The Wellness Blog

Is This Deficiency Giving You The Blues?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 07:09 AM

Why can’t you just be happy?

Stop dwelling on things and get on with life. Be grateful for what you have. Exercise more. Watch some comedy.

All of these might be great ideas for beating the blues. But for some of us, it’s not that simple.

Imagine for a moment that your body wasn’t making enough red blood cells. Would you try to meditate those cells into existence? Probably not. It would be more practical (and effective) to include more iron in your diet to make those cells.

And the same is true for the neurochemicals in your brain that help lift your mood.

Research shows that up to a third of patients do not respond to antidepressants.1  Studies also prove that in most cases, these drugs work only as effectively as a placebo. And this says nothing of the horrendous side effects and withdrawal symptoms that many patients experience.

But there is good news for those who suffer serious depression. Researchers have demonstrated that many patients improve just by adding certain brain-boosting nutrients through diet and supplementation.

It is quite possible that for some people, depression is caused by critical nutrient deficiencies. We don’t often think of the chemicals and neurotransmitters in our brain in terms of nutrient deficiencies. But the truth is that these critical messenger molecules are  just like everything else in our body – they’re made from the building blocks in your food.

And to make the ‘happy chemicals’ in your brain, you need a “building block” that many people are deficient in…

Vitamin B12 Benefits Your Brain

Low mood and lingering depression are well-documented clinical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. This is also a nutrient that shows up frequently in mental health research.

A 2005 review of studies, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, states:

“Both low folate [B9] and low vitamin B12 status have been found in studies of depressive patients. An association between depression and low levels of these two vitamins is also found in studies of the general population.” 3

Mental health studies of subjects who follow a vegetarian diet also show a correlation for depression. These diets are typically low in vitamin B12.

In 2012 a group of researchers in Germany looked at the association between vegetarian diets and mental health issues. The research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Activity, found those on vegetarian diets had a higher prevalence of mental health issues, including depressive disorders.4

Another study conducted in Austria and published 2014 by the Public Library of Science found a similar correlation between low-meat diets and depression.5

But vegetarians are certainly not the only group at risk. Today we’re going to talk about how vitamin B12 benefits mental health and how to ensure you’re getting enough.

The Anti-Depressant Myth

Many people believe that anti-depressant medications help to increase (or make) serotonin. This is not true.

The class of medications known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) take the serotonin you already have and ‘hold it’ in the space between neurons. But we still need to produce serotonin so the SSRI has something to ‘hold.’

Like all neurotransmitters, serotonin is a type of protein molecule made from the protein that you eat. These proteins go through a critical process called methylation.

Life (And Happy Chemicals) Can’t Exist Without Methylation

Methylation is a biochemical process that happens inside every cell in your body. It occurs billions of times per second, and contributes to a wide range of functions including:

  • Mood
  • Detoxification
  • Energy production
  • Maintaining DNA
  • Immunity
  • Inflammation

For methylation to occur efficiently and successfully, we need enough vitamin B12 and B9. The absence of these vitamins can become the rate-limiting factor in producing neurotransmitters.

A 2008 review published in Alternative Medical Review explains:

“Without the participation of 5-MTHF [from methylation pathway] in this process, SAMe and neurotransmitter levels decrease in the cerebrospinal fluid, contributing to the disease process of depression.” 2

Homocysteine is also part of the methylation cycle and high levels are associated with suppressive effects on “happy” neurotransmitters. Therefore it is hypothesized that high homocysteine levels cause a depression in mood. Folate (B9) and vitamin B12 benefit patients by lowering these homocysteine levels.6

While this hypothesis still requires clinical trials, it does support what we already know: vitamins B12 and B9 are critically important to mental health.

Do You Have A Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

As we’ve discussed, one of the symptoms of a B12 deficiency is low mood or depression. Other symptoms include:

  • Constant tiredness or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Poor memory
  • Constipation, diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Nerve problems such as numbness or tingling

There is a simple blood test which can diagnose a deficiency. Surprisingly, however, 50 percent of symptomatic patients show normal B12 levels.7  For this reason, elevated homocysteine levels are a more accurate measuring stick. If homocysteine is elevated, it’s likely that you are deficient in folate (B9) and vitamin B12.

Deficiency can occur simply by not including enough vitamin B12 in the diet, as in the case of vegetarians. But we can also become deficient due to poor digestive health and a limited ability to absorb nutrients. In these cases, healing the gut, adding enzymes and betaine HCL can help.

Some rare cases of B12 deficiency require medical supplementation. But it is within our diets that we find nature’s best source of vitamin B12.

Eat Yourself Happy!

Vitamin B12 is primarily found in pastured red meat such as beef, bison, lamb and wild game. The best sources of vitamin B9 (folate) are found in above ground vegetables, such as spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli and avocado (technically a fruit).

If this sounds a lot like the “Paleo” or ancestral diet, you are correct.

Instead of trying to force happiness into existence, we should begin with the healthy diet and nutritional starting materials your brain needs to make those “happy chemicals” on a daily basis.

By providing your body with the vital starting materials it needs to make your own “happy chemicals”, you can set yourself up for a sunny disposition that truly comes from within.

 

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

1. Webmd. Depression Health Center. Treatment resistant depression.http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/treatment-resistant-depression-what-is-treatment-resistant-depression  

2. Miller, AL. The methylation, neurotransmitter, and antioxidant connections between folate and depression. Alternative medicine review. 2008;13(3):216-226.

3. Coppen, A. Bolander-Gouaille C. Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2005;19(1):59-65.

4. Michalak, J. Zhang, X.C. Jacobi, F. Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2012;9:67

5. Burkert, N.T. Muckenhuber, J. Großschädl, F. Rásky, E. Freidl, W. Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study. PLoS One. 2014;9(2)

6. Folstein, M. Liu, T. Peter, I. et al. The homocysteine hypothesis of depression. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 2007;164(6):861-867.

7. R, Oh. Brown, D.L. Vitamin B12 deficiency. American Family Physician. 2003;67(5):979-986.

 

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Grass-fed Lamb, US Wellness Meats

The Surprising Anti-Aging Nutrient in Red Meat

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 02:10 PM

We all age - it’s a part of life.

But one of the greatest pains we can endure is to watch someone we love experience the debilitating and often rapid effects of aging.

And of all the age-related conditions, the one that seems to cut the greatest wound is dementia. A disease like Alzheimer’s can steal treasured memories from the sufferer, not to mention their feelings of safety, security and joy for family and loved ones.

The good news is that scientific research has revealed numerous dietary and lifestyle factors that can prevent (and sometimes reverse) the effects of this illness. Researchers have also identified specific nutrients that can slow the effects of dementia and other age-related chronic conditions.

And one of these nutrients – found primarily in red meat – shows exceptional promise in the field of anti-aging. That nutrient is L-carnitine.

Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine in Italy conducted a controlled double-blind study on a group of patients over 65 years old who had been diagnosed with dementia.

The results of the three-month study were published in the International Journal of Pharmacology Research. They found that the patients treated with acetyl-l-carnitine showed statistically significant improvements in behavior, memory, attention and verbal fluency (the ability to quickly choose the right words).1

The researchers theorize the positive results may be related to the fact that acetyl-l-carnitine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Studies show that acetylcholine dysfunction can contribute to the effects of Alzheimer’s.2,3 

But that’s only one way that L-carnitine can benefit the aging process.

Let’s now take a closer look at some other anti-aging L-carnitine benefits and how to get this age-defying nutrient through nature’s richest source.

Aging: How Our Cells Eventually ‘Power Down’

The powerhouse of most cells within your body is called the mitochondria.  The “mitochondrial theory of aging” asserts that free radicals damage the cell’s energy source and that over time the cell simply ‘powers down’.

A review published in Clinical Science explains this process:

“The ensuing state of oxidative stress results in damage to ETC [electron transport chain] components and mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA]. This further increases the production of reactive oxygen species. Ultimately, this 'vicious cycle' leads to a physiological decline in function, or aging.” 4

So at a fundamental level, aging is the result of mitochondrial damage.

But L-carnitine levels have been also shown to decline as we age.

