The Wellness Blog

Does Red Meat Cause Cancer ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In case you missed that …

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

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

The Link between Eating Ice Cream… and Drowning

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

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

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

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

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

Did You Have Fries With That?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 5 Unhealthy Ways to Consume Red Meat

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

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

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

Chewing the Wrong Fats

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

Dietary & Lifestyle Factors

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

Cancer Prevention through Ancestral Wisdom

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

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

ED NOTE

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

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

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

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

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

(5)  Wikipedia. List of IARC Group 1 carcinogens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diabetes Super Treatment Hiding in Plain Sight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turmeric: The Golden Healer

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

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

A recent review in Current Pharmacology Reports highlights its power:

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

Turmeric: Natural Diabetes Prevention… and Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Curcumin improved every single one of these measures.

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

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

Pre-diabetes often comes with no warning signs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Delicious Ways to Include Turmeric in Your Diet

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four Everyday Foods Stimey "Silent Killer"

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

But there is good news…

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

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

 

Eat "Alligator Pears" To Boost Potassium

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Balance Blood Pressure… with Beets!

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

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

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

Have you tried fresh-juiced beets?

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

 

Halt Hypertension with the “Stinking Rose”

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

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

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

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

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

 

Black Tea: Sip Your Way to Better Cardiovascular Health

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Topics: Grass-fed Beef, Paleo, Heart Health

How An Unhealthy Microbiome (Gut) Promotes Diabetes

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 01:39 PM
microbiome

The World Health Organization predicts that diabetes will be among the top 10 causes of death globally by 2030. What’s more, according to the CDC, if this trend continues, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.

And while blood sugar imbalances due to a high-sugar diet are certainly to blame, research now shows a deeper cause in this epidemic – one that goes far beyond blood sugar…

Our microbiome.

The Delicate Balance of Our Inner Ecosystem

It was Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, who told us over 2000 years ago that “All disease begins in the gut”.

Today it has been proven that the health of our gut has a big impact on our overall health – from immunity to brain function. And the health of our gut largely depends on the balance of the trillions of microbes within us (and on our bodies).

“For a long time, scientists assumed that these bacteria, despite their numbers, neither did us much harm nor much good. But in the past decade or so, researchers have changed their tune.” – Scientific American

Your gut alone contains three pounds of bacteria that carry out a number of vital processes. They produce nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. They assist in the digestion of food and elimination of waste. And they help to regulate hormones and aid in detoxification – to name just a few.

But not all gut bugs are good bugs.

As we shift the pH inside our digestive system with processed foods, chemicals, drugs and alcohol (to name a few), we can tip the balance in favor of the “bad guys.  This imbalance is called dysbiosis and it is a key factor in promoting chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, mood disorders, certain forms of cancer… and even diabetes.

The Bacterial Link to Diabetes

In fact, a recent study published in the journal Nature, discovered that those with Type 2 diabetes had high levels of hostile bacteria.

Similarly, children with Type 1 diabetes were found to have noticeable differences in bacterial levels compared with healthy children.

Specifically, the researchers found imbalances in optimal levels of butyrate-producing bacteria - the same bacteria connected with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.

Dr. Jun Wang, PhD, a biology professor at the University of Copenhagen says:

“Butyrate-producing bacteria seem to have a protective role against several types of diseases, including diabetes.”

Butyrates are short-chain fatty acids. They are produced by gut microbes when we consume fiber-rich foods. These compounds can exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect both inside and outside of the intestine and are well documented for their beneficial effects on insulin resistance.

Creating Optimal Balance in Our Microbiome

Unfortunately, modern diets high in sugar, refined grains, additives and preservatives, along with chlorinated water, pesticides and antibiotics support the growth of hostile bacteria… while decreasing the numbers of our healthy butyrate-producing flora.

Along with consuming the foods that promote an overgrowth of unhealthy strains, we also don’t consume enough of the right foods to populate the gut with beneficial bacterial strains.

When it comes to the microbes in your gut, balance is the key. So how can we optimally balance our microbiome to lower our risk of diabetes and other preventable disease?

The same way our ancestors did…

Bringing Back the Balance with Ancestral Diets

Here are six simple steps to a health gut and balanced microbiome:

1.    Be a Dirt Lover: Our ancestors obtained a lot of their probiotic bacteria from the soil. These bacteria, called soil based organisms (SBOs), have a profound beneficial effect on digestive balance. Consume fresh, organic veggies raised in healthy soil and don’t make them “squeaky clean” before consuming. You can also purchase supplements containing soil based organisms.

2.    Get Your Prebiotics: Many vegetables – especially onions, jicama, garlic and leeks - contain powerful prebiotic fiber that provides important nourishment for those butyrate-producing gut bacteria.

3.    Pass on the Pesticides and Antibiotics: Choose organic, pesticide-free foods to prevent wiping out the good bacteria you are working so hard to nourish. Similarly, grass-fed meats, organic pastured poultry, organ meats and wild caught fish are free of antibiotics, which allow good bacteria to remain intact.  Avoid antibiotic, unless absolutely necessary.

