Saturday, June 30, 2012

A diet high in cholesterol may help people with a fatal genetic disease which damages the brain, according to early studies in mice.

A diet high in cholesterol may help people with a fatal genetic disease which damages the brain, according to early studies in mice.

Patients with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease struggle to produce a fatty sheath around their nerves, which is essential for function.

A study, published in Nature Medicine, showed that a high-cholesterol diet could increase production.

The authors said the mice "improved dramatically".

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is one of many leukodystrophies in which patients struggle to produce the myelin sheath. It protects nerve fibres and helps messages pass along the nerves.

Without the sheath, messages do not travel down the nerve - resulting in a range of problems including movement and cognition.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, in Germany, performed a trial on mice with the disease and fed them a high cholesterol diet.
'Striking potential'
The first tests were on mice when they were six weeks old, after signs of PMD had already emerged. Those fed a normal diet continued to get worse, while those fed a cholesterol-enriched diet stabilised.

"This six-week-long cholesterol treatment delayed the decline in motor co-ordination," the scientists said.

Further tests showed that starting the diet early was more beneficial, leading the researchers to conclude that in mice "treatment should begin early in life and continue into adulthood".

This study was only in mice, meaning it is not known if there would be a similar effect in people - or if there would, how early treatment would have to start.

The authors of the report said: "Dietary cholesterol does not cure PMD, but has a striking potential to relieve defects."

It is thought the cholesterol frees up a "traffic jam" inside cells in the brain. The disease is caused by producing too much of a protein needed in myelin, which then becomes stuck inside the cells. It is thought the extra cholesterol helps to free up the protein.

Adding Cholesterol to Diet Reduces Autism Symptoms

Dr. Eugene Arnold of the Ohio State University Medical Center is researching the cholesterol link to Autism. Realizing that our brains are made up of a significant amount of cholesterol, he starts with the assumption that those with Autism may not be suffering from too much cholesterol, but in fact may be suffering from too little. After adding cholesterol to little Rose Barker’s diet, she started smiling, reading, and interacting with others like never before. Her mother comments: “The cholesterol has changed our life. It is exactly what she needed, and the development started almost immediately.”

Friday, June 29, 2012

20k Year Old Pottery Discovered

The US archaeologists involved have determined that fragments from a large bowl found in Xianrendong Cave, Jiangxi Province, are 20,000 years old.

The discovery, published in the journal Science, is the latest in recent years that have pushed back the invention of pottery by 10,000 years.

It is thought that the bowl was a cauldron to cook food, or possibly to brew alcohol.

Until recently, the majority view was that pottery bowls and drink receptacles were invented after the emergence of agriculture, when people began to stay in one place for long periods.

Part of the reasoning was that pottery items are large and breakable, and so not a useful technology for hunter-gatherer societies that moved from place to place in search of food.

Start Quote

People were gathering together in larger groups and you needed social activities to mitigate against increased tensions. Maybe the potteries were used to brew alcohol”
End Quote Prof Gideon Shelach Hebrew University

But in the past 10 years, researchers have found instances of pottery pre-dating agriculture.

One possible reason for the invention of pottery is that 20,000 years ago the Earth was the coldest it had been for a million years.

According to the lead researcher, Prof Ofer Bar-Yosef of Harvard University, pottery cauldrons would have enabled people to extract more nutrition from their food by cooking it.

"Hunter-gatherers were under pressure to get enough food," he told BBC News.

"If the invention is a good one, it spreads pretty fast. And it seems that in that part of southern China, pottery spread among hunter-gatherers in a large area."

Prof Gideon Shelach of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem speculates that there may also have been a social driver for the invention of pottery.

"People were gathering together in larger groups and you needed social activities to mitigate against increased tensions," he told BBC News.

"Maybe those potteries were used to brew alcohol.

Greek Urn Pottery emerged in Europe thousands of years later

"It used to be thought that the beginning of pottery was associated with agriculture and sedentary lifestyle," he added.

"Yet here we find it 8,000 years or more before this transition. This is a very puzzling situation."

The archaeological team estimates from fragments of the bowl that it was 20cm high and 15-25cm in diameter.

Prof Bar-Yosef is keen to discover what these ancient people were cooking 20,000 years ago. He believes that whatever it was it was either steamed or boiled in the bowl.

"It's probably not the first wok," he said. "Cooking with oil began later.