Research published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications confirms that:

“Analysis of muscle samples of healthy humans of different ages showed a drastic reduction of carnitine and acetyl carnitine in the older subjects with a strong reverse correlation between age and carnitine levels.” 5

L-Carnitine Benefits Battered Cells

L-carnitine is commonly used as a sports supplement. But it is, in fact, a necessary nutrient in day-to-day energy production. Its primary role is as a nutrient ‘shuttle’ – helping to transport essential fats from cell membranes into the mitochondria of the cell to be used as energy.

These tiny factories accept fuel (in the form of carbohydrates and fats) and turn these into the energy molecule ATP. This is done via the electron transport chain (ETC).

Without L-carnitine, we have impaired energy production. Fats have no other way to enter the mitochondria.

During this process, however, a large number of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. These are commonly known as ‘free radicals.’ Over time, they promote inflammation and can damage cells.

Fortunately, L-carnitine also performs an antioxidant role. It helps to mop up the damage from these free radicals as well as help prevent the damage they can do to cells.

A 2014 review published in the journal Gene alerts us to L-carnitine’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and provide antioxidant protection for the brain.6  This is another way by which L-carnitine can benefit those with Alzheimer’s.

And it is not just dementia that has scientists looking closely at this anti-aging nutrient…

Protection at the Heart of this Number One Killer

Carnitine is concentrated in tissues that utilize fatty acids as their primary dietary fuel, including skeletal and cardiac (heart) muscles.7  Therefore it is no surprise that it also reaches to the heart of the number one cause of death: cardiovascular disease.

A 2015 study conducted in Taiwan found that treatment with L-carnitine significantly lowered markers of inflammation among subjects with coronary artery disease due to its antioxidant benefits.8

This study joins more than 20 placebo-controlled studies that also support the heart protective benefits of L-carnitine.

Another Piece of the Bone Density Matrix

Researchers from Florida State University and the University of Connecticut found that L-carnitine decreased bone turnover and slowed the rate of bone loss in rats, which holds promise for helping post-menopausal women to maintain bone density.9 

And it is not just women that can benefit. Other research, published in the International Journal of Pharmacology stated that men can expect the same bone-protecting attributes:

“Treatment with L-carnitine in this population was associated with significant increases in BMD [Bone Mineral Density] at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip and ASM throughout the study compared with placebo. BMD can predict osteoporotic fracture in men, independent of age, body weight, or prevalent fracture.”10

So let’s look at…

The Most Absorbable Sources of L-Carnitine for Healthy Aging

You can certainly take L-carnitine as a supplement. Many people do. But there’s a chance you’ll only absorb around 14-18% of its goodness.

But according to a summary published by the National Institutes of Health, food-based sources can increase your absorption of L-carnitine by up to 87%.11

And the very name of this nutrient gives us a clue as to its richest sources…

Carnus is Latin for flesh, which is where this nutrient was first isolated. And of course, the highest food source just happens to be pasture-raised meats, including beef, bison, lamb and pork.

In order of abundance, per 100g (3.5oz), the foods richest in carnitine include:

Following an ancestral diet that includes the food sources above will provide the highest levels - and the best absorption - of L-carnitine. Eating these alongside organic vegetables will ensure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants and not taking in pesticides, antibiotics or hormones that compromise cellular health.

Consume plenty of gut-loving fermented foods like sauerkraut or kefir from pastured dairy along with good fats that also assist in keeping inflammation down in the body.

And don’t forget to add vigorous exercise, restorative sleep, sunshine, love and laughter to these nutrition staples for a long and healthy life!

 

ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

 

REFERENCES

1  Passeri, M. Cucinotta, D. Bonati, PA. Iannuccelli, M. Parnetti, L. Senin, U. Acetyl-L-carnitine in the treatment of mildly demented elderly patients. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research. 1990;10(1-2):75-79.
http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/2201659

2  Francis, PT. Palmer, AM. Snape, M. Wilcock, GK. The cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimers disease: a review of progress. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 1999;66:137-147. http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/66/2/137.full

3  Alzheimer’s, Memory And Acetylcholine. 2015. http://www.psyweb.com/Documents/00000003.jsp

4  Alexeyev, MF. Ledoux, SP. Wilson, GL. Mitochondrial DNA and aging. Clinical Science. 2004;107(4):355-364. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15279618

5  Costell, M. O’Connor, JE. Grisolia, S. Age-dependent decrease of carnitine content in muscle of mice and humans. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 1989;161 (3):1135-1143. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2742580

6  Ribas, GS. Vargas, CR. Wajner, M. L-carnitine supplementation as a potential antioxidant therapy for inherited neurometabolic disorders. Gene. 2014;533(2):469-476.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24148561

7  National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Carnitine, The science behind a conditionally essential nutrient. 2004.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/News/Carnitine_Conference_Summary.aspx

8  Lee, BJ. Lin, JS. Lin, YC. Lin, PT. Antiinflammatory effects of L-carnitine supplementation (1000mg/d) in coronary artery disease patients. Nutrition. 2015;31(3):475-479. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25701337

9  Hooshmand, S. Balakrishnana, A. Clark, RM. Owen, KQ. Koo, SI. Arjmandi, BH. Dietary L-carnitine supplementation improves bone mineral density by suppressing bone turnover in aged ovariectomized rats. Phytomedicine. 2008;15(8):595-601.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711308000779

10  Wang, L. Wang,C. Efficacy of L-Carnitine in the Treatment of Osteoporosis in Men. International Journal of Pharmacology. 2015;11:148-151. http://www.scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ijp.2015.148.151&org=11
http://www.scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ijp.2015.148.151&org=11

11  National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Carnitine, The science behind a conditionally essential nutrient. 2004. https://ods.od.nih.gov/News/Carnitine_Conference_Summary.aspx

12  Carnitine, Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnitine

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats, Grass-fed Lamb, US Wellness Meats

Choosing the Right Probiotic for Your Body

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 @ 09:35 PM

How to Choose the Right Probiotic for Your Body (The Answer May Surprise You)

“You should take a daily probiotic…”

You’ve no doubt heard this advice if you suffer from any sort of intestinal issues or after taking antibiotics.

But in the last few years, probiotic therapy has taken a huge leap out of simple ‘gut care.’ It’s now well recognized that probiotics can help with a wide range of mental and physical conditions.

In 2013 the journal Beneficial Microbes published a review various studies related to obesity and the microbiome. The authors concluded that:

“[…]Lactobacillus gasseri SBT 2055, Lactobacillus rhamnosus ATCC 53103, and the combination of L. rhamnosus ATCC 53102 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 may reduce adiposity, body weight, and weight gain. This suggests that these microbial strains can be applied in the treatment of obesity.”1

Another review, published in CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, suggests that probiotic therapy may also be useful in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.2

And there is the cutting edge of microbial therapy, involving ‘poop pills’ and ‘fecal transplants’ – treatments that are showing great promise for intestinal disorders.3

It’s no wonder that probiotic sales have increased by 36% in the last five years4 with expected growth of 40 percent by 2020.5

This growth also means that there are an overwhelming number of choices for the average consumer. Case in point: A quick search for the term ‘probiotic supplement’ on Amazon yields more than 9,000 results!

So how do you just “take a probiotic” without knowing the right one to choose? And how do you know whether the one you’re taking will confer the health benefits you’re specifically looking for?

The answer is relatively simple once you understand your gut bugs more intimately.

Human…Meet Your Microbes!

Human beings have 10x more bacterial cells in our bodies than we do human cells. That’s 100 trillion bacteria, from head to toe, inside and out. You may even hear some scientists say that we’re only really 10% human!

Inside our gut live anywhere from 500 to 1000 different species of bacteria, alongside various fungi and yeasts.6  They all live in a symbiotic relationship with each other and with you, their human host.

To demonstrate the huge variety, here’s a little basic microbiology:

1. 98% of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) contains bacteria known as Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. These are categorized on the microbial family tree as phyla.

2. Each of these two phyla has a large number of genera (or genus). Lactobacillus for example, is just one genus out of over 274.7

3. Those genera each contain a number of species. Lactobacillus has around 122 different species and L. acidophilus is just one of them.8

4. And finally, within each species, you can have various strains. For example L. acidophilus DDS-1.

Now, let’s put this into perspective with probiotics. Supplements do not contain entire phyla or even genera. Many will contain an entire species, but not all species. Some won’t even contain an entire species; they will just contain a few strains.