4.    Focus on “Reflorestation”:  Feed your healthy gut bacteria with good probiotic food sources including lacto-fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut and kimchi), kefir, kombucha and other foods preserved using traditional methods.

5.    Beware of Modern Products: To maintain the integrity of the gut, minimize or eliminate the use of antibacterial products. Consume only filtered or spring water which doesn’t contain chlorine, perchlorate and fluoride. And remove gut-damaging processed foods such as those containing aspartame, sucralose and preservatives, which have been shown to destroy gut bacteria.

6.    Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates: Reduce and eliminate sugar along with processed grains. These foods and ingredients can actually feed the growth of hostile microorganisms.

By choosing to eat the way our ancestors did, we can improve the balance of our microbiome, improve our health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes.

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

REFERENCES
1.    Junjie Qin,Yingrui Li,    Zhiming Cai. A metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes. Nature  490, 55–60 (04 October 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11450
2.    Gut bacteria could cause diabetes. University of Copenhagen. September 26 2012.
3.    Roberto Berni Canani, Margherita Di Costanzo, Ludovica Leone, et al.Potential beneficial effects of butyrate in intestinal and extraintestinal diseases. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar 28; 17(12): 1519–1528.
4.    Rob Knight. How our microbes make us who we are . Posted  Feb 2015. TED Talks.
5.    Number of Americans with Diabetes Projected to Double or Triple by 2050. Centers for Disease Control. October 22, 2010




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

Could These Farm-Fresh Foods Cause Pain?

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 @ 07:27 AM

Ruby-red tomatoes… crisp bell peppers… spicy-hot cayenne pepper…  nightshade resized 600

For most people, these are garden-fresh ingredients for a healthy diet, rich in a variety of health-promoting nutrients like vitamin C and lycopene. But for others, these seemingly healthy foods can be the cause of pain, migraines, stiffness and systemic inflammation.

Arthritis & The Nightshade Family

As members of the nightshade (or Solanaceae) family of vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers and other common foods contain a number of potentially problematic compounds, including glycoalkaloids and steroid alkaloids.

These compounds can inhibit acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme responsible for flexibility of muscle movement. And for some people, consuming these foods can cause stiffness and joint pain related to arthritis.  

Dr. Norman F. Childers, PhD, founder of the Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation states:

"Diet appears to be a factor in the etiology of arthritis based on surveys of over 1,400 volunteers during a 20-year period. Plants in the drug family, Solanaceae (nightshades) are an important causative factor in arthritis in sensitive people."

In fact, a growing number of doctors and health experts believe that the symptoms of arthritis are often a misdiagnosed reaction to consuming nightshades. What’s more, many people who suffer from other inflammation-related illnesses – such as lupus, rheumatism, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal pain disorders – often find relief with a nightshade-free diet.

Take the Nightshade-Free Challenge

It’s important to note that not all people are sensitive to nightshades to the same degree. However, when an inflammatory condition exists, eating nightshades can compound the problem.

If you want to determine if nightshades could be a cause of pain, stiffness or chronic inflammation, you should consider taking a nightshade-free challenge. For three weeks, avoid all nightshade family foods including:


•    Potatoes, all varieties (NOTE: sweet potatoes and yams are not nightshades.)
•    Peppers, all varieties (red, green, yellow, orange, jalapeno, chili, cayenne, pimento.)
•    Tomatoes, all varieties (including Tomatillos)
•    Paprika
•    Eggplant
•    Pepino melon
•    Goji berries
•    Cape gooseberries
•    Ground cherries
•    Garden huckleberries
•    Ashwaganda

It’s also important to avoid foods that contain solanine (one of the steroid alkaloids). These include:

•    Blueberries
•    Huckleberries
•    Okra
•    Artichokes

Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs, homeopathics and other consumables also contain nightshades or solanine. Be sure to read labels and watch for:

•    Belladonna (the deadly nightshade often found in homeopathics)
•    Potato starch in medications and many packaged products
•    Edible flowers including petunia, chalice vine, day jasmine, angel and devil’s trumpets
•    Atropine and Scopolamine (compounds used in sleep aids)
•    Topical capsaicin creams (derived from cayenne)
•    Potato-based vodka

After three weeks, begin to reintroduce nightshades to your diet, one at a time. As you reintroduce these foods, be sure to keep a journal with notes about your symptoms and their severity, including energy levels, pain and stiffness, headaches, etc. Obviously, if you notice an increase in symptoms or severity upon reintroduction of these foods, it is likely that you are sensitive to nightshades and these foods should be avoided.

As the adage goes: "One man's meat is another man's poison." If you are suffering from a pain-related illness, consider a nightshade-free challenge diet. Like many others, you may find a big improvement in your quality of life and a decrease in pain.

Do you have issues with nightshades? If so, what experiences have you had? What benefits have you noticed by eliminating / reducing these foods in your diet?  