"We think it was used for cooking with water, so it is more like a caldron".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Monsanto Is Sabotaging Efforts to Label Genetically Modified Food

How Monsanto Is Sabotaging Efforts to Label Genetically Modified Food

Lobbyists from the biotech industry are ardently opposing GMO labeling.
Photo Credit: illuminating9_11
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As the 2012 Farm Bill continues to take shape in the halls of the United States Congress, the immense influence of corporate interests is on display.
On June 21 the United States Senate voted overwhelmingly against the Sanders Amendment that would have allowed states to pass legislation that required food and beverage products to label whether or not they contain genetically engineered ingredients.
The amendment, proposed by Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is particularly relevant as many states prepare to vote on a ballot initiatives that would require such labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods.
Lobbyists from the biotech industry have ardently opposed GMO labelling. These opponents argue that because food labelling has historically been handled by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), it is a federal issue and, therefore, individual states do not have the right to implement such legislation. Indeed, in the case of Vermont, Sanders' home state, Monsanto successfully intimidated the state legislature from voting on a bill that would have required GMO labelling.
Patty Lovera, the assistant director of Food and Water Watch, explained that states planning to vote on GM labelling in November could face a legal fight to defend their right to enact such laws.
"However, this amendment would have taken this threat away," Lovera told IPS.
In a move heralded by food advocates, Sanders introduced amendment 2310 on June 14 this year, after his own state legislature backed out of voting on the popular bill, H.722, also known as the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Vermont lawmakers allowed the bill to stall – and ultimately die – in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee in April, after a representative from biotech giant, Monsanto, threatened to sue the state if the bill passed.
Significantly, the Senate vote, 73-26, did not fall along partisan lines, with 28 Democrats voting against the Sanders Amendment.
Lovera emphasised that the powerful biotech lobby informs how politicians vote. "This doesn't happen overnight, this is a result of years and years of lobbying and pressure from the biotech industry," she said.
In a report published in November 2010, Food and Water Watch revealed that the largest food and agricultural biotechnology firms and trade associations spent a total of 572 million dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying over the course of ten years.
Importance of Labelling
The Senate vote comes amidst near global agreement that there is a need for GMO labelling.
Codex Alimentarius, the food safety arm of the United Nations, concluded last year after nearly 18 years of debate, that countries were free to label goods as containing genetically engineered ingredients and that labelling of genetically-modified organisms would indeed help inform consumers' choices.
"GMO labels are a risk management measure to deal with any scientific uncertainty," said Dr. Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with the Consumers Union, who has been a long-time advocate for mandatory testing and labelling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
"Labelling is the only way to track unintended effects," Hansen said. "How can you know what you are allergic to if you do not know you are eating GMO's?"
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Association's hands-off approach to regulating genetically engineered foodstuffs runs contrary to international standards. Currently the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require safety testing for GE plants. However, the Codex Alimentarius instructs countries to conduct safety assessments of all GE plants.
According to testimony written by Dr. Hansen, "This means the U.S. cannot meet the global standards for safety assessment of GE foods. Consequently, countries that require food safety assessments for GE foods could block shipment of such GE foods from the U.S."

Stroke Victim Cured By Paleo Diet

Again the Paleo Diet succeeds where modern medicine fails!

I had always considered myself to be pretty healthy, and had no major health issues prior to that. The stroke occurred as a result of a lesion (most likely a blood clot) in the right side of my pons. I lost fine motor function on my left side, which was not very fun considering that I’m left handed. Besides having to learn how to walk again, I had to re-learn how to write, play guitar, hold a fork, etc. Luckily, my young brain quickly recovered, and after a couple months of physical therapy I was pretty much back to normal. I had to walk with a cool cane for a while. A lot of excellent doctors treated me, but no one ever figured out what caused the stroke.A little over a year later I noticed that I was having a hard time exercising. I kept thinking I was just way out of shape. It got so bad that I was out of breath even from walking, so I went to the doctor. I then spent the next month or so living in a hospital, being tested for a wide range of possibilities – long story short is they settled on a narrowing of my pulmonary arteries most likely caused by inflammation. I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Takayasu’s Arteritis, which is characterized by the narrowing of arteries due to inflammation. The cause of this disease, like most autoimmune diseases, is not known. So then I spent a year on heavy immunosuppressant therapy; we tried a wide range of steroids and other scary drugs, and they worked for the most part. I would still get winded upon exertion, but I could at least function.

Flash forward to 2010. My continuous steroid and immunosuppressant medication therapy was starting to take its toll, even though I was trying to slowly taper off the steroids. I felt lousy almost all of the time, and worse still was the fact that I couldn’t foresee it getting any better. I then happened across an article that mentioned this crazy diet modeled after cavemen that eliminated grains, and it could reverse autoimmune symptoms. Within a week I had devoured The Paleo Solution and just about every Paleo resource I could find, and switched my diet. My inflammation markers decreased significantly within a month.Since then things have been much better. I’m not cured – there’s no mistaking that I still have a serious autoimmune condition – but the Paleo diet has absolutely helped. I started exercising for the first time since 2006. I was able to get off of steroid therapy, which was causing all sorts of side effects (weight gain, brittle bones, memory issues, kidney stones, shingles, and so on). When I was on steroids, I would get sick at least monthly; since switching over my diet I rarely get sick. Lastly, my wife and son have joined me on this crazy journey, which gives me comfort that we’ll all three live long, healthy lives.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Foot and ankle strength, range of motion, posture, and deformity are associated with balance and functional ability in older adults.

