The Wellness Blog

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

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

5 Sources of these "SuperFats" Might Surprise You

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 11:33 PM

describe the imageAuthored by: Kelley Herring

Many factors contribute to the twin epidemics of obesity and chronic disease in America (and, increasingly, throughout the world). But two dietary factors play the greatest roles, by far. These are the over consumption of:

1.    Sugar (and other simple carbohydrates) and
2.    Unhealthy fats

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the negative effects of a high-carbohydrate diet and chronically-high insulin levels. Today, let’s focus on fats… in particular, one of the healthiest fats you can consume and the positive effects it can have on your body. I will also share with you the most potent (and surprising) sources of this healthy superfat.

Healthy Fats: You Are What You Eat

You’ve certainly heard the adage, “You are what you eat.” This is especially true when it comes to fats. The type of fat in your diet dictates the type of fat in your cells. In other words, you literally become what you eat.

The make-up of fat in a healthy human body is normally about 97 percent monounsaturated and saturated. The other 3 percent should be polyunsaturated (half of which should be omega-3 and the other half omega-6). That means that omega-6 fats should make up only about 1.5 percent of your total calories.

But here’s the problem…

It has been shown that approximately 80% of the fats consumed in the United States are omega-6 fats. Today, the average American eats more than 75 pounds of these industrial fats each year!

These are primarily found in vegetable, corn and seed oils, which are the primary ingredients in most commercial sauces, dressings, chips, snacks and all manner of processed foods. Conventionally-raised meats are also very rich in these unhealthy fats due to the corn- and soy-rich diet on which these animals subsist.

When you consume these extracted and concentrated oils, your cell membranes incorporate their molecules. The problem is that they are highly unstable, vulnerable to oxidative stress and prone to causing inflammation.

These fats (along with the dreaded “trans fats”) also inhibit the natural permeability of the cellular wall. It becomes more difficult for nutrients to enter the cell… while waste products and cellular debris are unable to exit.

As you can imagine, this is a virtual prescription for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cataracts and macular degeneration, auto-immune disease, wrinkled and cancer-prone skin… and the list goes on.

Healthy fats, on the other hand, are essential for cellular health. They improve your ability to absorb nutrients from your food, they reduce inflammation, and they can even help to balance blood sugar and foster weight loss.

And one of the most important of these is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

The Healthy Benefits of Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature. They are commonly associated with the health benefits of the “Mediterranean Diet.” But before we explore their benefits, consider what makes these fats unique:
•    MUFAs Don’t Readily Oxidize: Chemically speaking, monounsaturated fats contain a double bond. This makes them very stable (even in the presence of heat) and much less prone to oxidation than omega-6 fats.
•    Antioxidant Benefits: The foods rich in MUFAS are generally rich in antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients, including magnesium, selenium, vitamin E and phenolic compounds, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (two potent antioxidant carotenoids).
•    MUFAs Reduce Inflammation: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined data from 690 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. Researchers found that higher “diet quality” scores – particularly on the Mediterranean Diet Index – were associated with much lower markers for inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (endothelial cells are those that line inside of blood vessels).

Now, let’s look at some of the specific health benefits researchers have attributed to these superfats:
•    In 2005, Greek scientists studying more than 3,000 men and women found those eating a diet closest to the traditional Mediterranean diet had 19% lower oxidized LDL levels than those with the lowest adherence to the diet. This diet also showed the greatest positive effect on the dilation of blood vessels.
•    A study published in Public Health Nutrition found that women getting the most monounsaturated fat had a significantly lower risk of breast cancer than those getting the least. Another study, published in Cancer Causes and Control, found that men who consumed the most MUFAs experienced the greatest reduction in prostate cancer risk.
•    According to a study in Diabetes Care, when test subjects ate a carbohydrate-enriched diet, they accumulated fat in the abdomen. When they ate a diet that had more MUFA, abdominal fat decreased (even without exercise!).
•    A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: After six months on a MUFA-rich diet, the insulin levels of test subjects were reduced by 9.4% and the insulin resistance score was reduced by an average of 12.1%.  Another study showed similar reductions in fasting insulin levels in subjects diagnosed as insulin resistant.

So, what are the best sources of these healthy fats?

Beyond Olive Oil: Superior Sources of Monounsaturated Fats

You’ve probably heard that olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. This is true in some cases. But what you might not know is that independent researchers recently tested numerous olive oils for their potency and purity. As reported in the New York Times, they found that nearly 70% did not match the nutritional content reported on the label.

In fact, some of these “olive oils” were found to contain other refined oils… and even green food coloring!

Macadamia nuts and macadamia nut oil are also excellent sources of MUFAs, as are avocados and avocado oil.

But here’s something that may surprise you: Some of the best sources of monounsaturated fats don’t come from plant sources at all… but rather from animal origin.

Take a look at the amount and ratios of fats per 100 grams in these foods:

FOOD                                     SAT    MUFA    PUFA
Olive Oil                                  14       73          11
Avocado Oil                             12       71          13
Macadamia Nuts                      12       59            1.5
Duck Fat                                33       49          13
Pork Lard                              39       45           11
Beef Tallow                           49       42           4
Lamb Tallow                         47        41          8
Avocados                                 2        10           2
Grass-Fed Beef Ribeye          3.6       3.5         0.3
Bison (Ground)                      3.5       3.3         0.4
Grass-Fed Beef Strip Steak    1          1           0.1

What’s more, sources of monounsaturated fats from animal origin (including duck fat, lard and tallow) are also more stable under heat, thanks to higher levels of beneficial saturated fats. This should make them your ideal choice for cooking.

Choosing an ancestral diet rich in healthy fats (in the right ratios) is one of the best things you can do for your health. Here are a more than a few delicious ideas for adding more of these health-boosting fats, plus a full spectrum of other beneficial nutrients to your diet… sear grass-fed steaks and sauté veggies in beef tallow… enjoy a fresh arugula salad with avocados and olive, avocado, or macadamia nut oil… enjoy a breakfast of farm fresh eggs and grass-fed beef sliders… and keep some delicious macadamia nuts around for snacking. Bon Appetit!