And unfortunately, when it comes to probiotics…

It’s not Just a Case of Good vs Bad

Our large population of microbes has a range of functions including digestion, immunity, producing vitamins and essential fatty acids. It is an entire ecosystem, living together as one. And it is the overall balance of the ecosystem which determines the health of the human host.

Science tells us we can change our microbial balance in as little as 24 hours just by simply changing their environment through diet.9,10

Paul O’Toole, a professor at the Biosciences Institute in Cork, states:

"Diversity is the key. What we see with people on narrow diversity diets is that the microbiota collapses.”11

Our gut bugs are highly influenced by the food we eat (or don’t eat) – not just by the probiotics we take … or don’t take.

You see, probiotic pills are only one fraction of the equation. The key to a healthy microbiome is to employ the multi-pronged strategy that encourages microbial diversity and nourishes our healthy gut bugs… the same way our ancestors did.

Boost Your Probiotics the Way Our Ancestors Did

  • Consume only grass fed beef, pastured poultry and eggs and wild caught fish. They are free of microbiome-altering antibiotics. Be diverse in your meat choices and allow all of your meat-loving microbes to get their nourishment. Add a little salt – you also have salt-loving bugs to keep happy!
  • Give your plant-loving gut bugs their food too! Fill your plate with lots of organic vegetables, especially powerful onions, garlic, jicama and daikon radish. These foods contain prebiotic fiber for Bifidus bacteria to feed on, and they’ll produce good healthy byproducts for your body.
  • Include lacto-fermented food daily like kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi. Each of these foods contains different species of beneficial bacteria. Again, be diverse and use a range of different fermented foods to get a large variety of beneficial bacteria.
  • Include lacto-fermented meats like grass-fed corned beef. This one surprises many Americans, but fermented meats are rich in powerful probiotics and a healthy addition to a microbe-supporting diet.
  • Add coconut oil, garlic and ginger regularly to food. They’re naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and help keep the microbiome in balance.
  • If you use probiotic supplements try a rotation strategy. Pick a trusted brand with good reviews, use it up and then switch to a totally different brand. This will enable you to get many strains and species instead of just a select few. Use a supplement that gives you as many CFU’s as possible – aim for tens of billions, the higher the better.
  • Beware of common chemicals that damage our microbes including bleach, hand sanitizer, chlorine and conventional personal care products. Opt for natural, “old-fashioned” methods and formulas to clean and care for your body.
  • Finally, keep stress well managed. This too can alter your microbial balance.

A balanced diet and lifestyle equals a healthy, balanced microbiome. End the probiotic supplement confusion with the simple diet tips noted above, and by making the choices our ancestors did to help preserve our ancient microbiome in a modern world.


ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads



REFERENCES

1.  Mekkes, M.C, Weenen, T.C, Brummer, R.J, Claassen, E. The development of probiotic treatment in obesity: a review. Beneficial Microbes. 2014;5(1): 19-28.

2. Slyepchenko, A, Carvalho, A.F, Cha, D.S, Kasper, S, McIntyre, R.S. Gut emotions – mechanisms of action of probiotics as novel therapeutic targets for depression and anxiety disorders. CNS Neurology Disorders Drug Targets. 2014;13(10): 1770-1786.

3. Xu, MQ, Cao, HL, Wang, WQ, et al. Fecal microbiota transplantation broadening its application beyond intestinal disorders. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2015;21(1): 102 – 111.  

4. Statistica. Sales of probiotic products worldwide from 2010 to 2015, by region.

5. Markets and Markets. Probiotic Ingredients Market by Function (Regular, Preventative, Therapy), Application (Food & Beverage, Dietary Supplements, & Animal Feed), End Use (Human & Animal Probiotics), Ingredient (Bacteria & Yeast), and by Region - Global Trends & Forecast to 2020

6. Xu J, Gordon JI. Inaugural article: honor thy symbionts. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100: 10452–10459, 2003.

7. Wikipedia. Firmicutes Genera.

8. Wikipedia. Lactobacillus.

9. Lawrence, D.A, Corinne, F, Maurice, R.N. Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. Nature. 2013; 505: 559-563.

10. Turnbaugh, P.J, Ridaura, V.K, Faith, J.J, Rey, F.E, Knight, R, Gordon, J.I. The Effect of Diet on the Human Gut Microbiome: A Metagenomic Analysis in Humanized Gnotobiotic Mice. Science Translational Medicine. 2009; 1(6): 6ra14

Andrew, A. “I had the bacteria in my gut analysed. And this may be the future of medicine.” The Guardian. February 11, 2014.

 

Topics: Misc Info, Exercise, US Wellness Meats

Forget Detoxing – Show Your Liver the Love It Needs with Ancestral Foods

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jan 01, 2016 @ 10:27 PM
We live in a poisoned world...
 
Exhaust from cars, factories and power plants contaminate the air.
 
Chlorine and fluoride are added to our water… not to mention gender-bending chemicals and other pollutants that make their way to the tap.
 
Flame-retardants coat our furniture. Stain treatments protect our clothing.
 
We take chemical drugs when we are sick. We rub chemical cosmetics on our skin. And nearly everything on supermarket shelves has been preserved, dipped, dyed or sprayed.
 
According to EPA sales and use statistics, nearly one billion pounds of toxic pesticides and herbicides are intentionally introduced to the environment and our food supply each year. In fact, a study published in the Annual Review of Public Health estimates that the average person consumes a GALLON of pesticides and herbicides each year.1

We’re even exposed to toxins before we take our first breath. Researchers at two major laboratories recently found an average of 200 pollutants in the umbilical cords of babies, including industrial chemicals, consumer product ingredients, pesticides and wastes from burning coal, gasoline and garbage.2
 
Your body is immensely adaptable. It can protect you from occasional exposures to these contaminants. Unfortunately, however, for the average person, our exposures are anything but occasional. They are chronic and nearly constant.

The results of a lifetime of chronic exposure can be serious disease or just a general feeling of sluggishness, fatigue, pain and general “unwellness.”

Now, that’s the bad news.

But there is good news…

Fortunately you have a liver that is incredibly resilient. In fact, it is so perfectly designed that it can protect you from our toxic modern world. Of course, your best line of defense is to avoid toxins in every way possible.

But you must also give your liver the daily care it’s looking for. And I’m not talking about the latest detox trends.

First, it is important to understand what your liver is doing on your behalf. Then you can give it the love it needs!

Detox Pathways in a Nutshell

There are three main processes that occur in your liver to turn ingested toxins into excretions.
•Phase One Detoxification: This step includes oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration and dehalogenation. This phase turns toxins into different (but still toxic) substances.
•Intermediary step: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions protect the liver against those substances from phase one. This is the liver’s way of cleaning up its own ‘mess’.
•Phase Two Detoxification (aka conjugation): This includes acetylation, methylation, sulphation, glutathionation, glucuronidation and transamination. These actions turn the toxic substances into water-soluble compounds for safe pathway through the body and excretion.
Think the “Master Cleanse” is the answer? Think again. In fact, each of these three vital detoxification steps involves a range of different nutrients. And unsurprisingly, these liver-cleansing nutrients are found abundantly in an ancestral diet.
 
Below, I share three of my favorite liver supportive foods – all backed by science. Consume these foods at least every few days to give your liver the nutritional support it needs.

Detox Food #1: The “Alligator Pear”

During the intermediary or second step of detoxification, your liver uses the antioxidant powers of vitamins A, C and E to help repair the damage caused by free radicals during phase one detoxification.

And it so happens that avocados are good sources of both C and E. But their antioxidant super-power goes far beyond that.

A 2005 study found that the addition of avocado to both salad and salsa significantly enhanced the absorption Vitamin A precursors (alpha and beta-carotene) within the foods.3

Earlier research, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, tested 22 different fruits on liver damaged rats. Out of all the fruits, the researchers discovered that, “Avocado showed extraordinarily potent liver injury suppressing activity.” 4

Give your liver that soft touch by adding chopped avocado to salads, whirling into smoothies made with grass-fed whey protein, or create a delicious guacamole to serve alongside an antioxidant-rich salsa and grass-fed beef.