Foot and ankle strength, range of motion, posture, and deformity are associated with balance and functional ability in older adults.


Musculoskeletal Research Centre, Department of Podiatry, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.



To determine the extent to which measures of foot and ankle strength, range of motion, posture, and deformity are associated with performance in a battery of balance and functional ability tests in older adults.


Cross-sectional study of people over 65 years.




Participants (N=305; age range, 65-93y) recruited for a randomized trial investigating the efficacy of a podiatry intervention to prevent falls.


Not applicable.


Clinical measures of foot and ankle strength (using hand-held dynamometry), range of motion, posture, and deformity, and a battery of balance tests (postural sway, maximum balance range, lateral stability, coordinated stability) and functional ability tests (alternate step test, sit-to-stand, timed 6-m walk).


Most (67/88) of the correlations between the foot and ankle tests and performance on the balance and functional tests were statistically significant. Hierarchic linear regression analysis identified hallux plantar flexion strength and ankle inversion-eversion range of motion to be the most consistent significant and independent predictors of balance and functional test performance, explaining up to 25% of the variance in the test scores.


Foot and ankle characteristics, particularly plantar flexor strength of the hallux and ankle inversion-eversion range of motion, are important determinants of balance and functional ability in older people. Further research is required to establish whether intervention programs that include strengthening and stretching exercises for the foot and ankle may achieve improvements in balance and functional ability and reduce the risk of falls in older people.

Barefoot Running Biomechanics Tips and Videos

Forefoot Striking & Impact Forces
For millions of years, it is likely that runners landed with no single, specific foot strike, and rather landed with a variety of foot strikes including forefoot, midfoot and heel strikes, but we suspect that the most common form of foot strike was a forefoot strike. Midfoot strikes were probably also more common than they are today. These kinds of strikes (i.e. landing first on the lateral ball of the foot) lead to lower impact forces which may lead to lower rates of injury. We hypothesize and there is anecdotal evidence that forefoot or midfoot striking can help avoid and/or mitigate repetitive stress injuries, especially stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and runner's knee. We emphasize, however, that this hypothesis on injury has yet to be tested and that there have been no direct studies on the efficacy of forefoot strike running or barefoot running on injury.
It strengthens the muscles in your foot, especially in the arch. A healthy foot is a strong foot, one that pronates less and is less liable to develop a collapsed arch.
  • It may cost less energy to forefoot strike because you use the natural springs in your foot and calf muscles more to store and release energy. Running barefoot or in minimal footwear (usually lighter than traditional running shoes) means that there is less mass to accelerate at the end of the runner's leg with each stride. Running barefoot has been shown to use about 5% less energy than shod running (Divert et al., 2005; Squadrone and Gallozzi, 2009).
  • Barefoot running feels great! Your feet have lots of sensory nerves. And because there is minimal impact forces on landing it can be very comfortable provided you develop calluses on your feet

  • Tips on Transitioning to Forefoot or Midfoot Striking
    Forefoot striking barefoot or in minimal footwear requires you to use muscles in your feet (mostly in the arch) that are probably very weak. Running this way also requires much more strength in your calf muscles than heel striking because these muscles must contract eccentrically (while lengthening) to ease the heel onto the ground following the landing. Novice forefoot and midfoot strikers typically experience tired feet, and very stiff, sore calf muscles. In addition, the Achilles tendon often gets very stiff. This is normal and eventually goes away, but you can do several things to make the transition successfully:
    • Build up slowly! If you vigorously work out any weak muscles in your body, they will be sore and stiff. Your foot and calf muscles will be no exception. So please, don’t overdo it because you will probably injure yourself if you do too much too soon.
      • Start by walking around barefoot frequently.
      • First week: no more than a quarter mile to one mile every other day.
      • Increase your distance by no more than 10% per week. This is not a hard and fast rule, but a general guide. If your muscles remain sore, do not increase your training. Take an extra day off or maintain your distance for another week.
      • Stop and let your body heal if you experience pain. Sore, tired muscles are normal, but bone, joint, or soft-tissue pain is a signal of injury.
      • Be patient and build gradually. It takes months to make the transition.
    • If you are currently running a lot, you don’t need to drastically reduce your mileage. Instead, supplement forefoot or midfoot striking with running the way that you normally ran before beginning the transition. Over the course of several months, gradually increase the proportion of forefoot or midfoot striking and reduce the proportion of running in your old style. Use the same 10% per week guideline in increasing the amount of running you do forefoot striking.
    • It is essential to stretch your calves and hamstrings carefully and regularly as you make the transition. Massage your calf muscles and arches frequently to break down scar tissue. This will help your muscles to heal and get stronger.
    • Listen to your feet. Stop if your arches are hurting, if the top of your foot is hurting, or if anything else hurts! Sometimes arch and foot pain occurs from landing with your feet too far forward relative to your hips and having to point your toes too much. It can also occur from landing with too rigid a foot and not letting your heel drop gently.
    • Many people who run very slowly find that forefoot striking actually makes them run a little faster.