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

REFERENCES
1.    "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil" by Tom Mueller (Atlantic Books in the U.K.)
2.    Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways," Price- Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal, 1996, 20:3:5-8
3.    Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Diet and Heart Disease—Not What You Think," Consumers' Research, July 1996, 15-19
4.    Simopoulos AP, Leaf A, Salem N, Jr. Workshop statement on the essentiality of and recommended dietary intakes for Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2000;63(3):119-121
5.    Kris-Etherton PM, Hecker KD, Binkoski AE. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular health. Nutr Rev. 2004;62(11):414-426.
6.    Mozaffarian D, Ascherio A, Hu FB, et al. Interplay between different polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in men. Circulation. 2005;111(2):157-164.
7.    Cortés B et al. “Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. Epub 2006 Sep 26.
8.    Perona JS et al. "Virgin olive oil reduces blood pressure in hypertensive elderly subjects." ClinNutr. 23, 5:1113-21, 2004.
9.    Assies J, Lok A, Bockting CL, Weverling GJ, Lieverse R, Visser I, Abeling NG, Duran M, Schene AH. Fatty acids and homocysteine levels in patients with recurrent depression: an explorative pilot study. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2004 Apr;70(4):349-56
10.    Baer DJ, Judd JT, Clevidence BA, Tracy RP. Dietary fatty acids affect plasma markers of inflammation in healthy men fed controlled diets: a randomized crossover study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):969-73.
11.    Raymond R. Tjandrawinata, PhD, of UCSF, Chai-Fei Li, BA, of SFVAMC, and Sina Sayyah, BA, of SFVAMC and UCSF   Omega-6 Fatty Acids Cause  Prostate Tumor Cell Growth In Culture. Science- Daily.
12.    Soriguer F, Rojo-Martinez G, Dobarganes MC, Garcia Almeida JM, Esteva I, Beltran M, Ruiz De Adana MS, Tinahones F, Gomez-Zumaquero  JM, Garcia-Fuentes E, Gonzalez-Romero S. Hypertension is related to the degradation of dietary frying oils. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;78(6):1092-7.
13.    Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, Faulkner DA, Josse AR, et al. Direct comparison of dietary portfolio vs. statin on C-reactive protein. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 May 18; [Epub ahead of print]2005. PMID:15900306.
14.    Jerling JC et al. “A systematic review of the effects of nuts on blood lipid  profiles in humans.” J Nutr. 135, 9:2082-9, 2005.
15.    Staprans I, Pan XM, Rapp JH, Feingold KR.The role of dietary oxidized cholesterol and oxidized fatty acids in the development of atherosclerosis.Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 Nov;49(11):1075-82.
16.    Pitsavos C, Panagiotakos DB, Tzima N, Chrysohoou C, Economou M, Zampelas A, Stefanadis C.Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with total antioxidant capacity in healthy adults: the ATTICA study.Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):694-9.
17.    Paniagua JA, Gallego de la Sacristana A, Romero I, Vidal-Puig A, Latre JM, Sanchez E, Perez-Martinez P, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F. Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects. Diabetes Care. 2007 Jul;30(7):1717-23. Epub 2007 Mar 23.
18.    Babio N, Bullo M, Salas-Salvado J: Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome: the evidence. Public Health Nutr 2009; 12(9A): 1607-17.
19.    Giugliano D, Esposito K: Mediterranean diet and metabolic diseases. Curr Opin Lipidol 2008; 19(1): 63-8.
20.    Giugliano D, Ceriello A, Esposito K: The effects of diet on inflammation: emphasis on the metabolic syndrome. J Am Coll Cardiol 2006; 48(4): 677-85.
21.    Seth Rakoff-Nahoum. Why Cancer and Inflammation?Yale J Biol Med. 2006 December; 79(3-4): 123–130.
22.    Hussain SP, Harris CC. Inflammation and cancer: an ancient link with novel potentials.Int J Cancer. 2007 Dec 1;121(11):2373-80.




Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Good Fats

Starve Cancer with This Controversial “Old” Diet

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 12:32 AM
By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet
                                                                                                 
A recent report from the World Health Organization states that the number of cancer cases worldwide is expected to surge by 57 percent over the next twenty years.

For many, this will mean painful, expensive (and potentially deadly) treatments with chemotherapy and radiation. On the other hand, many others will choose a more natural approach to treat and prevent cancer… one that is meant to boost the immune system, curtail the proliferation of cancerous cells, and starve those cells of the very fuel they need to grow.

And one of the most effective natural approaches for doing this is the ketogenic diet. It is certainly not the only thing that should be included in a cancer-fighting protocol, but science has proven that it can be a very important part of one.

The Ketogenic Diet: Natural, Effective “Metabolic Therapy” for Cancer

The ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet that is moderate in protein and high in fat. It is well known that the cells in your body are normally fueled by glucose (the form of sugar present in the blood). But when glucose is not available, cells derive their energy from ketones – a byproduct of fat breakdown.

And if you are concerned about cancer this is a very good thing…

You see, cancer cells work differently than normal cells. And while they thrive on glucose, they are unable to make the switch to ketones. Without glucose as a source of fuel, cancer cells begin to die off. Over time, tumors shrink and the diagnosis of “cancer” can disappear.

Dr. Dominic D'Agostino, metabolic therapy researcher at the University of South Florida says:

"Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that."

In fact, preliminary studies have shown the ketogenic diet to be so effective at resolving a number of different types of cancers (including some in the advanced stages) that it is being called “metabolic therapy.”

Researchers at the University of South Florida found that removing carbohydrates from lab mice with aggressive cancer increased their recovery. The ketogenic diet was also shown to work better than traditional chemotherapy (and, of course, without the horrible side effects).

Another study at Johns Hopkins found that people with brain tumors have a significantly lower survival rate when they have higher blood sugar levels. This provides additional support for the role of a ketogenic diet in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Tips for Following a Ketogenic Diet
 
With cancer on the rise, the ketogenic diet is providing a safe, natural means of prevention and recovery for many people. And while each one of us is unique, with regards to the macronutrient ratios required to reach ketosis, a general guideline is to keep your carbohydrate consumption limited to 50 grams per day. The majority of calories should come from healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein.

