as I’ve seen what other people are doing and claiming, they’re either so mistaken or so far out there in left field that I thought it was time to come out very strongly on this issue.

There are plenty of good people in the cancer research field doing great work, and the rate of most cancers has stabilized or gone down.

But prostate cancer is still on the rise. And as much as mainstream medicine would like you to believe their advice and drugs work, the fact is that in most cases, they don’t.

In particular, the advice to stay out of the sun or block sunlight with sunscreen is the worst advice you can get for your prostate.

A study in the August 2001 issue of the prestigious medical journal Lancet reveals the consequences of this advice.

The study divided people into four groups according to how much sunlight they had been exposed to. The study participants who were in the group that got the least exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun were three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those in the group that got the most sun exposure(1).

The men who had the highest sunlight exposure reduced their risk of developing prostate cancer by 66 percent.

Even people in the second and third quartiles had a significantly lower chance of getting prostate cancer compared with those who got the least sunlight.

The journal Cancer Letters found the same thing. Higher cumulative sun exposure throughout life, adult sunbathing, and regular holidays in hot climates were each independently and significantly associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer(2).

A study giving us more evidence on this came out in Anticancer Research. It showed that sunlight exposure alone — about 20 minutes a day for fair-skinned folks and two to four times that much for those with dark skin — can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and 15 other types of cancer in both men and women(3).

Why is sunlight so powerful as a prostate cancer treatment and preventative?

Vitamin D. You create it when sunlight hits your skin.

A clinical trial took a long look – over almost two years – at men with prostate cancer who received just 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day. That’s not much, by the way. You can create 10,000 IU or more by just being in the sun for 20 minutes.

Overall, the men taking vitamin D had a 50 percent reduction in the rise of their levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is an indicator of prostate cancer activity.

Even if you already have prostate cancer, your chances of dying from it are reduced by 700% if you get enough vitamin D(4).

The vitamin D you get from sunlight can slow the progress of prostate cancer and stop it from spreading(5), increasing your chances of survival.

Vitamin D may be the single most important nutrient in your body, especially for your prostate. Be sure to get enough … it could save your life.

Here are four ways I recommend you get your full share of Vitamin D:

Get some sun. The easiest, most reliable way to get it is by simply getting out in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day. It’s free, and will make you feel great instantly. If you’re going to be out in the sun longer than that, our unnatural environment has made it necessary to use a natural, chemical-free sunscreen (at least 15 SPF) on your face to avoid overexposure.

Eat foods with high vitamin D. The best sources are small fish like herring, sardines, and anchovies. Stay away from the larger fish that are higher up on the food chain, as the mercury content may be too high to safely eat. Other food sources of vitamin D include eggs, beef and cheese. Mushrooms are the only vegetable with vitamin D.

Take some cod liver oil. I understand that some people don’t like fish. Others find fish too expensive, especially if the fish is seasonal. In that case, try supplementing with some cod liver oil. It’s not the same cod liver oil your mom may have threatened you with when you were a kid. Today’s version has a clean, fresh lemony taste, and just a tablespoon full gives you more than 1,300 IU.

Get the form of vitamin D your body uses. When using vitamin D supplements, make sure you take the D3 form (cholecalciferol). I recommend taking 5,000 IU daily. That also means you shouldn’t rely on a cheap multivitamin to give you enough vitamin D. Most only have 400 to 600 IU, and it’s usually the synthetic and less bioavailable D2 form.

Learn more about treatment for prostate cancer, the benefits of eating a more nutritious diet and other natural health alternatives by subscribing to my FREE daily emails, “Doctor’s House Call” or my monthly newsletter, “Confidential Cures”.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD


1. Luscombe C, et. al. “Exposure to ultraviolet radiation: association with susceptibility and age at presentation with prostate cancer.” The Lancet, 2001;Volume 358, Issue 9282, Pages 641 – 642. 2. Bodiwala D, et. al. “Prostate cancer risk and exposure to ultraviolet radiation: further support for the protective effect of sunlight.” Cancer Letters 2003;Volume 192, Issue 2, Pages 145–149. 3. Grant W, et. al. “The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates.” Anticancer Research. 2006; 26:2687-2700. 4. Tretli S, Hernes E, Berg J, Hestvik U, Robsahm T. “Association between serum 25(OH)D and death from prostate cancer.” Br J Cancer. 2009;100(3):450-4. 5. Kabir A, Khan F, Sarkar M. “Role of Vitamin D as an Anti-Proliferative Compound on Prostate Cancer.” Acta Facultatis Medicae Naissensis 2013;Volume 30, Issue 3.