    • Land gently on your forefoot and gradually let the heel come down
    • Transition slowly
    • Stretch your calves and Achilles tendon
    • Don’t do anything that causes pain
    • Listen to your body and run totally barefoot to learn good form
    • Buy minimal shoes that lack high heels and stiff soles
    • Consult a doctor

    Shoes Are the Primary Cause of Foot Disorders

    Dr. Rossi, a podiatrist with over 400 published articles, explains the details of how footwear design affects the health of our feet. Main points:

    • Elevated heels create a "domino effect" of bones
    • Shortened achilles tendons in shoe-wearing countries
    • Nearly all shoes neglect the weight-bearing function of the mid-foot & toes
    • Lacing shoes is nothing more than "foot corseting"
    • "The less a shoe does TO a foot, the better FOR the foot"
    Dr. Rossi explains how shoes both "deform and handicap" our feet from early development. He comes up with a solution calling for podiatrists to lead the way by encouraging healthy foot development in childhood which will force shoe manufacturers, for the first time in history, to introduce shoes that "do not deform and defunctionalize feet." Interesting points:

    • The Myth of Support
    • The Myth of Pronation
    • The Myth of Ankle Support
    "Many people know that high heels are more about fashion than being orthopedically-sound for walking. But what is wrong with athletic shoes? Even athletic shoes elevate the heel, extend the toes, and pinch the toes together. Instead of enhancing performance, this actually compromises the natural gait, leading to chronically tight extensor muscles and toes that structurally change so that they are crunched toward the midline. The foot functions best as a barefoot, that is, when the heel and forefoot are completely level, and the toes are allowed to flex, extend, and spread."

    "...the reality, the shoe market is driven by what “looks good” on the shelf and will therefore sell. This is as true of athletic shoes as it is of fashion shoes...Indeed, even when shoe designers are presented with findings that flat, wide shoes are optimal for foot function and health, they do not utilize this information, because such a style is not congruous with the fashionable look. Additionally, considerably more money can be charged for a shoe that boasts “arch support” or “motion control” than for a simple flat shoe. So ultimately, the very shoes that are supposed to enhance performance actually hinder it by altering natural foot shape and gait."
    quoted by Dr. Ray McClanahan

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawai' i

    For over 20 years, Hawai'i has been the global center for the open-field testing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), including pharmaceutical crops. Over 5,000 experimental tests have been conducted by Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer, Syngenta and BASF that spray chemicals on an almost daily basis on our most valuable lands. They are supported by tax-breaks, and beneficial relationships with ...landowners, regulators and politicians. We estimate GMO companies own or lease 40,000 -- 60,000 acres that are sprayed with over 70 different chemicals.

    A new vision for Hawai'i would promote small farms that grow chemical-free produce, employ our youth and restore the indigenous ahupua'a system. Hawai'i has less than 3,000 acres of certified organic farmland, which is 0.27% of Hawaiian farmland.

    Kamehameha Schools is Hawaii's largest private landowner. Despite Kamehameha's public statements about sustainability and conservation, they lease substantial amounts of land to multi-national biotech firms, including Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer and Syngenta for GMO open field tests and seed corn production.

    Kamehameha is the only institution with the land, capital and resources to reduce our food imports, that are now over 90%, and ensure that Hawai'i does not run out of food in case of natural disasters or rising oil prices.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Six things that we need to know about cholesterol