Here are some quick meal ideas for a ketogenic diet:

•    Breakfast: Pastured eggs cooked in grass-fed butter, pastured pork sausage and avocado. You could also supplement with a tablespoon of coconut oil, avocado oil, fish oil or MCT oil for an added boost of healthy fats.

•    Lunch: Wild salmon over a large organic green salad with Kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette. Pastured lamb burgers with mint gremolata, olives and greens (with oil or duck fat) might be another option.
 
•    Snack: Grass-fed pemmican, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts or canned mackerel… plus another tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat.

•    Dinner: Free-range roasted duck legs over mashed cauliflower with grass fed butter and a green salad with olive or avocado oil. Another option: grass-fed ribeye steak with a generous helping of basil pesto and steamed broccoli. Another tablespoon of your favorite healthy fat before bed.
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As research continues to mount that cancer is largely a disease of the metabolism, we have more opportunities to treat it with the safe, natural diet enjoyed by our ancestors.

ED NOTE: Do you want to follow a ketogenic diet? But are you worried that won’t be able to completely cut out those tasty treats that you enjoy? Over on the Healing Gourmet website, Kelley has a recipe for Keto Paleo Dinner Rolls that are grain free, low in carbohydrates, and just perfect for sopping up the last few bites of your evening meal.

References
1.    WHO: Imminent global cancer 'disaster' reflects aging, lifestyle factors. Tim Hume and Jen Christensen, CNN. February 4, 2014
2.    A.M. Poff, C. Ari, T.N. Seyfried and D.P. D'Agostino The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Act Synergistically to Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer. PLOS ONE, June 5, 2013
3.    McGirt MJ, Chaichana KL, Gathinji M, Attenello F, Than K, Ruiz AJ, Olivi A, Quiñones-Hinojosa A. Persistent outpatient hyperglycemia is independently associated with decreased survival after primary resection of malignant brain astrocytomas. Neurosurgery. 2008 Aug;63(2):286-91; discussion 291.
4.    Thomas N. Seyfried, Michael A. Kiebish, Jeremy Marsh, et al. Metabolic management of brain cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Bioenergetics. Volume 1807, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 577–594
5.    Thomas N Seyfried Laura M Shelton. Cancer as a metabolic disease.  Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010; 7: 7.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Good Fats, Grass-fed Lamb

The Five Cent Wrinkle Fix In Your Stock Pot

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 @ 10:37 AM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmetbroth

It has people lining up in New York City’s Brodo to buy a steamy $9 cup… it is being called “the natural alternative to Botox”… and it is allegedly Gwyneth Paltrow’s “new obsession.”

You might assume that this wrinkle-fighting, age-defying food is a new discovery from the Amazon rainforest or a remote peak high in the Himalayas. Not true. In fact, there is a good chance that your great grandmother made this timeless superfood in a stockpot with little more than what most people consider “scraps.”

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about bone broth

What Is Gelatin – And How Does It Fight Wrinkles?

In my last article on the US Wellness Meats blog, I shared the many ways that consuming gelatin-rich bone broth can defy aging and promote healing. It can stimulate a variety of biochemical activities that can reduce inflammation, boost detoxification and keep us feeling young.

And while we all want to feel young, there’s no doubt we want to look young too.

It’s not breaking news that the beauty industry is big business. In fact, Botox alone – the muscle-paralyzing injection made from botulism toxin – grosses nearly $2 billion a year. The industry as whole – including creams, potions, serums and other forms of cosmetic surgery – is estimated at nearly $60 billion annually.

But the beauty and youthfulness of your skin is much less dependent on what you put on the outside. Far more important is what you’re doing to nourish the inside.

Of course, proper hydration is vital. It is also important to get sufficient high-quality protein and healthy fats. But when it comes to wrinkles, the story goes a bit deeper...

Your skin has a unique matrix structure that gives it elasticity and tone in our youth. In this network are numerous players, including three which play starring roles:

1.    Collagen: Known as the “beauty protein”, collagen is the main structural protein of connective tissue. The amino acids glycine and proline are its principal components.

2.    Elastin: As the name suggests, it provides skin with its elasticity, allowing it to snap back when pinched or pulled. Elastin has the ability to sustain "mechanical resilience" - meaning that it can extend and recoil billions of times. Researchers believe that it is the unique cross-linking of glycine, proline, leucine and valine, that give elastin this property.

3.    Proteoglycans: These compounds are made of proteins and sugars. They are designed to attract and retain water. Proteoglycans weave around the collagen network, giving it tensile structure.

A strong network that’s well-hydrated and elastic results in a “plump” fresh-looking complexion.

And here’s where gelatin comes in…

Glycine & Proline – The Common Dominators For a Beautiful Complexion

As you just read, producing and preserving our collagen and elastin are essential for a strongmatrix that gives skin a smooth and youthful appearance. And the two key amino acids for building and maintaining collagen and elastin are: glycine and proline.

And can you guess the food richest in glycine and proline? That’s right. Gelatin.

It’s no wonder that anti-aging specialists are recommending gelatin to their patients and clients. It works. 

Julia March, a bone broth advocate and well-known therapist to Hollywood celebrities says:

"My clients see less inflammation, more glow and more toned skin when they drink it. It repairs, strengthens, rejuvenates and heals.”

Making Wrinkle-Fighting Gelatan Recipes

Drinking bone broth daily – made from grass-fed, pastured soup bones, feet and backs – is the best way to get more healing gelatin in your diet. Slow-cooking or pressure cooking meat on the bone and enjoying the broth that accompanies the dish is another great way to sneak more of those wrinkle-fighting amino acids into your diet.

A great way to have this healing tonic on hand is to make a big batch and freeze it individual portions. The pressure cooker will help extract more gelatin from bones and connective tissues, making your money go a bit farther.

Even when you buy the highest quality ingredients to make bone broth, you’re still looking at cents per serving for Mother Nature’s original youth serum.