Detox Food #2: The “Stinking Rose”

Garlic pops up nearly everywhere when it comes to health promoting foods. And in the case of your liver, the so-called ‘stinking rose’ is a welcome gift.

Among many other beneficial nutrients, garlic contains a number of organosulfur compounds which your liver uses during phase-two detoxification.

But garlic may also prevent disease of the liver in other ways…

A 2009 study, demonstrated the liver-protecting power of garlic against acetaminophen toxicity. The study authors suggest that garlic may actually be used as “an antidote to the development of hepatitis.”5

Of course, garlic can be used to flavor just about any savory dish. But to capture its medicinal results, it should be added just at the end of cooking. Better yet, consume garlic crushed and raw so that it retains the majority of its active constituents. Mix it simply with oil or whirl with fresh herbs (like parsley and cilantro) in a blender to create a flavorful Chimichurri, then serve atop or alongside your favorite pastured chicken, wild fish or grass-fed beef dish.  

Detox Food #3: The Golden Healer

Curcumin is the active compound in the golden spice turmeric. It has long been studied for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This also makes it highly valuable in that intermediate step between phase one and two detoxification.

A study conducted in 2012 and published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that curcumin successfully regenerated and repaired damaged liver tissues in diabetic rats.6

And a 2014 review published in Food and Chemical Toxicology discusses curcumin’s ability with regards to heavy metal toxins. The authors state:
“Curcumin has shown, in clinical and preclinical studies, numerous biological activities including therapeutic efficacy against various human diseases and anti-hepatotoxic effects against environmental or occupational toxins.”7
It’s no surprise that turmeric pops up in many commercial detoxification supplements. But you can get the daily benefits of turmeric just by adding it as a condiment to your daily diet… and for a lot less money, to boot!

Use fresh turmeric root blended into smoothies with other organic liver-loving vegetables, berries and grass-fed whey protein, or just add a teaspoon of this golden healer to curries, sauces, salad dressing or any savory dish for a powerful boost.

In addition to these three detox superfoods, I’ve also written previously about the liver-cleansing benefits of clean protein and gelatin to boost glutathione, your master antioxidant and detoxifier.

Detox Daily with a Low Toxin, Ancestral Lifestyle

By enjoying a whole foods ancestral diet – rich in leafy greens, healthy fats, vibrant herbs and spices, wild seafood and pastured meats- you’ll provide your body with the nutrients it needs to detox effectively… all year long!  



ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…
 

REFERENCES

Alavanja, M.C, Hoppin, J.A, Kamel F. Health effects of chronic pesticide exposure: cancer and neurotoxicity. Annual Review of Public Health. 2004;25: 155-197.

Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns. Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005.
 
Unlu, N.Z, Bohn, T, Clinton, S.K, Schwartz, S.J. Carotenoid Absorption from Salad and Salsa by Humans is Enhanced by the Addition of Avocado or Avocado Oil. The Journal of Nutrition. 2005;135(1): 431-436.
 
Kawagishi, H, Fukumoto, Y, Hatakeyama, M, et al. Liver Injury Suppressing Compounds from Avocado (Persea americana). The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2001;49(5): 2215-2221
 
Ezeala, C, Nweke, I, Unekwe, P, El-Safty, I, Nwaegerue, E. Fresh Garlic Extract Protects The Liver Against Acetaminophen-Induced Toxicity. The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness. 2008;7(1)
 
Khimmaktong W, Petpiboolthai H, Panyarachun B, Anupunpisit V. Study of curcumin on microvasculature characteristic in diabetic rat's liver as revealed by vascular corrosion cast/scanning electron microscope (SEM) technique. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 May ;95 Suppl 5:S133-41.
 
Garcia-Nono, W. R, Pedraza-Chaverri, J. Protective effect of curcumin against heavy metals-induced liver damage. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2014;69: 182-201.

 

Topics: Misc Info, US Wellness Meats

Melt In Your Mouth Pork Sirloin Roast

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 @ 06:59 PM
When it comes to the porcine popularity contest, pork sirloin roast rarely gets its due…

It’s no contender to the ever-popular pork shoulder, which is typically used to make classic “pulled” pork. It’s a far cry from crisp and addictive bacon (Hey, even vegans crave it!). And it’s unlikely that many top chefs will choose it over a bone-in chop that requires little more than a quick marinade and a toss on the grill for a succulent and delicious dinner.

Pork sirloin roast is one of those cuts of meat that can be all too easy to ruin. With its low fat content and ample protein, the typical result is dry “cottony” meat that requires extensive use of fatty sauces or gravy to make it palatable.

But I’m here to tell you that pork sirloin roast is an unsung hero! With the right preparation (which I’ll show you below), it can be transformed into one of the most delicious and inexpensive healthy meals your family could enjoy.

Here are just a few benefits of this unloved and underappreciated cut:

1.    It’s Insanely Affordable: Even when you buy the “best of the best” pasture-raised pork sirloin from US Wellness Meats, it only costs around $1.80 per protein-packed 4 ounce serving.  To put that in perspective, a McDonald’s Big Mac provides just 3.2 ounces of hormone and antibiotic-laden conventional beef… at a cost of $3.99.

2.    It’s Packed with Nutrition: A 4-ounce serving of pork sirloin roast contains a mere 160 calories, seven grams of fat and 23 grams of protein. The high protein content will keep you feeling full, stoke your metabolism and boost detoxification. In fact, pork is one of the best sources of the amino acid glycine, an essential “ingredient” in producing your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier, glutathione.
 
3.    It’s Perfect for Make-Ahead Meals: When prepared properly, large cuts of meat lend themselves to freezing. That means you can cook once and enjoy multiple “heat-and-eat” meals in the days and weeks after.

Now that you know about some of the unrecognized benefits of pork sirloin roast, I want to share the easiest way to make it succulent, moist and delicious.

Braising: The Saving Grace for Lean Meats

The culinary term “braise” refers to a two-step process of cooking meats and vegetables using both dry and moist heat. Food is first seared in fat at a high temperature. Then it is finished in a covered pot (Dutch oven) with braising liquid and cooked slowly at a lower temperature. The results can be so “fork tender” that meats cooked this way will literally melt in your mouth.

While this age-old technique dates back hundreds of years, braising is culinary chemistry at its finest. By searing meat in fat at high temperature, the exterior of the meat develops a crust. This crust seals in moisture and imparts deep flavor.

Next, using the elements of steam and low heat, muscle meats are cooked slowly and gently. As the muscle fibers slowly break down, the meat is bathed in steam. This helps to drive aromatic compounds deep into the fibers.

The resulting dish is comfort food at its finest. Moist, juicy, tender, flavorful meat that pairs perfectly with a root vegetable puree or cauliflower mashers, accompanied in its own gelatin-rich broth.

You can braise with just about any large cut of meat, using a range of spices and braising liquids. Generally speaking, you want to use a healthy heat-stable fat for the first step. Tallow, lard and coconut oil are great choices, as is duck fat (my favorite).

In addition, a braising liquid that complements your meat is essential. Chicken broth or stock works well for poultry or pork braises. Beef stock works well for beef or bison braises.

Another important element in your braising liquid is the “acid”. Acids break down muscle fibers and help to tenderize meats. It also helps to create balance of the five flavors: sweet, salt, bitter, sour, umami. Acids to consider for your braise include vinegars (apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, coconut vinegar), citrus juices (lemon, lime or orange) and wine (white for chicken and pork, red for beef and bison).

Finally, the aromatics. While you can use just about any combination of herbs and spices, I find that making a rub using powdered blends works best. First, its increased surface area means more flavor molecules to contact and penetrate the meat. Also, powders don’t tend to burn as easily as whole herbs. In the recipe below, I use a French-inspired combination of rosemary and fennel.

But don’t stop there - let your palate and your creativity guide you to create your perfect braise!