Summer Secret to Fat Loss

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDSummer

Here’s something to remember as we get into summer with Independence Day, picnics, ice cream and other summer indulgences. This is a very important tip for losing weight, but few people seem to know about it.

You can cut calories and still gain weight. You can work out until you pass out and still have that spare tire belly.

The truth is: we don’t get fat because we eat too much. And it’s not because we are lazy...

Staying slim boils down to this: Hormones make you fat.

But today I’m going to show you how to deal with fat and hormones using a few tricks on eating to lose weight.  There are also some powerful nutritional supplements to balance hormones and help with fat loss.  I use these natural health products at my Wellness Center in South Florida, which helps control hormonal fat storage.

Case in point: the hormone insulin is your number one fat builder.  It tells your body to pack on the pounds.

You produce a storm of insulin when you eat foods high on the Glycemic Index. As a general rule of thumb, carbs are the foods highest on the GI.

It surprises my patients when I tell them what the highest GI food is that my wellness clinic has ever tested.

Care to guess?

It’s corn bread - a traditional favorite among Americans. Every time you take a bite of corn bread, insulin pours into your blood and tells your body to store the calories as fat.

High blood sugar levels require insulin to process it. Eventually, your body gets tired and stops responding, which is called insulin resistance.

Blood sugar that your body cannot (or will not) process gets stored as fat. This is why foods with excess carbohydrates cause weight gain.

I take this a step further with my patients. The idea is to eat foods that do not spike your blood sugar and to also let your blood sugar come back down after eating. You don’t want your insulin to stay elevated for too long.

This means eating foods with a low Glycemic Load (GL).

The GL is simply a number you get when you multiply a food’s Glycemic Index (GI) rating by the total amount of carbohydrate in each serving you eat.

That makes it much more practical for everyday life because the GL identifies how fattening a food is. It’s a fresh way to look at everyday foods. Some GL ratings may surprise you – especially foods like watermelon...high GI, but low GL.

I consider foods with a Glycemic Load under 10 the best choice. They are a green light. Foods that fall between 10 and 20 on the GL scale are more like a yellow light (not bad, but proceed with caution).

Foods above 20 are a red light. They will not only make you gain weight but will also prevent you from dropping weight. Foods above 20 should be eaten sparingly. Replacing these foods with protein is a better alternative. Protein has a GL of zero. For my complete Glycemic Load Chart, click here.

1) Banaba leaf tea is something they traditionally brew in Bali to help regulate blood sugar naturally.

Medical scientists believe that the banaba leaf’s beneficial effects on blood sugar are due to its high concentration of corosolic acid. It mimics insulin by moving sugar out of the bloodstream and into your cells.

Numerous scientific studies have proven the banaba leaf’s effectiveness. It lowers blood sugar with no side effects.(1) 50 mg of banaba leaf extract with 1-2 percent corosolic acid will help control your blood sugar.

2) L-carnitine can significantly improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The body is not able to make enough L-Carnitine on its own from simply eating meat. Therefore, I recommend using one gram per day of a L-Carnitine supplement in a liquid form. A liquid is more absorbable than a L-Carnitine powder or capsule. Whichever source of L-Carnitine you select; be sure the supplement uses naturally occurring l-carnitine.

3) Chromium is another important mineral to help control insulin sensivity.

Without enough chromium in the body, insulin just doesn’t work properly.

Chromium is in many foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potato skins, cheeses, molasses, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Despite the wide availability of chromium from food sources, research shows that 90% of American adults have a chromium-deficient diet.

But you can’t take just any form of chromium as a supplement. Some types of chromium may actually do more harm than good and research shows that it needs to include niacin to be effective.

Look for chromium polynicotinate or niacin-bound chromium, which are both safe and effective as a dietary supplement. Take 400 mcg a day.

Learn more about ways to lose weight and control blood sugar naturally by subscribing to my free newsletter “Doctor’s House Call” or by ordering a copy of my book, High Speed Fat Loss in 7 Easy Steps.


1. Ikeda, Y. “The clinical study on water extract of leaves of Langerstroemia Specious L. for mild cases of diabetes mellitus,” 1998 (unpublished)

The Un-Carb You Need for Optimum Health

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetBananas

You probably know that eating a diet rich in healthy fats and protein, accompanied by an array of colorful vegetables (and a little fruit) is the key to a trim waistline and a long, disease-free life.