Are you drinking bone broth? We want to hear the many creative ways you’re incorporating this ancestral food into your modern healing diet.

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ED NOTE – Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

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REFERENCES
1.    Danile, Kaayla. Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin. Weston A. Price Foundation.
2.    François-Xavier Maquart, Stéphane Brézillon, Yanusz Wegrowski. Proteoglycans in Skin Aging. Textbook of Aging Skin 2010,   pp 109-120
3.    Fred W Keeley, Catherine M Bellingham, and Kimberley A Woodhouse Elastin as a self-organizing biomaterial: use of recombinantly expressed human elastin polypeptides as a model for investigations of structure and self-assembly of elastin. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 28; 357(1418): 185–189.
4.    Kielty CM, Sherratt MJ, Shuttleworth CA (July 2002). "Elastic fibres". J. Cell. Sci. 115 (Pt 14): 2817–28. PMID 12082143.
5.    Carrino DA1, Onnerfjord P, Sandy JD, Cs-Szabo G, Scott PG, Sorrell JM, Heinegård D, Caplan AI. Age-related changes in the proteoglycans of human skin. Specific cleavage of decorin to yield a major catabolic fragment in adult skin. J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):17566-72. Epub 2003 Mar 5.
6.    Tzaphlidou M1. The role of collagen and elastin in aged skin: an image processing approach. Micron. 2004;35(3):173-7.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Good Fats, Free-Range Poultry

Concerned About Blood Sugar? Eat More of THIS!

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Jan 02, 2015 @ 09:33 AM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetOlive Oil

If your goal is to enjoy strength, health and clarity of mind well into your later years, one of your main objectives should be to maintain healthy blood sugar balance.

Of course, consistently high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes. But it can also dramatically increase your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and accelerate the aging process (including adding wrinkles to your skin).

You probably already know that a low-carbohydrate diet is the key to keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But you might not know just how important it is to also consume adequate amounts of healthy fats.

Time and time again, diets that are rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates have been proven to produce healthier outcomes for diabetics.

But before we look deeper into the benefits of healthy fats, let’s take a look at…

How a Low Fat Diet Actually Promotes Diabetes

By eating a low-fat diet, calories that would normally come from fat and protein are displaced by carbohydrates.

A diet rich in carbs causes blood sugar levels to rise. This causes the pancreas to release insulin to escort the sugar from the blood into muscle cells to be used as fuel. But it doesn’t take long before your muscle cells have stored all the sugar they can hold. Then sugar gets shuttled to another place: your fat cells!

Not only does this promote an increase in body fat, it also promotes insulin resistance and diabetes.

Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels with Fat

Unlike carbohydrates, however, healthy fats have no appreciable effect on blood sugar levels. They are also vitally important for the absorption of important fat-soluble nutrients (including vitamins A, E, D & K) and for helping to reduce inflammation in the body.

But the type of fat is key.

Let’s take a look at the three healthy fats you should be eating to optimize blood sugar levels, achieve a healthy weight and ward off degenerative disease:

Omega-3 Fats: “Essential” for Blood Sugar Balance

In the United States, 80 percent of the fats we consume are omega-6, like those found primarily in vegetable and seed oils like corn, soybean and cottonseed oil. Omega-6-rich fats like these have been found to increase inflammation and other key markers of disease.

Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, provide potent anti-inflammatory action. They also improve blood sugar control, reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death among individuals with diabetes.

One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those with the highest blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – the two omega 3 fats found in fatty fish – were roughly 33% less likely to develop diabetes over the next decade than their counterparts with the lowest levels.

Another recent study published in the journal Lipids found that DHA and EPA omega-3 fats may help to lower body fat by encouraging fat-burning and reducing the number of fat cells. Even more impressive, the researchers found that omega-3 fats act at the genetic level – genetically programming the body to shed fat!

And the benefits of omega-3 fats don’t end there. Multiple studies have shown that these healthy fats dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – the leading causes of death among diabetics. Take a look:

•    A study in China that followed more than 18,000 men for 10 years found that those who consumed more than 7 ounces of fish or shellfish weekly reduced their risk of fatal heart attack by almost 60% compared to those who consumed less than two ounces weekly.

•    In the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 84,000 women for 16 years, death from heart disease was up to 34% lower in women who ate fish at least once a week compared to those who ate it less than once a month.

•    In a study that followed more than 79,000 women for 14 years, the women who ate fish at least twice weekly had a 52% lower stroke risk than those who ate fish less than once monthly. In a similar study of 43,000 men, those who ate fish at least once a month reduced their risk of stroke by 43% over those who did not.

To get the diabetes-fighting, heart-healthy benefits of this fat, eat wild seafood – including wild salmon, wild halibut and wild shrimp and scallops – several times each week and consider taking a high quality fish oil supplement.

But omega 3 fats aren’t the only fats that benefit blood sugar and diabetes…

Monounsaturated Fats: Reduce Belly Fat and Blood Sugar

Monounsaturated fats (the best-known sources include avocados, olive oil and nuts) can also help balance blood sugar, banish belly fat and protect against heart disease.

A study published in Diabetes Care found that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats helped to reduce abdominal fat better than a carbohydrate-rich diet. When study subjects ate a carbohydrate enriched diet, belly fat increased. But when they ate a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, belly fat decreased (even without exercise!).

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found MUFAs have a profound effect on blood sugar. After eating a monounsaturated-fat rich diet for six months, study participants saw fasting glucose drop by 3 percent, insulin fall by 9.4 percent and the insulin resistance score drop by 12 percent. All of these are key factors for warding off diabetes and other chronic disease.

While the traditionally recognized sources of monounsaturated fats should be enjoyed liberally (including macadamia nuts, olive oil, and avocados), there are other excellent sources of this healing fat that might surprise you, including duck fat and lard.

In fact, duck fat is 45% monounsaturated (with 34% saturated and 21% polyunsaturated). Lard is 41% monounsaturated (with 32% saturated and 27% polyunsaturated), making these rich and delicious culinary staples a must-have in your blood sugar-balancing culinary repertoire.