Now, for the can’t-miss recipe…

Duck-Fat Braised Pork Sirloin Roast with Fennel and Rosemary

INGREDIENTS

•    1 4lb. pasture-raised pork sirloin roast
•    1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
•    2 tsp. garlic powder
•    1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
•    2 tsp. fine sea salt
•    ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
•    3 Tbsp. pastured duck fat (or coconut oil, tallow or pork lard)
•    3 cups organic chicken stock
•    ½ cup dry white wine (or lemon juice)

PREPARATION

  1. In a blender or magic bullet, grind the fennel, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to a fine powder.
  2. Place pork sirloin roast on a large piece of cellophane. Sprinkle seasoning all over and rub into the meat. Wrap in cellophane and refrigerate six hours to overnight to infuse with flavor.
  3. Remove pork from cellophane and cut into large chunks (3 ounces each)
  4. Heat the duck fat in a large Dutch oven.* When the fat shimmers, add pork chunks in batches. Do NOT crowd the pan – this will result in steaming, not searing. Sear two minutes per side. Transfer seared pork to a plate and continue with the remaining pork.
  5. Add all of the seared pork back to the Dutch oven and turn heat down to low or simmer. Add the stock and the wine. Stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot. The liquids should come just up to the halfway point of the meat. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, for three hours.

NOTE: If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use a slow cooker for step two of the braising. Simply sear the meat in a sauté pan or skillet, and then transfer the seared meat to the ceramic insert of your slow cooker. Add the broth and wine to the sauté pan to scrape up the fond (or brown bits) from the sautéing step, then pour over the meat in the slow cooker. Typically the “high” setting on a slow cooker translates to about 195 degrees. This may mean you will need to cook the pork sirloin roast longer than if you used a true Dutch oven, but the end result of both cooking methods will be moist and fork tender.

 

Editorial Note:

Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

Topics: Pork, US Wellness Meats

Strongwoman Maureen Quinn - Year 2 The Journey Continues

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 06:42 AM

Dear John,

The Paleo-Primal-Price Foundation conference, was a great experience.  We enjoy representing US Wellness and spreading the word about the impact your product has had on my nutrition and training.  Recently I participated in my 2nd Strongest Female National Championships and qualified for the World Strongman Championships.  Here is an update of my journey.  Thanks for your continued support. 

Throughout history athleticism has been tested by the heaviest object a man could lift.  For the past 40 years this test has been globally televised in the format of “World’s Strongest Man” contests.  More recently a rapidly growing interest has developed for it’s more wild yet delicate counterpart, The World’s Strongest Female.

I stumbled into GrassFed Crossfit 2 years ago looking to change up my workout routine. My coach was impressed with the determination I brought to each workout and suggested I take training to the next level.  I was instructed to reverse every health and nutrition habit I had previously been taught.

We started with my diet which was mostly vegetarian. I learned about the importance of
grass fed meats and necessity of high fat consumption.  John introduced me to the pemmican bars, from US Wellness which became a staple in adhering to my new 70% Saturated Fat diet.

In the beginning I was lifting small weights but we increased every week until the point I was
picking up cars and tree logs. I entered my first Strongman competition shortly after and took
first place.  My victory qualified me for the National Championships. Still relatively new to the sport, I placed 6th in the featherweight division and was dumbfounded by the strength of my competitors.

strong woman tire pic

After a year of relentless training and a flawless nutrition regimen, courtesy of US Wellness,
I returned to the National Championships to once again face the females who demolished me in the last competition. There was an air of surprise to say the least as my name continually appeared toward the top of leaderboard after each event. At the end of day two I was dressed with the silver medal making me the second strongest featherweight female in the nation.

strong woman contest pic

The placing qualified me for the World Strongman Championships held March 3rd where I will
compete against the likes of Russian and Icelandic powerhouses. I will compete on the same
stage as Brian Shaw, the World’s Strongest Man. More so than my own success I am invigorated by the now equal prevalence of female representation in the sport.

I need to thank everyone who has supported me on my journey and most importantly US Wellness who has made this all possible. Be sure to check in frequently for updates on my journey to the World Championships at https://www.instagram.com/maureenquinn1/

Sincerely,

Maureen Quinn

Topics: Exercise, US Wellness Meats

Could Garlic Be the Answer to This Global Health Threat?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Mon, Dec 07, 2015 @ 06:27 AM

Imagine for a moment that you live in a world where a minor and routine surgery puts your life at risk, due to infection… and nothing can be done to save you.kelley herring

Sounds rather extreme, right?

What if, within this same world, one innocent bout of “stomach flu” took down your entire family with no possible way of treating it?

Again, this may sound extreme. Unfortunately, however, this is not a fictional tale. This is the reality of something that is already happening… widespread antibiotic resistance.

The World Health Organization reports that antibiotic resistance is a “serious threat to
global public health”. (1)  And the bacteria that are becoming resistant to antibiotics are not
rarely encountered. They are quite common and are among those that contribute to acne,
gastrointestinal illness, ulcers, stomach cancer and post-surgical infections.

You have probably heard of the ‘hospital superbug’ MRSA. This is a type of ‘staph’ bacteria
that can no longer be treated by the penicillin and cephalosporin classes of antibiotic. This
bacterium can cause infections that are highly contagious and extremely difficult to treat.

Even more common are infections from Campylobacter – the bacteria that is responsible for more than 2.4 million cases of “food poisoning” each year in American alone. And this bacteria is also becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. (2)

Or, consider Helicobacter pylori. This common bug is present within the digestive track of two-thirds of the world’s population. In normal concentrations within a healthy microbiome, H.
pylori can provide benefits to the host. But it can also multiply out of control. This can
lead to ulcers and even stomach cancer. And this bacteria has also become resistant to
numerous medications. (3)  As a result, it can become a deadly threat.

How Have Humans Created This Global Threat?

… And can we protect ourselves?

The World Health Organization tells us:

“The development of antimicrobial resistance is a natural phenomenon. However, certain human actions accelerate its emergence and spread. The inappropriate use of antimicrobial drugs, including in animal husbandry, favors the emergence and selection of resistant strains.”

Quite simply, it is perfectly natural for bacteria to mutate and become resistant to threats
against them. But this has become pandemic as a result of the:

•    Over-prescription of antibiotics
•    Inappropriate use of antibiotics (failing to finish prescriptions, etc.)
•    Use of antibiotics in raising livestock and poultry

However, there are precautions you can take. And the scientific research has some very
interesting things to say about the anti-microbial effects of common garlic.

Folklore tells us that the “stinking rose” can ward off vampires. Science shows us that it can
kill the microscopic and antibiotic resistant ones!

What Makes Garlic So Effective At Fending Off Microscopic Vampires?

If you’re an avid fan of the health benefits of garlic, you know that its active compound is
an organosulfur compound known as allicin. But you might not know that organosulfur compounds are also found in most antibiotics. Just open a bottle and take a sniff.

The allicin in garlic is highly antimicrobial, as is diallyl sulfide –the breakdown product of allicin.  
But there’s an even more impressive antibacterial compound in the “stinking rose”  called
ajoene. Not only has ajoene been shown to kill Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella
pneumoniae, (4) it has also been shown to effectively eliminate the ‘hospital superbug.’

Researchers from the Department of Bacteriology at the Hirosaki University School of Medicine
tested garlic powder for its antibacterial properties against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and found it to be highly effective. (5)  It is not detailed which of the garlic compounds was tested.

Could Garlic Even Protect Against Food Poisoning?

Researchers from Washington State University researched the effects of diallyl sulfide on
Campylobacter jejuni – one of the most common causes of food poisoning (gastroenteritis). They compared the results to two common antibiotics: ciprofloxacin and erythromycin. They found that the garlic derivative was 100 times more effective on the bacteria than the antibiotics. (6,7)

Our pungent friend also inhibits Listeria and pathogenic E. coli. (8)

So it seems that garlic is not only a tasty additive to food, but also shows great promise as
a food additive to fight bacteria.

Is There A Link Between Garlic, Bacteria And Stomach Cancer?

H. pylori typically lives alongside us happily.  But for some people it can increase the risk
of ulcers and stomach cancer.