Eating the way our ancestors did also means choosing slow-digesting carbohydrates (and only about 15-20% of the total diet).
And while most of us in the modern world eat far too many carbs, there is a beneficial carbohydrate that is lacking in most modern diets: resistant starch.   

Resistant Starch: The Un-Carb That Balances (Not Boosts!) Blood Sugar

When you hear “starch” you might think of white potatoes, fluffy white bread and processed foods. And if you’re concerned about your health, you know that these “whites” top the list of foods to avoid.

But resistant starch (RS) is different.

Unlike other forms of starch which are rapidly broken down into sugars (raising blood sugar and insulin levels), resistant starch passes through the stomach unchanged by digestive enzymes.

But RS doesn’t just escape digestion. It can actually improve insulin sensitivity, both in healthy people and in those with metabolic syndrome. Eating resistant starch at one meal can even help to lower the blood sugar response of your next meal (called the “second meal effect”).

And that’s not all...

Stay Full and Burn More Fat with Resistant Starch

RS has also been found to significantly boost fat burning. In fact, research conducted at the University of Colorado found that resistant starches boost your body’s fat burning capability by 20-25%!

Researchers also found that when RS is enjoyed at breakfast, the fat-burning effects continue throughout the day. The study also showed that RS can help prevent weight re-gain.

What’s more, foods containing resistant starch boost two key satiety hormones: glucagon-like-peptide (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY).

Ratcheting up your fat-burning furnace and feeling more satiated on less food can equate to a leaner, healthier you.

And while losing body fat and quelling hunger are good enough reason to add RS to your diet , there’s something even more important that resistant starch can do…

Boost Your Immune System, Prevent Cancer and Optimize Gut Health

As a prebiotic, RS promotes the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut. And because research shows that more than 70% of our immune cells reside in the gut, maintaining healthy gut flora is one of the keys to a healthy immune system.

But RS doesn’t just feed the flora – it feeds our cells too.

As the bacteria in your gut ferments resistant starch, important compounds called short chain fatty acids – including butyrate – are produced. Butyrate is the preferred fuel for colon cells, helping these cells to remain healthy and reduce inflammation.

Resistant starch also lowers pH in the colon, guarding against DNA damage and creating an environment where damaged cells can’t thrive.

The 4 Healthiest Sources of Resistant Starch (And How to Maximize It in Your Foods)

Our Paleo ancestors are believed to have consumed up to 135 grams of resistant starch per day, primarily from raw bulbs, tubers, barks as well as cattails and cactuses – with “raw” being the operative word.

You see, while resistant starch is not broken down by stomach acid, its conformation is changed by heat.  When it is cooked, RS becomes digestible like any other carbohydrate.  But there is a caveat: Cooking and then cooling foods that contain resistant starch will make these compounds partially recoil back into their unique “resistant” structure. That’s why cooked and cooled pasta, rice, beans and potatoes are good sources of RS.

But you don’t have to eat grains or legumes to get the benefits. In fact, there are several excellent sources of resistant starch that are in the form closest to what our Paleo ancestors consumed (sans anti-nutrients and inflammatory compounds).  Here they are:

1.    Green Banana Flour: Made from unripe bananas, green banana flour can be used to make a wide variety of baked goods or stirred into your Vital Whey protein smoothie. Look for green banana flour by a new company called WeDo.
2.    Raw Green Bananas or Plantains: When green, bananas and plantains contain a high proportion of RS. As they ripen almost all of the RS becomes regular digestible carbohydrates and sugars.  
3.    Organic Unmodified Potato Starch: Made from raw potatoes, unmodified potato starch is a great source of RS. However, because potatoes are a crop with high pesticide contamination, choose organic.
4.    Green Plantain Flour: Can be used like green banana flour. Ensure it is made from unripe plantains.

If you choose to cook with resistant starch, remember to cool it to allow it to regain its native spirals. Chilling in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight has been shown to do this, in part.

If you want to go the “raw” route, start off by adding a teaspoon of green banana flour or organic unmodified potato starch to your smoothie and work up to a tablespoon. Starting slowly can to reduce digestive discomfort (gas) due to fermentation in the gut.  

