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

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

TREAT CONTROLS BLOOD SUGAR BETTER THAN DIABETES DRUGS

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 12:21 PM

More than 29 million Americans are currently diagnosed with Diabetes Definitiondiabetes, with an additional eight million un-diagnosed. To make matters worse, it’s estimated that 86 million Americans have the symptoms of “pre-diabetes” and that close to half (40%) of the American population will develop diabetes during their lifetime!

But it’s not just people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who should be concerned about blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar within a healthy range is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, weight gain, hormonal issues, certain cancers and more.

As you can imagine, the diabetes industry is a big business. It is estimated that over $176 billion is spent each year on diabetes medications and care alone. Billions more are spent on medical devices and so-called “diabetic-safe” industrial foods, many of which actually promote or worsen blood sugar control due to their high levels of sugar, artificial sweeteners (like sucralose and aspartame) and harmful fats (including trans fats and processed seed oils).
With all of these harmful drugs, fake pharma-foods, expensive gadgets (and the mass media and marketing surrounding them), many people with blood sugar issues feel pressure from their physicians, family and friends to “get with the program”. Unfortunately, this typically means taking a prescription medication (or three).

But recent research shows that a simple, healthy, drinkable addition to your meals may not only stabilize blood sugar enough to prevent post-meal blood sugar surges… this tasty treat may even be powerful enough to reduce the need for diabetes medications altogether.

So, what is this tasty treat?

The Blood-Sugar Balancing Shake

Well, not just any shake – a shake made with whey protein.

Researchers at Wolfson Medical Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem evaluated 15 diabetic patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received 50 grams of whey protein in 250 ml of water and a high-glycemic breakfast (three slices of white bread with sugar jelly). The second only ate the blood-sugar spiking white bread stack with jelly.

Blood samples were taken before the meal, when the whey protein was taken, and at specific intervals after the meal. The researchers found that blood sugar levels were reduced after the meal by an impressive 28 percent in the participants who consumed the whey shake. What’s more, the whey shake group also enjoyed a 105 percent increase in insulin release and 141 percent higher levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) – a gut hormone that stimulates insulin secretion. All in all, the whey shake group enjoyed a 96 percent improvement in early insulin response compared to the control group.

The lead researcher on the study, Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz, said:

“What’s remarkable is that consuming whey protein before meals reduces the blood sugar spikes seen after meals. It also improves the body’s insulin response, putting it in the same range or even higher than that produced by novel anti-diabetic drugs.

Eat Wisely, Move Often, Add Whey Protein

When it comes to controlling your blood sugar - or even reversing diabetes - focus on lifestyle and diet first.

Move your body. Get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. And base your meals around the low-carb, grain-free, healthy-fat foods that are known to naturally regulate blood sugar and metabolism, including grass-fed beef, bison and lamb, pastured poultry and wild fish, with as many of the above-ground veggies you can eat.

And for even more blood-sugar balancing power and nutrition, add a delicious shake made with non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein before a meal.

We would like to hear from you.  Have you overcome a blood sugar challenge or a diagnosis of diabetes? If so, how did you do it?

_______________________________________________________________________________

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 and Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads…

_______________________________________________________________________________

REFERENCES
1.    American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes. Taken from National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014  http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
2.    Gregg, E., Zhuo, X., Cheng, Y. Trends in lifetime risk and years of life lost due to diabetes in the USA, 1985–2011: a modelling study. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2014
3.    Wild, S. Roglic, G., Green, A, et al. Global Prevalence of Diabetes. Estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care, Volume 7, No. 5, May 2004.
4.    USA Today. Diabetes care costs nation $245 billion annually. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/06/diabetes-care-cost/1965185/
5.    Daniela Jakubowicz, Oren Froy, Bo Ahrén, Mona Boaz, Zohar Landau, Yosefa Bar-Dayan, Tali Ganz, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein. Incretin, insulinotropic and glucose-lowering effects of whey protein pre-load in type 2 diabetes: a randomised clinical trial. Diabetologia, 2014; 57 (9)
6.    Pepino MY, Tiemann CD, Patterson BW, Wice BM, Klein S. Sucralose affects glycemic and hormonal responses to an oral glucose load. Diabetes Care. 2013 Sep;36(9):2530-5.
7.    Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira, G. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6.

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

US Wellness Meats Farmers & Partners!