    Here are six things that we need to know about cholesterol:
    i) It is virtually impossible to explain how vital cholesterol is to the human body. If you had no cholesterol in your body you would be dead. No cells, no bone structure, no muscles, no hormones, no sex, no reproductive system, no digestion, no brain function, no memory, no nerve endings, no movement, no human life – nothing without cholesterol. It is utterly vital and we die instantly without it.
    ii) Cholesterol is so vital to the body that our bodies make it. The body cannot risk leaving it to chance that we would get it externally from food or some other external factor – that’s how critical it is.
    iii) There is no such thing as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is cholesterol. The chemical formula for cholesterol is C27H46O. There is no good version or bad version of this formula.HDL is not even cholesterol, let alone good. LDL is not even cholesterol, let alone bad. HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. (There are three other lipoproteins, by the way, chylomicrons, VLDL and IDL).
    Fat and cholesterol are not water soluble so they need to be carried around the body in something to do their vital work. The carriers of such substances are called lipoproteins. We can think of lipoproteins as tiny ‘taxi cabs’ travelling round the blood stream acting as transporters. So, lipoproteins are carriers of cholesterol – oh – and triglyceride and phospholipids and protein. All lipoproteins carry all of these substances – just in different proportions. LDL would more accurately be called the carrier of fresh cholesterol and HDL would more accurately be called the carrier of recycled cholesterol.
    iv) The standard blood cholesterol test does not measure LDL – it estimates it. The fasting blood cholesterol test can only measure total cholesterol and HDL. There are two other unknowns in a four variable equation – LDL and VLDL. The estimation is refined further using the Friedewald equation (named after William Friedewald, who developed it).
    Total cholesterol = LDL + HDL + VLDL/5 (Ref 8)
    As any mathematician will tell you, one equation, with four variables, only two of which can be measured, is a fat lot of good. We need at least one more equation or known variable, to avoid circular references. This also means that:
    - All other things being equal, LDL will rise if a) total cholesterol rises and/or b) if HDL falls and/or if c) VLDL falls.
    - All other things being equal, LDL will fall if a) total cholesterol falls and/or b) if HDL rises and/or if c) VLDL rises.
    No wonder an inverse association is observed between LDL and HDL – it is by definition. More surprising is that a fall in VLDL (triglycerides), which would be welcomed by doctors, would be accompanied by an automatic increase in LDL, all other things being equal, which would not be welcomed by doctors. And you thought that this was scientific.
    v) Statins stop the body from producing the cholesterol that it is designed to produce. They literally stop one of our fundamental body processes from being able to function. The intelligent view on statins is that in the very limited arena where they appear to have some ‘benefit’ (men over 50 who have already had a heart attack), they ‘work’ by having anti-inflammatory properties and that the fact that they lower cholesterol (by stopping the body from being able to produce this vital substance) is a very unfortunate side effect. (Drug companies should work on developing something that has the anti-inflammatory benefit without this huge and damaging side effect – it’s called aspirin).
    One in 500 people have familial hypercholesterolemia and may have a problem clearing cholesterol in their body (rather like type 1 diabetics who can’t return their blood glucose levels to normal). For anyone else to be actively trying to lower their vital and life affirming cholesterol levels is deeply troubling.
    vi) “Cholesterol in food has no impact on cholesterol in the blood and we’ve known that all along.” Ancel Keys.
    Ancel Keys, the same man who did the brilliant Minnesota starvation experiment, spent the 1950’s trying to show that cholesterol in food was associated with cholesterol in the blood. He concluded unequivocally that there was not even an association, let alone a causation. He never deviated from this view.
    Cholesterol is only found in animal foods (it is a vital substance for every living creature). Hence the only foods that Keys could add to human diets, to test the impact of cholesterol, were animal foods. Given that he concluded that eating animal foods had no impact on blood cholesterol levels, it follows that animal foods per se have no impact on blood cholesterol levels (not that high cholesterol is a problem – quite the contrary – but that’s another story).
    There is no need, whatsoever, to avoid liver, red meat, other meat, fish, eggs, dairy products etc for any cholesterol that they may contain, or for any other reason.
    The body makes cholesterol. I worry about a number of things, but I don’t worry that my body is trying to kill me.

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Cholesterol and Heart Disease

    Lowering Insulin Slows Cancer Growth

    Hmmmmm,  sounds familiar.

    Future of Fitness?

    Written by Ido Portal
    Interesting how the Fitness community is coming around to Movement lately.
    In the last couple of months I've been receiving major offers from around the globe to conduct more and more Movement seminars. The hosting gyms are major Crossfit facilities, traditional Yoga studios, martial arts academies and even many commercial gym chains.

    The reason for this shift is similar to the return to organic - we understand the price of the modern specialization and "development".

    Something is missing.

    All of our attempts to manufacture better foods, like the GMO approach - are failing on us. Something is not right. Its not as complete as what nature has provided. We have been missing something and in some cases - we are making LETHAL mistakes.

    So, similarly, the "joint isolation", bodybuilding and machine training are practically dead, but let me make a prediction, if you will, (how stupid of me but, whatever..) I believe that even the new modern concepts such as practiced, specialized sports and other dogmatic "newer" training systems are missing the human boat.
    We need something more...
    We need movement - in its varied, holistic, fulfilling, interesting and intelligent way.
    Whether this is because we are programmed to do stuff like hunt & gather, dance around the fire, fight, wrestle, climb trees and mountains, swim across or river, etc, I wont argue, but I will tell you this - we NEED a more MOVEMENT BASED APPROACH.

    So, why still the resistance from many people to this kind of practice? One reason and one reason only...


    They cant do it well, lack any good instruction and development because the various training methods that already offer such approach are mostly overhyped, stupid shit, (that most people cannot even recognize as shit - as they are beginners in this practice...) and finally despair and come back to their narrow focus training where they feel safe.

    That is in a good case.. In a bad case - they don't even try. They are intimidated, afraid to fail. Ego driven. Weak.

    But, there you go - the future of Fitness is the mother subject, the one that actually contains Fitness- it is MOVEMENT!