In addition to the numerous “behind the scenes” benefits of resistant starch, many people report experiencing better sleep, more vivid dreams, improved thyroid function and a state of calm.

Resistant starch may be the missing piece of the puzzle for optimum health. Consider adding a healthy source to your ancestral diet to boost gut health, enhance immunity and improve your metabolism.


ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product - Better Bread - a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.


1.    M Denise Robertson, Alex S Bickerton, A Louise Dennis, et al.  Insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary resistant starch and effects on skeletal muscle and adipose tissue metabolism Am J Clin Nutr 2005 82: 3 559-567
2.    Johnston KL, Thomas EL, Bell JD, Frost GS, Robertson MD. Resistant starch improves insulin sensitivity in metabolic syndrome. Diabet Med. 2010 Apr;27(4):391-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.02923.x.
3.    Behall KM, Scholfield DJ, Hallfrisch JG, Liljeberg-Elmståhl HG. Consumption of both resistant starch and beta-glucan improves postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in women. Diabetes Care. 2006 May;29(5):976-81.
4.    Dr. Michael Keenan, September 29, 2007, presented at “The New Fiber Story – Natural Resistant Starch”. Sasmita Tripathy Masters Thesis, Louisiana State University, August 2007.
5.    Park OJ, Kang NE, Chang MJ, Kim WK. Resistant starch supplementation influences blood lipid concentrations and glucose control in overweight subjects. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2004 Apr;50(2):93-9.
6.    Faisant N, Buléon A, Colonna P, Molis C, Lartigue S, Galmiche JP, Champ M. Digestion of raw banana starch in the small intestine of healthy humans: structural features of resistant starch. Br J Nutr. 1995 Jan;73(1):111-23.
7.    Yadav BS, Sharma A, Yadav RB. Studies on effect of multiple heating/cooling cycles on the resistant starch formation in cereals, legumes and tubers. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009;60 Suppl 4:258-72. doi: 10.1080/09637480902970975.
8.    Ha AW, Han GJ, Kim WK. Effect of retrograded rice on weight control, gut function, and lipid concentrations in rats. Nutr Res Pract. 2012 Feb;6(1):16-20. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2012.6.1.16. Epub 2012 Feb 29.


What’s Most Important

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDFish Oil

I was sitting this morning thinking about what I was going to write to you, and I thought back to the reasons I write to you and the reasons you would want to read it.

The reason is simple. I want to make you as healthy as you can be. I’m flattered that people put their confidence in me to do that job, and I want to do the best I can for you to make that real.

And when I think about making that a reality, I ask myself what’s most important. There’s anti-aging, getting you fit… and then there’s this one.

The problem today is that we are burdened with this horrible crippling continuous inflammation. If you live in the modern world, you’re inflamed. Our bodies are not meant to live in the environment we created and it causes a reaction.

So you, me, and everyone else we know are inflamed.

What can we do about it?

Omega-3s are incredible in what they do for your cells. They stop the formation of inflammatory molecules called cytokines and promote anti-inflammatory processes. This gives you a healthy heart, a fast healthy brain, and the ability to beat inflammation.

Nature has built us to depend on omega-3s… but we don’t get those anymore. In fact, we get inflammatory omega-6s in much greater quantities through man-made foods like farmed fish.

Until recently I had – at best – an imperfect way to give my patients the quantities they needed.

The protocol I recommended was a mixed bag. I had them take cod liver oil because of its vitamin D content, olive oil for its omega-3s and Sacha Inchi oil as a source of source of ALA (which the body converts to EPA and DHA).

The trouble was that none of those give you enough pure DHA. And it’s DHA that really gives you a lot of the best benefits of omega-3’s, especially for your brain.

Want to prevent foggy memory and loss of focus? DHA keeps the messages in your brain moving fast and accurately. It signals your brain to have healthy function and quick thinking.

And DHA is tremendously beneficial for healthy inflammation in your brain, and keeps brain cells alive.(1)

Low DHA is also a marker for brain aging. The famous Framingham Study shows us people with lower DHA levels have smaller brains and do worse on tests of visual memory, function, and thinking.(2)

DHA is also the main nutrient that helps your brain grow new branches and renew and rejuvenate itself, so you can keep your brainpower and sharp thinking.

Problem was, we really had no way of delivering DHA to your brain cells.

The old forms of omega-3 didn’t have enough DHA. They were good for your heart because of the EPA. But it meant you were missing out on the benefits of DHA directly to your brain.