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 @ 04:40 PM

When US Wellness Meats was founded back in 2000, we were raising and selling our grass-fed beef products only.  After a few short years in business we realized we needed to widen our horizons as there are so many other great products we could be offering!  So we started to branch out into grass-fed dairy and lamb products, and things continued to grow from there.  We would not be the company we are today without the other amazing farmers and producers who contribute to our business.  Continue reading to learn more about our incredible partners...   

Beef: Our founding farms are located in the heart of the Midwest.  Most of our current production comes from three of the founding members of the company located in Northeast Missouri and West Central Illinois.  Our cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished and do not receive any starch (grains) in their diet.  Every beef product- from the steaks to franks and ground beef meets this same criteria.  We do not feed any antibiotics or hormones and do not use any pesticides or herbicides on our pastures.  Besides our founding farms, we also source from a few private farms throughout the United States and through our partnership with grass-fed farmers in Tasmania.  Currently, our cattle farms are located in Missouri, Illinois, Alabama, Montana, and Tasmania.  We enjoy long summers with abundant rainfall to keep our pastures green most of the year.  We bale plenty of those warm weather grasses in the summer so the cattle enjoy those same grasses when snow is on the ground in the Midwest region. 

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A small group of Tasmanian farmers came to the US for tours of our farms many years ago, which led to the formation of this unique partnership.  Tasmania is the ideal place for grass-fed production due to their temperate climate.  This island is the ideal place for grazing animals as they have a temperate climate and plenty of rainfall that allows for grazing year round, and no hormones or GMOs are allowed on the island.  They are raising their cattle to the exact standards as we are: 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, not fed any antibiotics or hormones, and the farmers do not use any fertilizer or pesticides on their pastures. 
 
We started sourcing product from Tasmania because there are certain cuts that the animal only has so many of - such as skirts, flanks and hangar steaks, and were always running short.  So we turned to our friends from Tasmania for some of these cuts, which they were able to provide.  These primals are going through the aging process while they are on the ship here, and they are then processed at the same processing facility here in the US as all of our other beef cuts.  If a product is currently sourcing from our Tasmania product, it will have that information on the product description, such as the Flank Steak.  If a product is domestic, it won't have that disclaimer, like the Sirloin Tip Steaks

Click here to learn more about the farm in picturesque Tasmania.   tasmania, grass-fed beef

Bison: Our bison are roaming around the open pastures of the Dakotas and Northern Plains and our farmers there are dedicated to improving the native grasses of the area, and ensuring the natural way of life bison have been accustomed to for decades.  NorthStar Bison in Wisconsin and Wild Idea in South Dakota raise their bison on 100% native prairie grasses, without chemicals, hormones, pesticides or grain.  All our bison is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.

grass-fed buffalo, grass-fed bison
PorkAll of our pork products are GAP-certified, meaning they are raised in the best conditions possible.  Our pork comes from Heritage Acres which is a group of small, local Missouri and Kansas farmers providing the finest quality, antibiotic-free pork. You can read more details on our pork blog, including information on the pigs diet which is 100% vegetarian feed.  They receive no added hormones and are antibiotic free. 

Since pigs have a single stomach, they cannot be raised on grass along and are supplemented with a conventional, 100% vegetarian diet that includes corn and soy.  Since January 2015, the feed is non-GMO.  All our current inventory is from pigs fed a non-GMO diet.

None of our pork products are processed with or include nitrates or nitrites. 

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Poultry: We source our free range chicken products from a few poultry farms throughout the US .  The free range chickens enjoy plenty of fresh air and sunshine while maturing at their natural pace.  Raising chickens in this way takes a little longer with our birds reach marketable weights in 6-10 weeks as opposed to the industry standard of 6 weeks.  Currently, we source from farms located in: South Carolina (bundles shipped directly from the farm), Arkansas, California, and Florida.

Once mature enough, the chickens are outside on pasture during the day where they can scratch in the soil, eat green plants and whatever bugs they find.  For their protection from predators such as foxes and coyotes, the chickens are moved indoors at night.
 
Because chickens have a single stomach, they cannot be raised on grass and foraging skills alone.  Their diets are supplemented with a conventional poultry diet which includes corn and soy.  This all natural feed contains no antibiotics, hormones or animal by products.

We have converted nearly all our poultry options to a non-GMO feed ration.  Any selection that is GMO free will specifically be stated in the online description, such as our free-range chicken wings.