And last, but not least is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

CLA: The “Grass-Fed” Fat for Leanness

CLA is a powerful compound that has been found to benefit blood sugar levels and reduce leptin – a hormone that regulates body fat levels.

CLA is found exclusively in the meat and milk of grass-fed animals, including grass-fed beef, grass-fed cheese, butter and milk. It’s also found in high concentrations in grazing game animals such as elk and deer.

In recent years, CLA has been promoted for a wide range of benefits – from melting belly fat and lowering hunger hormones to balancing blood sugar and even reducing the risk of cancer.

•    After an eight-week study, diabetics who added CLA to their diets not only had lower body mass and reduced blood sugar measurements, but also lower levels of leptin – a hormone that regulates fat levels.

•    A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that CLA inhibits the body’s formation of fat while preserving muscle tissue. In the study, the group that supplemented with CLA lost an average of six pounds of fat, compared to the placebo group.

•    A study published this month in Lipids in Health and Disease found that CLA-rich butter (from grass-fed cows) prevents high insulin levels and increased beneficial HDL cholesterol levels in animals.

CLA also has powerful antioxidant properties and is known to help reduce inflammation – two key factors for a healthy heart.

When it comes to balancing your blood sugar and achieving optimal health, focus on a low glycemic, low carbohydrate, whole foods diet that’s rich in the healthy fats noted above.  You’ll get more culinary satisfaction from every bite…. while improving your health at the same time!

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

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REFERENCES
1.    Luc Djoussé, Mary L Biggs, Rozenn N Lemaitre, et al. Plasma omega-3 fatty acids and incident diabetes in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011
2.    Diana P Brostow, Andrew O Odegaard, Woon-Puay Koh,. Omega-3 fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr July 2011
3.    Lesley V Campbell,Priscilla E Marmot, Jenny A Dyer, et al. The High—Monounsaturated Fat Diet as a Practical Alternative for NIPPM. Diabetes Care March 1994   vol. 17  no. 3  177-182
4.    Rallidis LS1, Lekakis J, Kolomvotsou A, Zampelas A, Vamvakou G, Efstathiou S, Dimitriadis G, Raptis SA, Kremastinos DT. Close adherence to a Mediterranean diet improves endothelial function in subjects with abdominal obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug;90(2):263-8.
5.    Hodson L1, Karpe F. Is there something special about palmitoleate? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Mar;16(2):225-31.
6.    Walker KZ, O'Dea K. Monounsaturated fat rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects: response to Paniagua et al. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):e122; author reply e123.
7.    Martínez-Augustin O1, Aguilera CM, Gil-Campos M, Sánchez de Medina F, Gil A. Bioactive anti-obesity food components. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012 Jun;82(3):148-56.
8.    Saha SS1, Ghosh M. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of conjugated linolenic acid isomers against streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2012 Sep 28;108(6):974-83.
9.    Dhar P1, Chattopadhyay K, Bhattacharyya D, Roychoudhury A, Biswas A, Ghosh S Antioxidative effect of conjugated linolenic acid in diabetic and non-diabetic blood: an in vitro study. J Oleo Sci. 2006;56(1):19-24.
10.    Hontecillas R1, Diguardo M, Duran E, Orpi M, Bassaganya-Riera J. Catalpic acid decreases abdominal fat deposition, improves glucose homeostasis and upregulates PPAR alpha expression in adipose tissue. Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):764-72.
11.    Close RN1, Schoeller DA, Watras AC, Nora EH. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation alters the 6-mo change in fat oxidation during sleep. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;86(3):797-804.
12.    de Almeida MM, Luquetti SC, Sabarense CM, Corrêa JO, Dos Reis LG, da Conceição EP, Lisboa PC, de Moura EG, Gameiro J, da Gama MA, Lopes FC, Garcia RM. Butter naturally enriched in cis-9, trans-11 CLA prevents hyperinsulinemia and increases both serum HDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels in rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Dec 22;13(1):200. [Epub ahead of print]

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health, Good Fats, Seafood

Are Your Telomeres In Trouble?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDGreens

Living in the 21st century affords you many luxuries. High-speed computers… cell phones… air conditioning and LCD TVs. But the chemicals and industrial solvents that make them possible are poisonous. We’re now floating in a sea of space-age, lab-created, synthetic molecules. And they’re flowing through your blood as you read this letter.

They’re a part of life today, and we now have a new way of measuring their effect.

One of the things that happened is the environment is causing your telomeres to shorten.

Let me give you the example of the number-one risk factor for heart disease – high homocysteine levels.(1)

High homocysteine is a way to measure the inflammation that’s going on inside your body that’s being caused by all these foreign substances. High homocysteine then does more damage by blocking blood flow across your body and damaging the lining of your arteries.

And most doctors know nothing about another damaging effect of high homocysteine. It shortens your telomeres.

High homocysteine in your blood can triple the speed at which your telomeres shorten.(2)

One of the reasons homocysteine has such a damaging effect on these tiny tips to your DNA is that homocysteine cuts off telomerase.

Telomerase is the enzyme your body uses to rebuild the telomere. So the environment is giving you a double whammy. First homocysteine shortens telomeres, then it cuts off the enzyme your body uses to repair the damage.

Short telomeres are so prevalent in people with heart disease that having critically short telomeres is now an independent risk factor for heart disease.(3)

In a study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, researchers found an association between short telomeres and atherosclerosis.(4) The people with short telomeres had accelerated aging of their blood vessels and had a buildup of plaque that correlated to arteries that acted 8.6 years older.

This increased risk extends into the very fiber of your heart muscle. In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers discovered that people with heart failure had telomeres that were 40% shorter than normal.(5)

High homocysteine can cause strokes and heart attacks as well.(6)

One way to know if you’re at risk is by getting your homocysteine checked with a simple blood test from your doctor. I personally like to keep my patients’ levels at 7 or below.

The natural way to help keep your homocysteine in check and protect yourself from heart disease is to ramp up your levels of vitamin B.