    7 Most Alkaline Foods

    1. SPINACH -All leafy greens should be eaten in abundance but spinach is my absolute favourite because it’s easy to buy, easy to use in recipes and salads and is delicious. Baby spinach or fully grown spinach are Nutritional powerhouses and are incredibly alkaline. As with all green foods, spinach is rich in chlorophyll (see more about the health benefits of chlorophyll here), a potent alkaliser and blood builder. It is also super high in vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin c, vitamin b2, calcium, potassium, vitamin e, dietary fiber…I doubt there is a more all round healthy food on earth and I highly encourage you to eat spinach throughout the day, every day.

    2. KALE -Kale is another leafy green beauty that is widely known for its Cancer-Fighting, Cholesterol-Lowering, Antioxidant-rich, and Detoxifying goodness. Less popular than spinach, but only because it has a history of being cooked poorly (like cabbage) – when done right it is absolutely delicious (see recipes below, you’ll thank me). If you eat kale 2-3 times per week you’ll know it. Like spinach it is massively high in vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C and being Leafy Green it also has a huge Chlorophyll content. The reason it is so powerful against the Cancer Fight is that kale contains at least four Glucosinolates. I don’t want to lose you here by using words like glucosinolates – all you need to know is that as soon as you eat and digest kale, these glucosinolates are really easily converted by the body into cancer fighting compounds. Also quite amazing for Lowering Cholesterol, it should be noted that steamed kale is more effective for cholesterol lowering than raw.

    3. CUCUMBER The beauty of cucumber is it’s water content – 95%. That is phenomenal and you won’t find that anywhere else. It’s the daddy of water-content. This of course makes it an incredibly hydrating food to consume, that ALSO contains superb amounts of antioxidants, including the super-important lignans. These highly beneficial polyphenols have more commonly been associated with the cruciferous vegetables, but their content in other veggies such as cucumbers is gaining more and more attention. Cucumbers contain a right load of lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol , three lignans that have a huge and very strong history of research in connection with Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types, including Breast, Uterine, Ovarian, and Prostate Cancers. The best thing about cucumber is that they provide the base for practically every alkaline soup, smoothie and juice – giving you a very alkaline, very nutritious base that also tastes great. In terms of the actual nutrient RDA per serve, cucumbers contain fair amounts of vitamins K and C, and slightly less of vitamin A and the B vitamins. Cucumbers also contain the following alkaline minerals: calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, iron and zinc.

    4. BROCCOLI - Broccoli is just a must. If you are serious about living with health, energy and vitality you simply have to eat broccoli, if not on a daily basis, then at least 4 times per week. Broccoli has been proven over and over and over again to be incredibly powerful in inhibiting Cancers, supporting the Digestive System, the Cardiovascular System, the Detoxification processes in the body and also supporting the Skin, metabolism, İmmune system, being an Anti-Inflammatory and providing ample Antioxidants. Eaten steamed or raw its a Hugely Alkaline, Hugely Nutritious food. Please, please, please eat lots and lots of it. Put it in salads, juices, smoothies, soups…steam it with other veggies – you can even roast

    5. AVOCADO -I eat a LOT of avocado. Not a salad, smoothie or soup goes by without me adding at least 1/2 an avocado per person. I probably eat at least five-seven per week, myself. Now, I know a lot of people give avocado a bad rep because it is a high-fat food (85% of it’s calories come from fats) – but this is totally insane. These are good fats that will not make you gain weight. If anything, due to the high content of oleic acid (making it an Omega 9 fat and very similar to olive oil), it can lower total cholesterol level and raise levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) while lowering low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as the “bad” cholesterol. Oleic Acid also slows the development of heart disease, and promotes the production of Antioxidants. These beneficial omega oils also help speed the metabolism, actually leading to weight loss rather than gain. So now we’re over the fat issue, avocado also contains a wide range of other nutrients that have serious Anti-İnflammatory, Heart Health, Cardiovascular Health, Anti-Cancer, and Blood Sugar Benefits. Containing key Antioxidants such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, selenium and more – it is a powerful, alkaline, nutrient-dense superfood.

    6. CELERY - Celery, like cucumber is a favourite because it’s alkaline AND really high water content, so is used very frequently as a base in juices and soups (not so much smoothies as you have to juice it first…and then you have double the washing up). One of celery’s big benefits is it’s vitamin C level, which has the well known benefits – but two of it’s lesser known nutrients are phthalides which have been shown to Lower Cholesterol and coumarins which have been shown to inhibit Several Cancers. The beauty of vitamin C rich foods are that they help with the most common and most challenging health concerns – they support the İmmune system, inflammation (so helps with Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Asthma etc), and vitamin C also helps significantly with Cardiovascular Health. If you are on a weight loss journey, you’ll also be happy to hear that this alkaline staple contains plenty of potassium and sodium and so is a diuretic – meaning it helps rid the body of excess fluids.

    7. CAPSICUM / BELL PEPPER / PEPPER - The antioxidant superpower, bell pepper is one of my all-time-favourites because it is sweet, crunchy and refreshingly delicious. You can use it in almost any meal raw, grilled, fried, and roasted and it is always a winner. Impressively beneficial to our health cartenoids are highly researched and get a lot of attention in the health field and bell peppers contain over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family.