Due to growing interest and frequent customer requests, Maypop Farm also started raising soy-free chickens in the summer of 2011.  These selections may be found in our soy free category.  The only soy-free chicken products we currently offer will have "soy free" in the item description and ship directly from our South Carolina poultry farm.  The soy-free chicken feed is non-GMO and does contain corn.  Maypop Farm in Darlington, South Carolina also raises all of our free range 20 pound chicken bundles and ships those direct from the farm

The following poultry options are free range, but not GMO free: South Carolina chicken bundles (except for the Soy Free bundles, which are GMO free) and Chicken Braunschweiger.

The following poultry options are not free range or GMO free: Turkey Jerky, Chicken Sausages, and Turkey Provolone Sausage.  These selections are free roam and antibiotic free from birth.  The diet for these chickens is a conventional poultry diet which includes corn and soy.

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Duck: We source our ducks from upstate New York.  All of our Pekin Ducks are free range and enjoy a non-gmo diet free of growth hormones and antibiotics. 

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Rabbit: Our rabbits are sourced from a farm in Missouri.  Rabbits are fed pellets containing alfalfa, soybean hull and a mixture of various grains and minerals.  We cannot claim 100% non-GMO for the rabbit feed.  The rabbits are not given growth hormones or antibiotics.

Dairy: We are very lucky to be able to source grass-fed dairy products, without any added growth hormones.  We have two different Amish dairies- one in Indiana, the other in Pennsylvania, who supply us with raw, grass-fed cheese.  The ingredients in our raw cheeses (except unsalted cheddar) are: milk, cultures, sea salt (either Redmond or Celtic - depends on variety), and rennet.  We do not feed any antibiotics or hormones to any of our animals, and all of our cattle - both beef cattle and dairy cows are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished, so they are not consuming any grains throughout their lives.  They are grazing on pastures free of any sprayed fertilizers or pesticides.

The cheeses are not certified organic, but we are sourcing all of them from a group of Amish farmers, raising their animals the same way our ancestors did years ago - very organically, but not certified

Lamb: Our lamb is raised in Oregon and southern Missouri on a 100% grass-fed diet devoid of any chemicals, hormones, pesticides or grain.  The lamb enjoy lush pastures and plenty of rainfall.   

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Seafood: Our seafood products come from Vital Choice located in the state of Washington, one of the premier wild-caught seafood providers in the country.  Their products are certified sustainable, and most products are caught off the west coast and surrounding waters.  The only exception is our wild-caught raw shrimp which are harvested in the Pacific Ocean and processed in the United States. They are wild-caught and chemical free. 
 
We have carefully collaborated with like-minded farmers and individuals that hold their products to the same standards we believe in for our company.  Long story short, we have built our business over the many years while respecting our animals and our environment.  We enjoy the products, just like our customers, so it remains our goal to offer the best selection possible.  

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Product Information, Pork, Grass-fed Lamb, Seafood, Our Farms, Free-Range Poultry, Misc Info

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

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

Zinc Deficiency: An Epidemic?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, May 08, 2014 @ 09:43 AM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetShrimp

When you think of the health benefits of zinc, you probably think of immune health first. Zinc supplements are the first thing many of us turn to when we feel a cold or flu coming on. And for good reason, because zinc is essential for a well-functioning immune system. But the benefits of this vital mineral go far beyond helping to ward off the common cold.

In fact, zinc is vital to your brain – for learning and consolidating memories and helping to regulate your mood. It has also been found to boost heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, support the gastrointestinal system and reduce leaky gut, enhance athletic performance and even support hormonal health and fertility.

Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of this crucial nutrient. According to the World Health Organization one-third of the world’s population – over 2 billion people – are deficient in zinc.

And while it is estimated that only 1 in 10 Americans are technically considered “zinc deficient,” a much higher percentage are still grossly insufficient.

And one of the primary causes is a grain-rich diet.

Zinc Binders in Grains Promote Deficiency

Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, the USDA still recommends grain-based foods as the foundation of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, as it relates to zinc, a grain-based diet is rich in copper, lignans and phytates – three compounds that can dramatically reduce the bioavailability and absorption of zinc.

And while many grain-based foods are fortified with zinc to improve their nutritional profile (on paper), research shows that zinc-fortified foods do not necessarily increase serum concentrations of zinc in the body.

What’s more, the forms of zinc that are most often used for fortification – including zinc oxide and zinc sulfate – are inorganic forms of the mineral, which are poorly absorbed.