Vitamins B6, B9 (also known as folic acid or folate) and B12 all help to convert homocysteine into methionine, the good guy. B9 also restores the action of telomerase, counteracting the worst effect of homocysteine.(7)

Methionine is one of the building blocks of protein. And without enough levels of B vitamins in your system, your body can’t convert homocysteine to methionine efficiently. This can lead to an overload of homocysteine racing through your blood.

To boost your B vitamins, here’s what I recommend:

Vitamin Food Source Supplement
B6 Chicken, fish, kidney, liver, eggs, bananas, lima beans, walnuts 25 mg
B9 (folic acid) Beef, lamb, pork, chicken liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables, salmon 800 mcg
B12 Lamb, beef, herring, mackerel, liver, oysters, poultry, clams, eggs 500 mcg
B2 (riboflavin) Liver, nuts, dairy, eggs, seafood, dark leafy greens 25 mg


Another way to turn homocysteine into methionine is with choline.

You may remember I’ve written to you about choline as a brain booster. But choline is also essential in the process that breaks down homocysteine into helpful amino acids like methionine.

Studies show that the more choline you have, the lower your homocysteine will be.(8) In one study, people who took in the most choline had almost 10% lower homocysteine.(9)

The best way to get more choline is to eat one of the “taboo” foods modern nutritionists tell you to stay away from – animal meat and eggs. You can also find smaller amounts of choline in cod, cauliflower, avocados, and bananas.

To supplement, look for choline citrate. In my view, it’s the best way to get high levels of choline, and there are no side effects. You need at least 425 mg of choline a day as a woman; 550 mg if you’re a man.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

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Resources:
1. Levy D, Hwang S, et. al. “Associations of plasma natriuretic peptide, adrenomedullin, and homocysteine levels with alterations in arterial stiffness: the Framingham Heart Study,” Circulation 2007; 115(24):3079-85
2. Richards J, et. al. “Homocysteine levels and leukocyte telomere length.” Atherosclerosis. 2008;200(2):271-7.
3. Zhang W, Hui R, Yang S. “Telomeres, cardiovascular aging, and potential intervention for cellular senescence.” Sci China Life Sci. 2014;57(8):858-62.
4. Samani NJ, et al. “Telomere shortening in atherosclerosis.” Lancet. 2001;358(9280):472-3.
5. van der Harst P, et al. “Telomere length of circulating leukocytes is decreased in patients with chronic heart failure.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007; 49(13):1459-64.
6. McCarty M, Thomas C. “The Vascular Toxicity of Homocysteine and How to Control It.” Linus Pauling Inst. lpi.oregonstate.edu. Retrieved Nov 6, 2014.
7. Zhang D, Wen X, Wu W, Xu E, Zhang Y, Cui W. “Homocysteine-related hTERT DNA demethylation contributes to shortened leukocyte telomere length in atherosclerosis.” Atherosclerosis. 2013;231(1):1739.
8. Imbard A, et. al. “Plasma choline and betaine correlate with serum folate, plasma S-adenosyl-methionine and S-adenosyl-homocysteine in healthy volunteers.” Clin Chem Lab Med. 2013;51(3):683-92.
9.Lee J, Jacques P, Dougherty L, Selhub J, Giovannucci E, Zeisel S, Cho E. “Are dietary choline and betaine intakes determinants of total homocysteine concentration?” Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1303-10.

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Heart Health, Good Fats, Grass-fed Lamb

The 4 Food Keys To Ultimate Health

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Dec 04, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetBroth

In our modern world, prescriptions, procedures and doctor visits are the norm. In fact, according to the CDC:

•    1.2 billion annual visits to physician’s offices, outpatient and hospitals are made each year
•    Almost 49% of Americans are using at least one prescription drug
•    75% of doctor visits involve drug therapy

But it wasn’t always this way.

Looking back less than 100 years ago chronic disease and prescription drug use were rare.

And while our society has advanced in many ways, some “advancements” have come at a high cost – namely, our collective health.

Ancestral Genetics Versus Modern Food  

Ask many people the reason for an increase in chronic disease and they will tell you it’s our genes. They’re partly right. Our genes have changed. But most of the negative consequences we face are the repercussions of a modern diet on ancestral genes.

And while we may be genetically predisposed to chronic diseases – like diabetes, heart disease and cancer – it’s our environment and our dietary choices that turn latent risk into reality.

In her book, Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, Dr. Catherine Shanahan, MD states that two modern ingredients are wreaking the most havoc on our genes – vegetable oil and sugar.

In looking at traditional cultures versus modern ones, Deep Nutrition makes the connection between the common consumption of these foods - coupled with an absence of traditional foods in the diet - and a wide number of disorders including:

•    Birth Defects
•    Heart Disease
•    Cancer
•    Infertility and Sexual Dysfunction
•    Hormone Imbalance
•    Joint Problems
•    Cellulite and many more.

While avoiding sugar and vegetable oil are imperative for optimal health, it is equally important that we return to the ancestral foods that promote optimal genetic expression.

Reprogram Your Health With These 4 Pillars

This begins with consuming the native fats our ancestors enjoyed.

Tallow, lard, duck fat, grass-fed cheese and butter, and of course, naturally-raised meats are all excellent sources of saturated fats and cholesterol that provide a variety of health benefits including: increasing the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins, reducing inflammation and free radicals, promoting healthy blood sugar balance and keeping the brain nourished and growing – from conception to old age.

In addition to returning to these health-giving fats, Deep Nutrition points to the “Four Pillars of World Cuisine.” These are the foods that promote bulletproof health in traditional and primitive cultures like the Hunzas and the Maasai.  Despite the culinary and geographical differences in the various cultures studied, these groups of people shared superior health and a pattern of dietary consumption that included the following four foods:

#1 - Meat on the Bone

Not only does cooking meat on the bone make for a deliciously-flavored meal, it also provides more nutrients, thanks to the inclusion of fat, bone, marrow, skin and other connective tissue.
As meat on the bone cooks, it releases a special family of nutrients called glycosaminoglycans which promote joint and cellular health and restoration.