Old fish oil just couldn’t get to all the places it needed to go. It didn’t have the power to penetrate because it can’t cross the protective blood-brain barrier. Neither could the first products that had more DHA, like krill oil.

But today, we’ve been able to crack that nut. We’ve been able to make sure the DHA in krill oil is attached to its naturally occurring partner … the world’s strongest antioxidant.

Now we can ensure the DHA in krill oil keeps its attached astaxanthin. This carotenoid CAN cross the blood-brain barrier and deliver DHA’s benefits to your brain cells.

In fact, in order to get a U.S. Patent, krill oil and astaxanthin had to be proven to cross the blood-brain barrier.(4) That means krill oil with astaxanthin gets DHA deep into the body tissues that need it most.

Another rich source of DHA is calamari oil. It’s got even more DHA than krill oil, so I always wanted to find a way to use it. But even if you eat calamari you’re not getting very high concentrations of oil. So we’ve been struggling for some time with how to get this high DHA from squid oil.

Now we’ve solved that. I’ve found a unique Squid that lives off the coast of South America in the pure waters of the Southern Pacific. After the oil is distilled it’s over 65% DHA(5) – the highest concentration of DHA I’ve found yet.

And we can make its high DHA even more penetrating by mixing it with krill oil, which is the best-absorbed DHA.

I found a study that backs this up. It was published in the journal Nutrition Research and it compared fish oil, krill oil and olive oil to see which one’s omega-3s would be better absorbed. They randomly assigned people to get one of the three, and then looked at the results. In just 4 weeks the people taking olive oil had a 2.9% increase in omega-3.

The people taking krill oil had their omega-3s skyrocket by 178%.(6)

In fact, I imagine this is part of the wisdom of nature… these two sources of DHA, krill and squid, are both food for some of the smartest ocean mammals.

Now we can get DHA like they can. With calamari and krill oil, you can flood every cell in your body – and your brain – with the world’s most penetrating omega-3 and get all of DHA’s brain and heart support.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD


1. Bazan N, Musto A, Knott E. “Endogenous signaling by omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid-derived mediators sustains homeostatic synaptic and circuitry integrity.” Mol Neurobiol. 2011;44(2):216-22.
2. Tan Z, Harris W, Beiser A, Au R, Himali J, Debette S, Pikula A, Decarli C, Wolf P, Vasan R, Robins S, Seshadri S. “Red blood cell ω-3 fatty acid levels and markers of accelerated brain aging.” Neurology. 2012;78(9):658-64.
3. Cao D, Kevala K, Kim J, Moon H, Jun S, Lovinger D, Kim H. “Docosahexaenoic acid promotes hippocampal neuronal development and synaptic function.” J Neurochem. 2009;111(2):510-21.
4. Tso et. al. “Method of Retarding and Ameliorating Central Nervous System and Eye…” U.S. Patent: #US5527533, Assignee: Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
5. Hwang L, Liang J. “Fractionation of urea-pretreated squid visceral oil ethyl esters.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists‘ Society 2001, Volume 78, Issue 5, pp 473-476.
6. Maki K, Reeves M, Farmer M, Griinari M, Berge K, Vik H, Hubacher R, Rains T. “Krill oil supplementation increases plasma concentrations of EPA and DHA in overweight and obese men and women.” Nutr Res. 2009;29(9):609-15.

Do You Have Low Stomach Acid? (1 Easy Way to Tell)

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetStomach Pain

You may have heard the adage that, “You are what you eat.” But the truth is… you are what you absorb.

If your digestive system is not functioning properly and nutrients are not being absorbed, your body could be in a state of starvation and nutrient deficiency… even as you consume healthy, nutrient-dense foods and take expensive supplements.

Unfortunately, many of us are not able to fully absorb the precious nutrients contained in our food. And one of the primary reasons for this is low stomach acid. Fortunately this is a condition that’s easy to remedy, in most cases.

Low Stomach Acid: An Overlooked Cause of Disease & Deficiency

Hypochloridia, or low stomach acid, is linked to a wide variety of common digestive symptoms, including bloating, constipation, gas, nausea, heartburn and acid reflux. It’s also correlated with gastrointestinal diseases, including IBS and Crohn’s.