But that’s not all… lifestyle factors and your own health status can also play a role in the levels of zinc in your body.

Are You Living a Zinc Deficient Lifestyle?

Excess consumption of sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and other competing minerals (including calcium, iron and copper) can all reduce zinc levels or increase your body’s requirement of it. Stress, infections, low stomach acid and certain medications can do the same thing.

Pregnant and nursing mothers should also be especially vigilant about zinc levels, as deficiencies are commonly associated with the bodily changes that come with pregnancy. And this is critical, because zinc deficiencies during pregnancy and lactation have been linked to miscarriage, low birth weight, and developmental problems in children.

And if you are vegetarian (or worse, vegan), your risk of a zinc deficiency is increased dramatically. That’s because about 44% of the zinc in the American diet comes from meat, fish and poultry. Even well-planned vegetarian diets fall short on zinc, according to research performed at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The ARS study also showed that 21 percent less zinc was absorbed from a vegetarian diet compared to an omnivorous one.

Add this decreased absorption to the lower zinc content of a vegetarian diet and you have a prescription for deficiency.

So How Much Zinc is Enough?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc is currently 8-11 mg. However, like most RDA values, nutritional experts believe this is only a minimum acceptable level, at best.

In fact, studies show that our Paleolithic ancestors consumed an average of 43 mg of zinc per day from grain-free, legume-free, whole-food sources – the most bioavailable forms.

Today, modern Americans consume roughly 10 mg daily. But remember – it’s what you absorb that matters. If only 15 to 35 percent of the zinc you consume is absorbed (which is common) then you are likely deficient.  

With all of the factors that influence zinc metabolism, and the highly processed diets that most people consume, it’s easy to see how a deficiency in this critical nutrient has become epidemic.

And though it doesn’t get the press it deserves, you can be sure that this has negatively impacted the health and quality of life of millions. The authors of a review on zinc and human health, published in the Archives of Toxicology state:

“Zinc is an essential element whose significance to health is increasingly appreciated and whose deficiency may play an important role in the appearance of diseases.”

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

One reason why this epidemic goes unnoticed is because the symptoms of zinc deficiency are diverse and can be attributed to numerous other factors. These symptoms can include:
 
•    Acne
•    Anxiety
•    Asthma
•    Behavior Changes
•    Chronic Diarrhea
•    Dandruff
•    Delayed Wound Healing
•    Depression
•    Diarrhea
•    Fatigue
•    Frequent Infection
•    Hair Loss
•    Headaches
•    Impaired Memory
•    Joint Pain
•    Learning Disabilities
•    Loss Of Appetite And Taste Perception
•    Sensitive Skin
•    Severe PMS
•    Skin And Respiratory Allergy
•    Slowed Sexual Maturation
•    Unhealthy Weight Loss Caused By Loss Of Appetite
•    Vision Problems
•    White Spots In The Fingernails
 
The Most Absorbable Food Sources of Zinc

The best sources of zinc are the same foods our ancestors enjoyed including, grass-fed meats, wild seafood, and pastured poultry.

Food Serving Mg of Zinc
Oysters 3 oz 154 mg
Beef Liver 3 oz 4.5 mg
Beef 4 oz 4 mg
Lamb 4 oz 3.9 mg
Lobster 3 oz 3.4 mg
Pork 3 oz 2.9 mg
Duck Liver 3 oz 2.7 mg
Chicken 3 oz 2.4 mg
Chicken Liver 3 oz 2.1 mg
Turkey 4 oz 2 mg
Shrimp 4 oz 1.9 mg
Scallops 4 oz 1.8 mg

In addition to these foods being high in zinc (and devoid of zinc-binding substances that reduce its absorption), they are also rich in a compound known to boost zinc absorption: Protein!

Another effective way to increase zinc absorption? Add a grass-fed whey protein shake to your meals.  Whey protein is rich in cysteine and methionine – two amino acids that enhance zinc absorption.

You can also include zinc-rich nuts and seeds including pumpkin seeds (1 oz, 3 mg), cashews (1 oz, 1.6 mg), and almonds (1 oz, 0.9 mg) to boost your intake. But be sure to soak them to reduce the phytates that make zinc inaccessible to the body. (Better Than Roasted does the work for you… and they taste great!)

Because zinc supplementation can interfere with other important nutrients in the body, and most zinc supplements are poorly absorbed, it’s best to rely on getting this important nutrient from the whole food sources listed above.