When choosing meat on the bone – from bone-in chicken breasts and drumsticks, to French ribeye, T-bone and bone-in roasts of all varieties - be sure to keep it moist and do not overcook or char your meats. This can creates harmful heat by-products and reduces the nutrient value too.  

And don’t forget the fat! That means enjoying all of the marrow, making bone broth and letting your meat bathe in the nutrient-rich fat that accompanies it.

#2 - Organ Meats

The “off fall” – or all of the pieces of the animal excluding muscle meats – was highly prized in traditional cultures. But unfortunately in today’s fare, these bits are typically discarded.
By avoiding these parts of the animal, we not only miss out on their rich flavors, but also some of the most nutrient dense superfoods on the planet!

For optimal health, be sure to include organ meats – including liver, heart, kidney, tripe, tongue, thymus and others - in your diet.

#3 – Fermented & Sprouted Foods

Fermenting and sprouting liberates nutrients and neutralizes compounds that can be harmful or problematic. It also increases the bioavailability of vitamins and provides important probiotics that are needed for digestive and immune health and which are sorely lacking in our diets.
Include a serving of fermented or sprouted foods in your diet daily. Try lacto-fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and raw cultured dairy.

#4 – Fresh & Raw Foods

Eating greens, herbs and spices, picked at the peak of freshness, as well as raw milk made from grass-fed cows, is the final pillar of health. These foods provide a wealth of antioxidant nutrients that work in synergy with each other to produce a wide range of health benefits.
No matter where you are today with your health, no matter what genetic predispositions or “risk factors” you may have, following these four pillars of nutrition will help to imbue your body with the “genetic wealth” that confers powerful protection from chronic illness and age-related decline.

If you haven’t already started following the principles of ancestral health – now is the time. In addition to regular exercise and restorative sleep, these four pillars won’t just make you feel better, but they’ll keep you looking young to boot!

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the author of the brand new book Better Breads – which includes information you need to know about why it is so important to avoid wheat and grains in your diet, plus how to use healthy replacements for these foods to create all the breads you love… without the gluten, carbs and health-harming effects. Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

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REFERENCES
1.    Shanahan, Catherine MD., Shanahan, Luke.  Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. Big Box Books. 2009
2.    CDC, Ambulatory Care Use and Physician office visits
3.    CDC, Therapeutic Drug Use   

Topics: Paleo, Heart Health, Good Fats

Lost Secret to Better Vision

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:20 AM

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDSalmon

Ancient cultures knew the value of the whole, fresh foods they ate, and what to do with them. Like eating fish for better eyesight. Unfortunately, this way of looking at things with an eye on nature has been discarded and forgotten.

Today, we have all of these individualized categories of study being looked at by very smart people. But we’re not as smart as we think. The people who interpret the information often don’t apply wisdom.

And their attempts to outsmart nature run into predictable problems.

Vitamin A was the first vitamin isolated and studied by modern science. And until a few years ago, it was mainstream advice to only take vitamin A for your eyes.

Then we discovered a natural vitamin A precursor called beta-carotene. Pick up any multi-vitamin formula today and you’ll see beta-carotene. But that turned out not to be a complete solution either. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, and can protect your own photosystem – your eyes – by turning to vitamin A. The problem is that if your body has enough vitamin A, it won’t convert beta-carotene.

Today, we are finding other carotenoids that are not only better than Vitamin A but better than beta-carotene. In fact, they’re up to 100 times more powerful.

So it’s a good thing we’re so smart now, and we don’t just recommend pure vitamin A or pure beta-carotene as the total solution. Because what you really need are these other carotenoids… right?

Not so fast…

My instinct is that we’re still only catching a very thin slice of that pie. The truth is they’re going to find a whole bunch more things next year or in ten years.

What we should learn from this is, the first thing you should do is get the right nutrients in as close to their native form as possible, rather than get them in a refined or processed form.

You’re always better off eating whole foods like wild-caught fish to get a baseline of nutrients for your eyes. Because your eyes depend on good, balanced nutrition, just like the rest of your body does.

If you give your eyes the building blocks and maintenance materials they need most, you can reverse many of the common symptoms of vision loss. And you may also prevent the major causes of blindness – glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, or macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye problem related to age. It’s a disruption of nerves in the retina. This disruption causes loss of sight. AMD is one the leading causes of blindness in older people.

Researchers from the National Eye Institute found that it’s not just carotenoids or vitamin A that helps fish protect your eyes. DHA, one of the omega-3 fats found in fish, supports the nerves in the retina. Their study looked at over 4,500 people ages 60-80 and found that people who ate two servings of high-DHA fish a week were 50% less likely to develop AMD that those who ate no fish.(1)

Another study performed by Harvard’s Schepens Eye Institute found that the DHA in fish protects you from dry eye syndrome. When a person’s eyes do not make enough moisture, the dryness can damage the cornea.

The study followed over 32,000 people. Those who ate more fish had up to 66% less chance of developing dry eye syndrome.

Wild cold-water fish like pollock, salmon, and sardines, as well as calamari, give you the most DHA. And if you eat those, or a good quality fish like wild-caught salmon a couple times a week, it should keep your eyes in top condition.

Our primal ancestors knew this through thousands of years of practice. Native Americans would eat the eyes out of the fish for better eyesight. Today we know that it’s not just vitamin A but that DHA collects in the vital organs of the fish.

However, in today’s world, we’ve lost that knowledge, and have gone very far from nature. We started to “grow” fish in man-made ponds, feeding them foods that are not native to their diet.

This has produced fish that are too high in omega-6, with little omega-3 and almost no DHA.

So while I recommend food as the most natural way to get your nutrients, and a supplement should never replace whole fresh foods … it’s very hard to get enough DHA from fresh fish alone.

I used to recommend cod liver oil as a supplemental source of DHA. But a much more bioavailable and concentrated source is krill oil. Krill’s DHA is in the phospholipid form instead of cod liver’s triglyceride form. So the DHA can cross cell membranes better and get deep into the tiny blood vessels of your eyes.