An article published in the Journal of Nutrition not only shows us that garlic can eradicate
H. pylori. It also hints that diet high in allium vegetables can be an important protector
against stomach cancer:

“The incidence of stomach cancer is lower in populations with a high intake of allium
vegetables. We have demonstrated in vitro that H. pylori is susceptible to garlic extract at a
fairly moderate concentration. Even some antibiotic-resistant H. pylori strains are
susceptible to garlic.”  (9)

Staying Healthy with Garlic… and Ancestral Wisdom

There are many things you can do to minimize your risk of developing an antibiotic-resistant
infection and maintain a healthy level of microbes:

•    Include both cooked and raw garlic as a regular part of your diet, along with onions,
      shallots, leeks and chives. These are all vegetables rich in the sulfur-rich compounds that
      ward off potentially harmful bacteria.
•    Brassica vegetables also contain organosulfur compounds. Include a daily dose of
     organic cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula or bok choy to your         meals. For that extra beneficial bacterial boost, choose lacto-fermented versions like sauerkraut or kimchi.
•    Consume grass fed organic meats, poultry and eggs to reduce your intake of food-
     derived antibiotics.
•    Avoid cross contamination of foodborne bacteria by using different chopping boards for
     meats, poultry and vegetables. Always cook food properly and use sensible hygiene    procedures like washing hands and utensils in between working with meat and vegetables.
•    Use antibiotics wisely and only when necessary. Health guidelines also clearly state
     that finishing your entire dose reduces the risk of antibiotic resistance.
•    Optimize your vitamin D levels through sun exposure or safe supplementation.
•    Be physically active. Not only does this stimulate the immune system and lymph, but
     raising core temperature is important to fend off infections of all kinds.  


ED NOTE

Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book,
Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo
breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads


REFERENCES

 World Health Organisation Fact Sheet. Antimicrobial resistance. April 2015.. Accessed December 1 2015.

  Wieczorek, K, Osek, J. Antimicrobial Resistance Mechanisms among Campylobacter. Biomedical Research International. 2013; Article ID 340605. 

  Megraud, F. H pylori antibiotic resistance: prevalence, importance and advances in testing.
Gut. 2004; 53(9):1374-1384.

  Naganawa, R, Iwata, N, Ishikawa, K, Fukuda, H, Fujino, T, Suzuki, A. Inhibition of microbial
growth by ajoene, a sulfur-containing compound derived from garlic. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 1996; 62(11):4238-4242.

  Sasaki, J, Kita, T, Ishita, K, Uchisawa, H, Matsue, H. Antibacterial activity of garlic
powder against Escherichia coli O-157. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology. 1999;
45(6):785-790.

  Lu, X, Samuelson, D.R, Rasco, B.A, Konkel, M.E. Antimicrobial effect of diallyl sulphide on
Campylobacter jejuni biofilms. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2012; doi:10.1093/jac/dks138

  Washington State University. (2012, May 1). Garlic compound fights source of food-borne
illness better than antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2015

  Kumar, M, Berwal, J.S. Sensitivity of food pathogens to garlic (Allium sativum). Journal of
Applied Microbiology. 1998; 84(2):231-215.

  Sivam, G.P. Protection against Helicobacter pylori and other bacterial infections by garlic.
Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131(3):1106S – 1108S.


Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Pork, Misc Info

Does Red Meat Cause Cancer ?

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 @ 04:24 PM

If you read the papers or watch the news, there is a good chance that you’ve seen tdescribe the imagehe latest nutrition report from the World Health Organization. The story has been reported worldwide by virtually every major news organization.

In case you’re not aware, the report, produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, implicates processed meat and red meat in colon cancer.

Here’s the gist of the press release from the IARC:

“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans … The consumption of red meat [is] probably carcinogenic to humans …”  

But don’t banish your juicy Filet Mignon just yet! The real truth of the matter is actually contained within the full report, published in The Lancet.

“Chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with the same degree of confidence for the data on red meat consumption, since no clear association was seen in several of the high quality studies and residual confounding from other diet and lifestyle risk is difficult to exclude. The Working Group concluded that there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat”.  

In case you missed that …

There was no clear association regarding red meat consumption and cancer risk.

So, what are the real facts? Can you still enjoy your favorite Paleo meals without increasing your risk of cancer?

The Link between Eating Ice Cream… and Drowning

Did you know that decades of statistics prove that as ice cream consumption increases, so do deaths from drowning?

It’s true. There is a very clear correlation between these two statistics… but it goes without saying that ice cream does not cause people to drown.

The numbers of people eating ice cream go up sharply during the summer. As you can imagine, so too do the number of swimmers. It’s clear that correlation does not equal causation. Always keep this in mind when it comes to “scientific” reports.

In this case, the IARC considered data from over 800 different studies on cancer in humans as it relates to red and/or processed meat. Sadly, however, all of these studies were epidemiological.

These are not controlled clinical studies designed to prove causation. They are population studies, often based on questionnaires. While some population studies can provide useful information, most are unreliable.

Did You Have Fries With That?

Can you remember what you ate last Saturday? How about last year?

One reason why food questionnaires are unreliable is because they ask for historical food recall. This paves the way for poor memory and a misrepresentation of facts. There is a large difference between someone recalling that they ate a steak, when the truth was that it was a steak and fries…

… Washed down with a beer or soft drink
… Followed by a cigarette.

Another reason why these studies are unreliable is that they don’t distinguish between variables such as the source of the red meat or the preparation method. They also don't consider general diet, level of fitness (or fatness) or other carcinogens to which the subjects may be exposed.

The IARC does acknowledge this in their full report. It would be nice if the world’s media had done the same.

So now, let’s take a look at what you really need to know about red meat and cancer risk.

The 5 Unhealthy Ways to Consume Red Meat

Chargrilled Toxins
Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) are formed when muscle meats; beef, pork, poultry and fish, are exposed to high temperatures such as grilling. Acrylamide is formed when plant foods rich in carbohydrates (like sugary marinades or the French fries that commonly accompany beef) are cooked at high temperatures. Research demonstrates that both of these compounds are known carcinogens. 

What Goes Into the Animal, Goes Into You
Epidemiological studies make no distinction between pasture-raised and conventionally-raised meats; main factors being their feed and the administration of hormones and antibiotics. The beef from corn-fed cows can have as much 50 times more omega-6 fatty acids than that from grass-fed cows. Too much omega-6 has been conclusively proven to promote inflammation and oxidation – two key factors that can promote cancer. What’s more, antibiotic residues from conventional meats wreak havoc on the microbiome – altering the delicate balance of microbes, including those that produce butyrate – a powerful cancer-fighting agent.

Pan-Fried Chemicals
Pots, pans, storage containers and wraps can leach harmful substances into our foods.  Non-stick pans are just one of these offenders which leach toxic substances like trifluoroacetate (TFA) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) into the food you eat, as well as into the air around you. These chemicals, collectively called perflourinated compounds, are xenoestrogens (estrogen mimics) and have been linked with cancer, endocrine issues, “polymer fume fever” and other health problems in humans.

Chewing the Wrong Fats

Lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are created by the degradation of oils. This happens through heat, aging and chemicals (like hydrogenation). As these oils break down, they generate free radicals that damage DNA and have been found to increase the risk of cancer. When we heat unstable oils (like the polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-6 oils) we produce these dangerous LOP's. This could make the fat you are using to cook with carcinogenic, without regard to the meat itself.

Dietary & Lifestyle Factors

We all know that smoking is a Category 1A Carcinogen. But do you know that some contraceptives are too? Acetaldehyde, (the by-product of alcohol metabolism) and inactivity are two more key factors that increase cancer risk. And how about being overweight or obese?  According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity is overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.  It goes without saying that these kind of variables cannot be ruled out as potential causes of cancer in “population” studies.