And if you think you may have a zinc deficiency, simple and inexpensive tests are widely available. Often correcting low stomach acid with betaine HCL can dramatically increase the absorption of zinc and other nutrients you get from your food – no synthetic supplements required. As always, talk with your doctor.


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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.    Michael Hambidge. Human Zinc Deficiency J. Nutr. May 1, 2000 vol. 130 no. 5 1344S-1349S
2.    Sturniolo GC1, Di Leo V, Ferronato A, D'Odorico A, D'Incà R. Zinc supplementation tightens "leaky gut" in Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2001 May;7(2):94-8.
3.    Zinc: Dietary Supplement Facts by CDC
4.    Chasapis CT, Loutsidou AC, Spiliopoulou CA, Stefanidou ME. Zinc and human health: an update. Arch Toxicol. 2012 Apr;86(4):521-34. doi: 10.1007/s00204-011-0775-1. Epub 2011 Nov 10.
5.    Prasad AS. Discovery of human zinc deficiency: 50 years later. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2012 Jun;26(2-3):66-9.
6.    Hess SY1, Brown KH. Impact of zinc fortification on zinc nutrition. Food Nutr Bull. 2009 Mar;30(1 Suppl):S79-107.
7.    Brown KH1, Wessells KR, Hess SY. Zinc bioavailability from zinc-fortified foods. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2007 May;77(3):174-81.
8.    "Vegetarians, Watch Your Zinc!”. March 1998 , Agricultural Research magazine.
9.    Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd. Paleolithic vs. modern diets—selected pathophysiological implications. Eur J Nutr. 2000 Apr;39(2):67-70.
10.    Cordain L. The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups. JANA. 2002;5(3):15-24.
11.    Cordain L, Brand Miller J, Eaton SB, Mann N, Holt SHA, Speth JD. Plant to animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, 71:682-92.
12.    King JC. Does zinc absorption reflect zinc status? Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2010 Oct;80(4-5):300-6.
13.    Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Zinc. Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001:442-501.
14.    Prasad AS. Zinc deficiency in humans: a neglected problem. J Am Coll Nutr. 1998;17(6):542-543.
15.    Wapnir RA, Stiel L. Zinc intestinal absorption in rats: specificity of amino acids as ligands. The Journal of Nutrition [1986, 116(11):2171-2179]
16.    Kassarjian, Z., Russell, R. Hypochlorhydria: A Factor in Nutrition. Annual Reviews of Nutrition. 1989. 9, 271-285.
17.    Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21

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

The #1 Kitchen Tool You Need to Save Time and Money this Holiday Season

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 01:10 PM

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetCrockPot

With the holidays upon us, there are two things that most of us could use a lot more of: time and money. Today, I’ll show you how to save both time and money… and still eat like a king.

Unfortunately, many people think that eating right requires an array of chef skills, a big budget and spending hours upon hours in the kitchen. But nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, with the help of one simple and inexpensive tool, you can feed your family the healthiest foods that money can buy. And you can prepare them in the time it takes to order takeout… for about the same price per serving.

All you need is a slow cooker!

The Easy, Old-Fashioned Way to Be a Great Cook

Slow cookers reached their peak popularity when they were introduced in the 1970s. Nearly every house in the suburbs had a Crock-Pot on the countertop. Over the years, this healthy and super-simple way of cooking became passé.

Thankfully, the versatile slow cooker has made a resurgence in recent years. And for good reason!

With little more than a few cups of liquid or sliced veggies, a sprinkle of seasoning or a pour of sauce, a slow cooker can turn even the toughest cuts of meat into buttery, fork-tender morsels.

Best of all, the slow cooker provides unparalleled convenience. Simply add your ingredients, turn the dial to low and come home to a moist, flavorful, nutrient-rich meal ready to dish up for your family.

Elegant, Fuss-Free Party Fare

And if you’re planning holiday parties this season – don’t overlook the many benefits a slow cooker can provide…

Not only will it free up your oven and stove top for other uses, but using the slow cooker almost guarantees a succulent, fuss-free meal that will take center stage at your table.

From beef and bison… to pork, lamb, chicken (and even seafood!), there’s no limit to the festive and delicious dishes you can create. Here are some of the best cuts of meat (and a few recipe ideas) for your slow cooker:
 
•    Lamb Shoulder: The rich flavor of lamb is perfect for the low, moist heat in a slow cooker. Add fresh sprigs of rosemary, lemon slices and juice, and chopped garlic for a Mediterranean-inspired meal with just five minutes of prep time.