Try to get at least 500mg of DHA per day, and if you can, get it from a pure source of krill oil.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

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Resources:

1. SanGiovanni J, Chew E, et. al. “The relationship of dietary omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake with incident age-related macular degeneration: AREDS report no. 23.” Arch Ophthalmol. 2008;126(9):1274-9.

Topics: Heart Health, Good Fats, Seafood

Is Your Probiotic Harming Your Health?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 @ 03:12 PM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetProbiotic Yogurt

Probiotics have become one of the most widely-used nutritional supplements on the market. According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, sales of probiotic ingredients, supplements and foods are estimated to reach $38 billion by 2018.

And while more and more people are turning to fermented foods and probiotics to improve digestive health, there’s something important you should know: Your probiotic could actually worsen your digestive symptoms and harm your health.

Research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that 84 percent of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also suffer from harmful overgrowth of a specific type of gut bacteria.

This overgrowth – called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) – is responsible for a host of digestive and systemic health symptoms including:

•    Bloating, belching and gas
•    Cramping, constipation and diarrhea
•    Headaches
•    Fatigue and fibromyalgia
•    Rashes and skin disorders
•    Irritability, unstable moods and depression
•    Asthma
•    Joint Pain

But what causes SIBO?

Risk Factors and Testing for SIBO

While our large intestine is teeming with bacteria – up to 100 billion per teaspoon of fluid – the small shouldn’t contain much at all.

But stress, infections (including H. pylori and food poisoning) and even a simple irritation of the gut lining from food intolerances or allergies can cause functional changes that lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

Over time, displaced bacteria in the small intestine multiply. And if you are taking probiotic supplements or foods, your SIBO can worsen – compounding digestive distress and contributing to an array of seemingly unrelated health issues.

Unfortunately, diagnosing SIBO can be a challenge. It is often overlooked by conventional practitioners or misdiagnosed as another digestive ailment.

The good news is that there’s a simple, non-invasive test that can help. Considered the “gold standard” in diagnosing SIBO, the Breath Test (or lactulose breath test) involves drinking a sugar-rich solution and then measuring hydrogen gases and methane produced by bacteria.
Once you are tested and have been diagnosed with SIBO, you can begin the healing process.

Natural Treatments for SIBO

While SIBO must often be treated with antibiotics (including Metronidazole and Rifraximin), many people find relief with a combination of diet and natural remedies.
What kind of diet is best for SIBO?

Not surprisingly, the best diet to effectively treat SIBO is very similar to the diet enjoyed by our ancestors – rich in healthy native fats and gut-healing gelatin and free from simple sugars and grains. It is also low in fruit and starchy vegetables. This restricts the fermentable food sources for the bacteria. The protocol set forth in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (or SCD) is ideal for this.

While starving the bacteria is a step in the right direction, complete relief and healing from SIBO also typically requires some “heavy artillery” to kill off the colonies that are residing in the small intestine.

As mentioned earlier, antibiotics can certainly play this role, and are effective at doing so. The downside is that antibiotics also kill the healthy bacteria in the large intestine, which can promote an overgrowth of yeast (Candida) leading to an assortment of unpleasant or harmful side effects.

Luckily, natural, non-prescription alternatives do exist: Cinnamon, olive leaf, peppermint oil, echinacea, garlic, wormwood, goldenseal, grapefruit seed extract (GSE), ginger, cat’s claw, oregano oil and barberry have all been shown to effectively help treat SIBO.

With this being said, it is very important to work with a skilled clinician to create a healing protocol that is right for you. These substances are potent and can be harmful if used in improper amounts or for a prolonged period of time.

Achieving Digestive Health: More Isn’t Always Better

As a flood of new probiotic supplements and foods become available, remember this important point…

More is not always better.

Achieving optimal health is about finding your body’s natural state of balance. If you think you may have SIBO, default to the native diet enjoyed by our ancestors and work with a natural-minded practitioner to help fine-tune your diet and get your digestion back in balance naturally.

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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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REFERENCES
1.    Lin HC. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: a framework for understanding irritable bowel syndrome.JAMA. 2004 Aug 18;292(7):852-8.
2.    Mönnikes H1, Tebbe JJ, Hildebrandt M, Arck P, Osmanoglou E, Rose M, Klapp B, Wiedenmann B, Heymann-Mönnikes I. Role of stress in functional gastrointestinal disorders. Evidence for stress-induced alterations in gastrointestinal motility and sensitivity. Dig Dis. 2001;19(3):201-11.
3.    Savarino E, et al. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and Helicobacter pylori: can they be cause of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease? Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jun;106(6):1171-2; author reply 1172. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.106.
4.    Posserud I1, Stotzer PO, Björnsson ES, Abrahamsson H, Simrén Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2007 Jun;56(6):802-8. Epub 2006 Dec 5.
5.    Sachdev AH1, Pimentel M. Antibiotics for irritable bowel syndrome: rationale and current evidence. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2012 Oct;14(5):439-45. doi: 10.1007/s11894-012-0284-2.
6.    Logan AC, Beaulne TM. The treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth with enteric-coated peppermint oil: a case report. Altern Med Rev. 2003 Feb;8(1):3.
7.    Pimentel M, Wallace D, Hallegua D, Chow E, Kong Y, Park S, Lin HC. A link between irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia may be related to findings on lactulose breath testing. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Apr;63(4):450-2.
8.    Pimentel M, Chow EJ, Lin HC. Eradication of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Dec;95(12):3503-6
9.    de Boissieu D, Chaussain M, Badoual J, Raymond J, Dupont C. Small-bowel bacterial overgrowth in children with chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, or both. J Pediatr. 1996 Feb;128(2):203-7.
10.    Musumeci R, Speciale A, Costanzo R, Annino A, Ragusa S, Rapisarda A, Pappalardo MS, Iauk L. Berberis aetnensis C. Presl. extracts: antimicrobial properties and interaction with ciprofloxacin. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003 Jul;22(1):48-53.
11.    Optimal Digestion: New Strategies For Achieving Digestive Health. Edited by Trent W. Nichols, M.D. and Nancy Faass, MSW, MPH. Avon Books, 1999.


Topics: Good Fats