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ED NOTE
Kelley Herring is the author of the book Better Breads – which includes more 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. Learn more about Better Breads…

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REFERENCES
1.    Smith, Garrett, ND. Nightshades. Problems from these Popular Foods Exposed to the Light of Day. Weston A. Price Foundation. March 30, 2010
2.    N.F. Childers, Ph.D., M.S. Margoles, M.D. An Apparent Relation of Nightshades (Solanaceae) to Arthritis. Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medical Surgery (1993) 12:227-231
3.    Childers NF. Arthritis-Childer’s Diet to Stop It. Nightshades, Aging, and Ill Health, 4th ed. Florida: Horticultural Publications, 1993; 19-21.
4.    Patel B, et al. Potato glycoalkaloids adversely affect intestinal permeability and aggravate inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2002 Sep;8(5):340-6. PubMed ID: 124796498.
5.    Childers N.F., Russo G.M. The nightshades and health (extensive literature). New Jersey (Somerville) and Florida (3906 NW 31 Pl., Gainesville 32606): Hortic Pub, 1977
6.    D’Arcy WG. Solanaceae: biology and systemics. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985
7.    Heiser CB Jr. The fascinating world of the nightshades, 2nd ed. New York: Dover Publ, 1987

Topics: Heart Health, Misc Info

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!

______________________________________________________________________________

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…

______________________________________________________________________________

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

Cardiologists Bungle Blood Pressure

Posted by US Wellness Meats on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 09:47 AM

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDdescribe the image

My old office manager J.F. was on beta-blockers for high blood pressure.

I put her on a treadmill once to give her a test and nothing happened.

She got extremely short of breath, but her heart couldn’t keep up. It was still at 80 bpm. She couldn’t challenge her heart and make it stronger because of the drug from her cardiologist.

How did this happen? Because no one has messed up modern medicine more than cardiologists.

They’re all about the methodology of using heart drugs and technology, but are opposed to the general concept of analyzing your health and how to improve it.

It’s a true but sad state of affairs that a cardiologist can’t tell you any more about how to improve the health of your heart than the average person you meet on the street. They know virtually nothing about it.

They know how to use drugs. But the drugs are not health enhancing. In fact, there are no categories of cardiac drugs that I don’t disagree with. One by one, I ruled all the drugs out.

For example, if you are getting treatment for high blood pressure, you might be on beta blockers. But think of what cardiologists are doing there.

They’re now giving you a drug that blocks the regulation of your heart, down-regulates your capacity to get your heart rate up, and suppresses your heart’s natural ionotropic capacity to beat more firmly.

Initially, beta-blockers sort of work to artificially bring down your blood pressure, and your heart will calm down, but now you can never get the benefit of exercise.

So over time, beta-blockers will turn your heart into a fat, lazy, incompetent water balloon. You already had high blood pressure to deal with, now you have a gross de-conditioning of your heart.

But there are other steps you can take to lower your blood pressure naturally. And when you do, your chance of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke go back to normal. It’s as if you never had high blood pressure in the first place.

Step 1 – Use Nature’s Own Blood Pressure “Prescription.” I’m talking about magnesium, your body’s natural blood vessel relaxer. I’ve used it in my practice with great results.

It helps balance potassium, sodium and calcium, which all affect blood pressure. There are many studies that show the more magnesium you get the lower your blood pressure will be.

Why take a drug when this overlooked mineral can have the same effect?

New research even finds that if you get enough magnesium you have a lower risk of dying from any cause. The study followed 4,203 people over ten years, and found that the rate of death from all causes was 10 times higher for people getting the least magnesium.(1) And the rate of death from heart problems was more than 50% higher for those with low magnesium.

You can get more magnesium by eating nuts, seeds, dairy products and dark green, leafy vegetables. But modern farming practices have depleted much of the mineral content in our soil, so there’s not much magnesium in vegetables any more.

Magnesium used to be in your drinking water but water with high mineral content – hard water – fell out of favor because most people don’t like the taste.

If you can’t get enough magnesium through food, you can take a supplement. I recommend between 600 and 1000 mg a day. Take it with vitamin B6. It will increase the amount of magnesium that accumulates in your cells.

Step 2 – Toss The Processed Salt. Salt itself isn’t bad. We naturally crave salty foods. In fact, when your blood is at its healthiest, it’s slightly salty.

Unfortunately, the salt you find in most foods today isn’t even close to what Mother Nature intended. It’s bleached and refined. When they’re done making it into the white stuff that goes into packaged foods and your salt shaker it’s like franken-salt, with residual chemicals from the processing.

Try to avoid the foods that have the most processed salt. Bottled salad dressing, cured meats (beef jerky, salami), processed cheese, salt-covered snack foods and pickled foods (like olives and dill pickles).

Instead, look for sea salt. It’s unrefined, and has all the minerals and co-factors nature meant salt to have, like potassium and magnesium.

Regular salt is almost pure sodium chloride. Natural sea salt has sodium chloride too, but also has over 50 other minerals (including magnesium) with all the co-factors and trace elements nature intended real salt to have.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD

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Resources:

1. Reffelmann T, Ittermann T, Dörr M, Völzke H, Reinthaler M, Petersmann A, Felix SB. “Low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.” Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jun 12. Epub ahead of print.

Topics: Heart Health