•    Grass-Fed Beef & Bison Roasts: Make succulent fork-tender beef recipes like Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon, hearty brisket and spiced corned beef, and simple shredded beef for Paleo French Dip Sandwiches with budget-friendly roasts.

•    Grass-Fed Ground Beef: From a delicious Italian meal of Slow Cooker Bolognese with spaghetti squash, to German Meatballs and Cuban Picadillo, the slow cooker will make all of your favorite ground beef recipes simpler… and more delicious.

•    Gourmet Pork Shoulder & Sirloin: From traditional pork barbeque to Slow Cooker Tuscan Pork Loin Roast and Carnitas, all of your recipes using pork shoulder and sirloin turn out moist and juicy.   

And the options don’t end there. Your favorite ribs and chicken drumsticks will be “fall-off-the-bone” tender in the slow cooker. And if you’re a seafood lover, Cioppino and Shrimp Etouffee are two you have to try!

Now that you know the many ways the slow cooker can add more flavor (and precious time!) to your life, here’s another benefit…

Better Flavor, Healthier Meals

Slow cooking actually makes your meals healthier.

That’s right. Cooking protein-rich foods at high temperatures – even for short periods of time – promotes the formation of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs).

But cooking in a slow cooker – at or below 212 degrees Fahrenheit – creates negligible amounts of HCAs. Cooking “slow and low” also infuses your meat with wonderful flavor, a tender texture, and mouthwatering moisture.

So now that you know the many culinary options you can create, which slow cooker is the best one to choose?

Choosing the Best Slow Cooker

There are a wide array of slow cookers on the market that will suit your budget and needs. Some are more high-tech with programmable options. Others are extremely simple with simple “low” and “high” settings.

One important factor that many people overlook is the material used in the vessel. Many times it is “non-stick” and contains PFOA/PFTE. You should avoid “non-stick” slow cookers as these compounds are hormone disruptors and are linked with certain types of cancers. You should also avoid using plastic liners. They are marketed as a way to achieve a quick cleanup, but they can also leach dangerous compounds into your food.

Opt for a slow-cooker with a ceramic vessel. This will keep your food free from harmful plastic and non-stick chemicals, while still ensuring a speedy cleanup.  

Another important factor is size. The vessel should be at least two-thirds full during cooking. If it isn’t, the meat will cook too rapidly and the results can be dry and overdone. Consider how many people you typically cook for when purchasing a slow cooker.

Finally, here are a few tips for making all of your slow cooker meals turn out perfectly:

•    Brown First, But Only Sometimes: Browning whole cuts of meat prior to adding to the slow cooker is not necessary. However, searing first in a stable fat (like beef tallow) will help the meat develop more complex flavors. For ground meat, brown prior to adding to the slow cooker. This will prevent clumping and allow the meat to absorb flavors more readily.

•    Go Easy on the Liquids: If you want to try your hand at a slow-cooker version of your favorite stovetop recipe, you will need to reduce the liquid. Slow cookers work by maintaining moisture inside of the sealed vessel, so any extra liquid will pool. A good rule of thumb when adapting your stovetop recipes is to decrease liquids by half.

•    Spice Wisely: Pungent whole spices like cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaves can overpower a dish if they are added at the beginning of the cooking time. Be sure to use them sparingly. On the other hand, ground spices, dried and fresh herbs and citrus juices tend to get “washed out” during the long cooking time. Adding these during the last two to three hours of cooking can help ensure your dish has a fresh, flavorful punch.

•    Seal It Up: If your slow cooker doesn’t seal properly, you may find your meals turn out too dry as much of the moisture can escape during cooking. Put a light coat of oil on the lid and inner rim to help ensure your slow cooker seals in the moisture.
   
•    No Peeking! While it’s tempting to peek at the mouthwatering progress inside your slow cooker, try to refrain. Each time you open the lid moisture and heat are lost and the required cooking time increases.

Bringing healthy, budget-friendly and delicious meals to the table needn’t be a chore. With a good slower cooker and your favorite cuts of grass-fed meat, poultry and sustainable seafood, you can create amazing dishes for special occasions…and every night of the week.

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ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is the Founder and Editor of Healing Gourmet the leading provider of organic, sustainable recipes and meal plans for health and weight loss. Be sure to grab Eating Clean & Saving Green: Your Guide to Organic Foods on a Budget and Eat Your Way Into Shape: Flip Your Body's Fat Blasting Switch and Melt 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks (includes a delicious 7 day meal plan!).  Claim your free copies here...