Cancer Prevention through Ancestral Wisdom

  1. Choose Healthy Sources: When choosing meats, choose grass-fed and pasture-raised to achieve a healthy fat balance and avoid exposure to antibiotic residues, pesticides and hormones that can encourage cancer.
  2. Nourishing Preparation: If you're going to cook at higher temperatures, be sure to choose stable fats like tallow, lard, coconut oil or grass fed butter. Better still, focus your cooking around stewing, boiling, poaching and slow cooking when it comes to meats. Cook with non-toxic cookware like ceramic, enamel or cast iron to reduce toxic chemicals leaching into your food. And use natural herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and nutritional value of the meal.
  3. Don’t Forget Your Veggies: Enjoy a colorful, varied diet with lots of fresh organic produce (free from hormone-mimicking pesticides). Also be sure to include microbe-loving lacto-fermented vegetables such as like sauerkraut or kimchi.
  4. Live a Balanced Lifestyle: Maintain a smoke free, active lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and opt for organic red wine which is high in antioxidants, including the powerful cancer-fighter resveratrol.
  5. Reduce Toxins: Take into consideration all of the “inputs” that make their way into your body via your stomach, lungs and skin. Breathe fresh air, consider an indoor HEPA filter to reduce your exposure to indoor pollution, and choose household and personal care products made without harmful ingredients.
  6. Get Sunshine: Vitamin D is one of the most powerful cancer-fighting nutrients known. In fact, a study presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) found that 75% of cancer patients had low vitamin D levels , and those with the lowest vitamin D levels were associated with more advanced cancers.  

Prevent (and fight) cancer with a healthy, active lifestyle and the diet that models our ancestors including an abundance of organic veggies and low-glycemic fruits, lacto-fermented foods, stable, traditional fats and meats from animals raised on pasture that are prepared safely. In addition, don’t smoke, achieve (or maintain) a healthy weight, optimize your vitamin D levels and avoid chemicals in household and personal care products to reduce your risk of cancer.

ED NOTE

Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

REFERENCES
(1)  International Agency for Research on Cancer. Media Press Release #240.

(2)  Bouvard, V. Loomis, D. Guyton, K. et al. Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet Oncology. Published online Oct 26, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00444-1

(3)  Muscat JE, Wynder EL. The consumption of well-done meat and the risk of colorectal cancer. American Journal of Public Health 1994; 84(5):856-858.

(4)  Friedman M, Levin CE.Review of methods for the reduction of dietary content and toxicity of acrylamide.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6113-40. Epub 2008 Jul 
15.

(5)  Wikipedia. List of IARC Group 1 carcinogens

(6)  Cancer Research UK. Physical Activity Facts And Evidence.

(7)  National Cancer Institute. Obesity and Cancer Risk.

(8)  Vitamin D deficiency common in cancer patients. American Society for Radiation Oncology. Oct. 3 2011

Bonefeld-Jorgensen, Manhai Long, E. Bossi, R. et al. Perfluorinated compounds are related to breast cancer risk in greenlandic inuit: A case control study. Environmental Health 2011, 10:88. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-88.

Zoe Harcombe. Diet, obesity, nutrition and big business: So much, so wrong. World Health Organisation, meat & cancer. 

Blouin JM1, Penot G, Collinet M, Nacfer M, Forest C, Laurent-Puig P, Coumoul X, Barouki R, Benelli C, Bortoli S.Butyrate elicits a metabolic switch in human colon cancer cells by targeting the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex.Int J Cancer. 2011 Jun 1;128(11):2591-601. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25599. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Gonçalves P1, Araújo JR, Pinho MJ, Martel F.In vitro studies on the inhibition of colon cancer by butyrate and polyphenolic compounds. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(2):282-94. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.523166.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health, Good Fats, Weight Loss, US Wellness Meats

Diabetes Super Treatment Hiding in Plain Sight

Posted by Brian Schoemehl on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 05:09 PM
The Natural Diabetes Treatment Masquerading as a Common Everyday Spice

Within your kitchen you have access to a common spice powerful enough to prevent diabetes. In fact, a recent study showed this same spice can be up to 100,000 times  more potent than metformin, the leading treatment.  

If you don’t happen to have this common spice in your house, it's easy to find. And if you don’t know how to use it, you’ll want to keep reading for some tasty, yet simple ideas…

This super-spice has been called the “King of Spices.” It has appeared in over 5,600 peer-reviewed studies. A quick public search on the National Library of Medicine database shows it has over 600 health benefits.

It may sound unbelievable that one spice has such medicinal power, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m talking about that golden beauty – turmeric!

Also known as Indian saffron due to its vibrant color, turmeric is quickly becoming known as a natural way to prevent and treat diabetes.

A 2014 study conducted at The Center for Cancer Prevention Research at Rutgers confirms the strong influence of turmeric on cardiovascular complications in the diabetic population.

“A 6-month curcumin intervention in type-2 diabetic population lowered the atherogenic risks. In addition, the extract helped to improve relevant metabolic profiles in this high-risk population.”

But it’s not just those who already have diabetes who benefit from using turmeric. It’s for anyone concerned about blood sugar - including the 40 percent of Americans with pre-diabetes. In fact, early research is showing that turmeric can help prevent the disease… with an astounding 100% success rate.

This is tasty news for those searching for a natural diabetes treatment.

Turmeric: The Golden Healer

It is the polyphenol compound known as curcumin that gives turmeric its mighty power, not to mention its exquisite color. Within the rhizomes of the turmeric (Curcuma longa) plant is where we find the magic.

It’s well known that turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. But the benefits go much deeper than that. Curcumin influences more than 150 biological pathways within the body, and it does this in many different ways.

A recent review in Current Pharmacology Reports highlights its power:

“[Curcumin] is a well-known anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-lipidemic agent and has recently been shown to modulate several diseases via epigenetic regulation. Many recent studies have demonstrated the role of epigenetic inactivation of pivotal genes that regulate human pathologies, such as neurocognitive disorders, inflammation, obesity, and cancers.”

Turmeric: Natural Diabetes Prevention… and Treatment

If you have Type-2 diabetes then you are likely aware that it is the health complications that kill. These include heart and liver disease. The latest curcumin research offers exciting hope for these complications.

Cutting-edge research performed at the Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok found that curcumin has the capacity to repair and regenerate damaged liver tissue in diabetic rats.  The liver tissues appeared to display both normal and healthy characteristics.

Numerous studies have been done on curcumin’s efficacy in liver function and this groundbreaking research promises great hope for those with diabetes-related liver disease.

There’s also great news for diabetics with heart disease.

The authors of a study published in a leading pharmacology journal, measured the effectiveness of curcumin on six heart-disease parameters:

•    Arterial stiffness
•    Markers of inflammation (increased adiponectin or decreased leptin)
•    Insulin resistance
•    Triglyceride levels
•    Uric acid levels
•    Abdominal obesity

Curcumin improved every single one of these measures.

Turmeric really does deserve the title, “The King of Spices.”

Pre-diabetic? The Answer is in Your Spice Rack!

Pre-diabetes often comes with no warning signs.

But the daily addition of turmeric may go a long way to preventing Type-2 Diabetes, regardless if you are pre-diabetic or not.

A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association tested turmeric on subjects with pre-diabetes. What they found during the nine-month research was remarkable. Turmeric had a 100% success rate in preventing type-2 diabetes, compared to a control group who received a placebo.

That’s just one more compelling reason to include turmeric as part of your daily diet.

Turmeric: Fighting Hundreds of Diseases in Hundreds of Culinary Ways!

Most of us love a good curry, but you don’t need to be a master chef to use turmeric. It is incredibly versatile and you can simply add it to most foods, just as you would salt and pepper!

Many people also enjoy raw turmeric root daily, juiced or blended. Start slowly with a one-inch piece and adjust to suit your taste.

Five Delicious Ways to Include Turmeric in Your Diet

1.    Enjoy a pastured organic chicken curry with fresh organic vegetables. Better still, if you have a mortar and pestle, you can make your own signature curry paste with a liberal helping of fresh or dried turmeric.
2.    Try a twist on a Turkish classic by creating a turmeric Tahini to serve with Grass-Fed Lamb Shish Kebabs.
3.    For a beautiful golden centerpiece to meals have a go at dressing a whole cauliflower with coconut oil, turmeric, salt and pepper and then roasting slowly in the oven.
4.    Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your morning scramble of farm-fresh eggs.
5.    Make a simple and delicious turmeric-infused sauce using Paleo mayonnaise, turmeric, fresh pressed garlic, sea salt, and smoked paprika. Serve alongside your favorite grass-fed beef dishes– from a rare teres major… to a slow cooked chuck roast.