    Dentist Weston Price, in his seminal 1930s book 'Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,' predicted that processed food would put American democracy in peril.

    In the film Idiocracy, the decline of America comes not through an oil shock, a debt crisis or even the rise of China and India. Instead, a kind of reverse eugenics, where yuppies defer childbearing until it’s too late while guys in wife-beater T shirts keep on multiplying themselves generation after generation, brings the nation to a sad place in the year 2505.
    The average IQ has declined to well below 100. Water is only used for flushing toilets but a power drink called “Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator” is fed to both people and animals and sprayed on crops. The top-rated TV show, called “Ow! My Balls!” features one scene after another of a guy getting his groin slammed.
    Oh, yes, and at the local hospital, if you stand out as sounding particularly intelligent, a physician consulting your medical record is likely to provide a diagnosis like this: “Sez here u talk like a fag and uh…ur shit’s all retarded.”
    Weston Price was another kind of doctor from another era who also thought that America was getting progressively stupider by the generation. And Price would agree with the makers of Idiocracy that a populace that had gotten too stupid to take care of itself could mean the end of our democracy.

    A nation of degenerates

    In his 1939 classic, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Price cites research that a quarter or more of American adults had such low intelligence that they “require some supervision.” Price approvingly quotes a contemporary writer who asks:
    Should the ballot be restricted to citizens able to take care of themselves? One out of four cannot…The tail is now wagging Washington, and Wall St. and LaSalle Street…Each generation has seen some lowering of the American average level of general ability.
    But Price does not blame the decline of our national stock on dolts over-breeding or rubbish on the radio or the poor example set by President Hoover. Instead, Price fingers the standard American diet of his day for helping to create a nation of dimwits: white bread, sugar, skim milk and all the stuff you can make from these, from sweet jams and jellies to cake.
    In a world entirely innocent of GMOs and still largely free of food chemicals, Price found plenty to hate in the industrial food of the thirties, namely, that it lacked the nutrition needed for good health. And the problem went beyond the Wonder Bread and Co’Cola of his countrymen to encompass all the sugary, starchy and low-fat processed foods eaten by civilized people everywhere, presumably sparing neither British scone nor French croissant nor Italian pizza pie.
    Such a diet, composed of dead foods that even an insect would reject but that provide modern humans with enough calories to somehow limp along for three score and ten, fills the belly without providing adequate vitamins or the natural activators needed to use those vitamins even if you can get them. As a result, modern people suffer from degenerative diseases like cancer and tuberculosis largely unknown before the industrial era. And we also suffer from birth defects that come not from a long line of genetic mutations but instead just from our parents’ own bad diets.
    This may be a new idea for people today, accustomed as we are to blaming everything from a slow metabolism to myopia on genetics. But Price argued that whatever your parents’ genetics, if they simply ate crappy modern food just before you were born, then the sperm and/or egg that made you would also be defective. And that in turn would make you defective from birth. This may be hard to accept, perhaps, especially if you’re generally healthy and feel, as I do, that you’re not a total moron most of the time.
    Price’s argument is subtle. He finds that nearly all modern people are born imperfect but that the symptoms are so pervasive as to be considered normal by society at large — primarily, growing up with crooked teeth, which Price sees not as a natural variation on human development, but rather as a skeletal deformity resulting from poor nutrition.

    Bad teeth bite

    By the standards of today’s diet gurus, whether celebrity personal trainers, celebrity nutritionists or just plain old celebrities, Price stands out.
    As a dentist (who practiced in Cleveland, no less), Price’s concern for nutrition started not from a flabby belly or a large butt, but from the crooked, cavity-riddled teeth of his patients. An early holistic practitioner, Price got tired of the old routine of drilling and filling and guessed that there must be more to dental health than brushing, flossing and staying away from salt water taffy.
    Price had already decided that the root cause of tooth decay was the unhealthy diet of modern civilization. And to find the cure, Price departed from the study of pathology to the study of health and set out to find people around the world who had good teeth. So, in the early 1930s, with his wife Florence at his side, Price embarked on a world tour of indigenous people and their diets, traveling Indiana Jones-style by “prop planes, steamships, canoes, automobiles, and on foot, visiting 14 countries on 5 continents,” as cancer specialist Patrick Quillin puts it in one of the book’s forewords.
    [Price] was troubled with the dramatic increase in dental problems among his patients. His travels proved his theory: if you eat your native ethnic diet in an unprocessed form you will have good mental, physical and dental health. If you eat highly processed foods, which adds questionable agents and removes essential nutrients, your health deteriorates.