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REFERENCES

1.    Vaughn Barry, Andrea Winquist, and Kyle Steenland Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Exposures and Incident Cancers among Adults Living Near a Chemical Plant Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306615
2.    Jägerstad M, Skog K. Genotoxicity of heat-processed foods. Mutation Research 2005; 574(1–2):156–172
3.    Sugimura T, Wakabayashi K, Nakagama H, Nagao M. Heterocyclic amines: Mutagens/carcinogens produced during cooking of meat and fish. Cancer Science 2004; 95(4):290–299.


Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Pork, Grass-fed Lamb, Seafood

This Mineral Mends Your DNA

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Nov 07, 2013 @ 10:58 AM

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDDNA

Every hour of the day, your cells are under attack. Normally, this is ok because your cells have a built-in DNA repair system that fixes any damage. But when your cells are undernourished, they can lose the ability to repair themselves. And that’s bad news.

Part of the reason for the explosion of cancer in modern times is because we’re not repairing our DNA. Our bodies aren’t getting enough of the nutrients we need to make this process work.

But you can help protect yourself with a simple mineral. I’m talking about zinc.

Zinc helps prevent – and reverse – this damage to your DNA. Studies show that zinc and zinc-containing proteins are some of the most important factors in repairing DNA breaks.(1,2)

And a study by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that supplementing with zinc reverses cell damage.(3)

Add this latest finding to zinc’s list of health benefits:

  • Heart-health booster
  • Essential to your prostate and sexual performance
  • Can prevent pneumonia and speed the recovery from colds
  • Promotes wound healing

I see patients that have dangerously low levels of zinc all the time. As many as 40 percent of older people in the U.S. are deficient.(4)

That’s a shame because it’s easy to get the zinc you need for healthy cells. Zinc is in many foods we eat. Some good food sources of zinc(5) are:

Food Source of Zinc Mg per Serving % of DV
Oysters, raw, 6 medium 33.07 300
Beef Chuck, lean, cooked, 3 oz 8.73 79
Crab, Alaska King, cooked, 3 oz 6.5 59
Lamb Shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 6.21 56
Turkey, cooked, 1 cup 4.32 39
Pork Shoulder, cooked, 3 oz 4.2 38
Unsweetened Chocolate, 1 square 2.73 24
Yogurt, plain skim milk, 8 oz 2.2 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz 1.6 14

 

Your body absorbs about 40% of the zinc in your food. But you still want to eat foods with zinc because it will enter your body in its natural form. And that means it will bring with it all the trace minerals, enzymes, and co-factors that make it work so well in nature.

How much zinc do you need every day? If you go by the U.S. government’s recommended daily intake (RDI), you would only get a tiny amount: 8 mg a day for women and 11 mg per day for men. Even the most of the popular multivitamins you can buy only have 15 mg of zinc in them.

The problem with going by the RDI is that those amounts were established to make sure people got the bare minimum of a nutrient to prevent a dietary deficiency. The RDI has nothing to do with how much of something you should get for optimum health.

At the very least, you need three times the RDI, and twice as much as the average store-bought multivitamin gives you.

I recommend 30 mg a day of zinc if you’re currently healthy. You might need a little more depending on your activities and health. For example for athletes, pregnant women and prostate protection, I recommend 100 mg a day.

Also, it’s very important to stay away from high fructose corn syrup. Ingesting a lot of this sugar causes deficiencies in almost all of your important minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

 

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Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.

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Resources:

1. Fenton A, Shirodkar P, Macrae C, Meng L, Koch C. “The PARP3- and ATM-dependent phosphorylation of APLF facilitates DNA double-strand break repair.’ Nucleic Acids Res. 2013;41(7):4080-92.
2. Sharif R, Thomas P, Zalewski P, Fenech M. “The role of zinc in genomic stability.” Mutat Res. 2012;733(1-2):111-21.
3. Song, et. al. “Dietary zinc restriction and repletion affects DNA integrity in healthy men.” Am J Clin Nut. 2009; Vol.90, No.2, 321-328.
4. “Zinc Deficiences A Global Concern.” Oregon State University. Sept.17, 2009.
5. National Institute of Health – Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: zinc. www.nih.gov

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Grass-fed Lamb, Seafood, Exercise