Combine your daily dose of turmeric with a healthy balanced ancestral diet and regular exercise for an easy and tasty way to prevent and treat diabetes… naturally.


ED NOTE
Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads



REFERENCES
  Kim T, Davis J, Zhang AJ, He X, Mathews ST. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community. 2009 Oct 16;388(2):377-82. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.018. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

  Boyanapalli SS, Tony Kong AN. "Curcumin, the King of Spices": Epigenetic Regulatory Mechanisms in the Prevention of Cancer, Neurological, and Inflammatory Diseases. Current Pharmacology Reports. 2015 Apr;1(2):129-139. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

  Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Phonrat B, Tungtrongchitr R, Jirawatnotai S. Reduction of atherogenic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes by curcuminoid extract: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2014 Feb;25(2):144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.09.013. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

  Khimmaktong W, Petpiboolthai H, Panyarachun B, Anupunpisit V. Study of curcumin on microvasculature characteristic in diabetic rat's liver as revealed by vascular corrosion cast/scanning electron microscope (SEM) technique. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 2012 May ;95 Suppl 5:S133-41. PMID: 22934459

  Chuengsamarn S, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R, Phisalaphong C, Jirawatnotai S. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov ;35(11):2121-7. Epub 2012 Jul 6. PMID: 22773702

Cruickshank K, Riste L, Anderson SG, Wright JS, Dunn G, Gosling RG. Aortic pulse-wave velocity and its relationship to mortality in diabetes and glucose intolerance: an integrated index of vascular function? Circulation 106 (16): 2085–90. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000033824.02722.F7. PMID 12379578.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Product Information, Heart Health, Grass-fed Lamb, Free-Range Poultry

Four Everyday Foods Stimey "Silent Killer"

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Sat, Oct 24, 2015 @ 08:13 PM

 

There is a deadly disease that affects 70 million Americans today – or one out of every three adults. That means there is a good chance that you, your spouse, and your loved ones could have this disease – and you might not even know it.

It’s called the “silent killer” because often there are no symptoms or warning signs, but the effects are deadly.

In fact, this disease is a pre-cursor to the top five causes of death in America. Eighty percent of first-time stroke patients have it, as do 70 percent of those who experience their first heart attack.

Most who are diagnosed with this disease take medication. In fact, the drugs for this condition are among the most popular in America (alongside sleeping pills and painkillers). But the side effects can be debilitating. And of course, like all drugs, they do not treat the underlying condition.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about hypertension or high blood pressure.

But there is good news…

Did you know there are many foods that have been proven to lower your blood pressure? These foods can work just as effectively as drugs – in some cases, even better. And they come with zero side effects.

Let’s take a look at four everyday foods that help to lower your blood pressure… plus some delicious ways to include them in your diet.

 

Eat "Alligator Pears" To Boost Potassium

The mineral, potassium, is essential for healthy blood pressure. Potassium works side-by-side with sodium to maintain an electrical gradient. The correct ratio of these nutrients exerts a strong influence on healthy blood pressure. Unfortunately, our modern processed diets have reversed this healthy ratio.

According to the authors of a 2005 paper, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

“The addition of manufactured salt to the food supply and the displacement of traditional potassium-rich foods by foods introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial periods caused a 400% decline in the potassium intake while simultaneously initiating a 400% increase in sodium ingestion”

Unfortunately, most of us simply don’t get enough potassium.  At the same time, we consume way too much sodium.

We tend to think of bananas when it comes to potassium, but did you know that avocados actually contain more of this critical mineral?

One cup of avocado provides over 700 mg of potassium, compared to just over 450 mg in the same amount of banana. And of course, there is almost no sugar in an avocado, making this a much wiser choice.


Here are three simple ways to enjoy your hypertension-lowering avocado:

  1. Try a simple guacamole served with grass-fed ground beef and organic salsa for a tasty Mexican meal
  2. Blend half an avocado into a whey-protein smoothie for a creamy texture
  3. Use as a spread on your favorite grain-free Paleo bread

Balance Blood Pressure… with Beets!

It has long been known that foods rich in nitrates have a blood-pressure-lowering effect. This is due to the ability of these foods to improve vasodilation in the blood vessels.

And research tells us that beets are one of the most preferred sources!

Researchers at Newcastle University in the UK conducted a systematic review of 16 clinical trials between 2006 and 2012. What they found were significant reductions in systolic blood pressure from inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation.

Have you tried fresh-juiced beets?

If you have a juicer, have a go at juicing beets to drink regularly. If you're a regular juicer, try adding beets to your existing blend. And if you want to go ‘next level’, try Beet Kvass, which provides probiotics as well as hypertension-fighting nitrates.

 

Halt Hypertension with the “Stinking Rose”

Garlic, known as the “stinking rose”, has been used in culinary and medicinal applications for thousands of years. It contains numerous health-promoting compounds. One of the most active is a phytochemical called allicin.

Not only does it add a punch of flavor to meals, studies also show that it has a positive effect on your blood pressure.

Researchers from King Khalid University found significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure when using garlic supplementation compared to placebo.

A 2015 meta-analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension also suggests that garlic outperforms placebos, after examining randomized controlled trials over a 67-year period.

Because allicin is destroyed by heat, the greatest health and blood pressure benefits of garlic come from eating it fresh and uncooked. It is best to crush or press the cloves, then allow the garlic to stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the bioactive compounds form. Then stir into homemade salad dressings or herb-based sauces like chermoula, pesto and chimichurri and serve with your favorite roasted chicken, beef and fish dishes.

 

Black Tea: Sip Your Way to Better Cardiovascular Health

The next time you put your feet up, you may want to consider doing it with a cup of blood-pressure lowering black tea.

Black tea is high in flavonoids, which are well documented as one of the greatest health-giving phytonutrient groups on the planet.

Researchers from Australia and The Netherlands looked at the effects of black tea on blood pressure. During the six month study participants followed a low flavonoid diet, while consuming three cups per day of black tea. They found that “black tea consumption resulted in significantly lower systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP).”

For the best effects on your health, make sure you have your black tea “au natural”, or with a few drops of stevia.

 

It’s All About Lifestyle … And Saving Your Life.

I’m sure you realize that you can’t just add these foods to an unhealthy lifestyle and expect incredible results. To get the most out of these four blood pressure lowering foods, ensure you’re also doing the following:

Maintain a good ancestral diet full of fresh vegetables, grass-fed meats and lacto-fermented foods. 

Include 30-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity three to four times a week. 

Cut down on high risk behaviors such as smoking, processed foods and heavy alcohol consumption. 

Choose mineral-rich sea salt instead of “table salt” which has had the valuable minerals removed.


Ed Note:
Love bread, but not the health-harming carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads


References
1.    Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP. Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses. British Medical Journal. 2013 Apr 3;346:f1378. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1378.
2.    Cordain L, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005 Feb;81(2):341-54.
3.    Hord N, Tang Y, Bryan N. Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits. American Society for Nutrition. July 2009 vol. 90 no. 1 1-10
4.    Siervo M, Lara J, Ogbonmwan I, Mathers JC. Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation reduces blood pressure in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.The Journal of Nutrition. 2013 Jun;143(6):818-26. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.170233. Epub 2013 Apr 17.
5.    Coles L, Clifton P. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. 2012 Dec 11;11:106. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-106.
6.    Ashraf R, Khan RA, Ashraf I, Qureshi AA. Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension.Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013 Sep;26(5):859-63.
7.    Hodgson JM, et al. Black tea lowers the rate of blood pressure variation: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013 May;97(5):943-50. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.051375. Epub 2013 Apr 3.
8.    Hodgson JM, Puddey IB, Woodman RJ, et al. Effects of black tea on blood pressure: A randomized controlled trial.
9.    Centers For Disease Control And Prevention. High Blood Pressure Facts (last reviewed 2015). http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm Accessed October 21, 2015.
10.    Hai-Peng W, Jing Y, Li-Qiang Q, Xiang-Jun Y. Effect of Garlic on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. 2015 March; 17(3): 223-231.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health