But inadequate stomach acid doesn’t just affect the GI tract. It can also cause a range of systemic effects including:

•    Acne
•    Vertical ridging on the nails
•    Foot and leg cramps (due to malabsorption of mineral)
•    Leaky gut, food allergies and intolerances
•    Asthma
•    Autoimmune diseases and chronic fatigue
•    Low bone mineral density/osteoporosis
•    Increased risk for cancer and cognitive decline

The Importance of Stomach Acid

You might think of stomach acid (or HCL) simply as the acidic “soup” that helps to break down food. However, its role goes much deeper than that. Stomach acid is also needed to:

•    Liberate and Absorb Key Nutrients: HCL is required to properly absorb numerous essential nutrients including iron, copper, zinc, calcium, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, folate, vitamins A, C & E. These nutrients have a wide range of disease-preventing and health-promoting effects.

•    Guard Against Pathogens & Promote Healthy Gut Flora: Food borne bacteria and pathogens are typically killed by HCL. Hypochloridia allows some harmful organisms to make their way into the intestines, causing a wide range of issues. Adequate stomach acid is also important to prevent bacterial overgrowth that can occur when food ferments in the stomach for too long.

•    Keep Food Where it Belongs:  When stomach acid is low, starches are improperly digested. These starch fragments can create microscopic holes in the cells that line the intestine – or a “leaky gut”.  As undigested food particles leak out of the intestine into the bloodstream, the immune system reacts, causing issues ranging from allergies and asthma to autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation and depression.

•    Breakdown Protein, Build Muscle & Boost Mood: HCL is required to activate pepsin – an enzyme responsible for protein digestion. As proteins are broken down into amino acids, they are used throughout the body for a wide variety of purposes including creating neurotransmitters and repairing tissue. Without adequate HCL, mood disorders and depression can develop and slow healing or poor recovery from exercise can occur.  

What Causes Low Stomach Acid?

Unfortunately, many people respond to the digestive effects of low stomach acid by taking antacids. What’s worse, doctors often misdiagnose hypochloridia (low HCL) as hyperchloridia (high HCL) and prescribe medications (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Pepcid, Zantac, etc) that further lower HCL levels, making the problem even worse.
In addition to antacids and other medications, low stomach acid can be caused by:

1.    Age: Your ability to produce HCL decreases by about one percent each year.
2.    Stress: High levels of stress (and stress hormones like cortisol) can reduce the stomach’s ability to produce HCL.
3.    Chemicals: A variety of common chemicals – including food additives and pesticides – can impair HCL levels

Testing HCL Levels and Correcting Imbalances with Betaine HCL

If you have peptic ulcers or take NSAIDS or corticosteroids, talk with your doctor about checking your stomach acid levels. The Heidelberg Stomach Acid Test is considered the “gold standard” and provides very accurate results.

If you don’t have ulcers and are not taking NSAIDS or corticosteroids, you can do the Betaine HCL Challenge Test at home by following these steps:

1.    Buy betaine HCL with pepsin (aim for 650 mg betaine or less)
2.    Eat a high protein meal containing at least 6 ounces of grass-fed beef, bison, lamb or pastured pork, preferably in steak form – not ground (which is more easily digested)
3.    Take 1 betaine HCL pill during your meal
If you don’t notice anything after taking the betaine, you likely have low stomach acid levels.
If you notice a sensation of burning, heaviness or stomach distress, these are signs you do not have low HCL. (Note: To ease the burning, you may drink a glass of water with ½ tsp. of baking soda. The sensation will pass in about an hour on its own).

Be sure to repeat the test on a separate day to get a confirmation. Once you have two positive results (low stomach acids), begin supplementing with betaine to optimize your HCL levels.

You can determine your proper dosage with a “loading” phase. At your first meal, take one betaine HCL and monitor your reaction. If you experienced nothing, at your next meal, take two betaine HCLs (watching for the warming sensation). Repeat this process until you feel the warming. Your correct dose should be the amount before you experienced the sensation. For example, if you felt the sensation at 4 pills, 3 pills is your proper dosage.

In addition to boosting your digestion (and absorption) of nutrients with betaine HCL, it is also beneficial to drink a small amount of bone broth with meals to stimulate gastric juices and boost nutrient levels.

And keep the water you drink during and shortly after meals to a minimum. Too much liquid during a meal dilutes HCL and digestive enzymes. Finally, be sure to eat slowly and chew your food well to reduce the stomach’s burden. Not only will you absorb the most nutrition – you’ll also get the most enjoyment - out of every meal!


ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product – Better Bread – a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.


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