    The Indigenous Diet

    Price’s results are hard to argue with. Of the dozens of groups he studied, nearly all had perfect teeth that grew straight in their dental arches and remained free of cavities throughout their lifetimes without any help from modern dentistry.
    New Zealand Maori
    Among thousands of native people that Price photographed on his travels, these New Zealand Maori enjoyed the straight, cavity-free teeth and overall good health of people who ate their traditional diet.
    What all the native peoples Price studied also had in common, whether Inuit in Alaska or Aborigines in Australia, was that if they stuck to their native diet — which always consisted of unprocessed foods with plenty of animal fats and vitamins but more or less seafood, whole grains, meat, dairy and vegetables depending on what was available — their teeth would remain nearly 100% cavity free and their general health would be good.
    But as soon as these same peoples started to eat foods from trade, from white bread to jams to canned goods, their mouths would fill with cavities and they would also become susceptible to diseases that had never troubled them in the past, particularly tuberculosis. Even worse, if they were eating western foods, their kids would be born with narrow dental arches that couldn’t accommodate all their teeth, leading to the crooked teeth common in Europe and America but almost entirely absent from indigenous societies before contact with modern foods. And they’d suffer birth defects from club feet to mangled hands.
    Thus armed with the key to not only a clean mouth but a sound body, Price brought back the wisdom of primitive peoples to a largely indifferent western world about to spread an orgy of canned food across the globe during World War II and then settle in to the TV diet of the 1950s.
    A man ahead of his time, Price’s teachings would only come into their own with the advent of organic and whole foods diets in the 1970s. Paleo, caveman and other low-carb diets also follow in Price’s footsteps, with the important exception that Price was not against starches or grains per se, but only against refined grains. Indeed, two of the groups Price studied, Gaelics in the Hebrides Islands off the northern coast of Scotland and Swiss perched high in the Loetschental Valley of the Alps, were big users of grains (oats and rye, respectively).
    Price would certainly consider it good news that so many of us are now taking back our food from big corporations. Indeed, the last words of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration make this man of the 1930s, who refused all offers of sponsorship and funded his extensive travels entirely from his dental practice, sound like an early fan of Occupy Wall Street: “Great care must be taken to avoid commercial encroachment from gain.”
    – Erik Curren, Transition Voice

    Elevated Insulin, NOT Cholesterol Is the Single Greatest Marker of CVD Risk

    Elevated Insulin, NOT Cholesterol Is the Single Greatest Marker of CVD Risk

    by Michael McEvoy 04/09/2011 10:13am
    photo: markuso
    Elevated levels of fasting insulin is the single greatest marker to assess a person's cardiovascular and diabetic risk factors. This has been consistently demonstrated in the medical literature going back more than 20 years. Elevated levels of insulin are found among those with heart disease, congestive heart failure, insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
    Why then are insulin levels not routinely tested on standard blood chemistry tests? Answer: there are no drugs to lower insulin. It is controlled specifically through dietary intervention and exercise. There are no drugs to sell to a patient. No profit to be made despite the insulin reality. To make matters worse, laboratory reference ranges for what constitutes "healthy" or "normal" insulin values are totally absurd.
    Laboratory reference ranges for what constitutes a normal, fasting insulin level are so ludicrous that they will have you believe an insulin level in double digits (10 or greater) is normal. I have never seen one person with a fasting insulin level of 10 or greater who did not have multiple health issues. Insulin levels of 20 or more (considered to be within normal range by most labs) indicate a person is already a type II diabetic! Show me someone with a fasting insulin level of 10 or greater and I'll show you a person with multiple health issues.

    Ideally one's fasting insulin should be as low to zero as possible! The reference range that I recommend for fasting insulin instead is 0-5. A one point movement in insulin is significant.

    What Happens When High Amounts of Insulin Are Released?

    Insulin resistance is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes, an epidemic that now affects tens of millions of Americans alone. Because the cells of your body must maintain a high level of sensitivity to insulin, excessive amounts being released by the pancreas causes the cells to become resistant to insulin.
    Excessive insulin also causes magnesium to be excreted through the urine and this is a major problem because magnesium is a vitally important mineral for cardiovascular function, particularly for the dilation of blood vessels. Magnesium is an electrolyte that initiates more than 300 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium loss sets up a cascade of additional complications including the retention of sodium.
    Anyone who knows anybody with hypertension is well aware of the recommendations for lowering sodium intake. Why? For many hypertense patients, excess sodium causes fluid retention which then in turn raises blood volume and blood pressure. These chain reactions are a major formula for congestive heart failure as well as cardiovascular damage.

    Insulin & Hormones

    High levels of insulin will cause dysfunction and a lack of communication in the liver. The liver is such a massive organ that does so much more than filtering your blood, although its ability to do so should not be denigrated.
    Consider that the Cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which is found in the highest concentration in the liver, is responsible for converting cholesterol into pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is the master steroidal hormone that gets converted to make all of the other major steroid hormones like estrogen, DHEA and testosterone.
    Studies have shown the direct correlation between elevated insulin and low DHEA levels.
    SHBG (sex hormone binding globulins) are what circulate the sex hormones estradiol and testosterone. SHBG's are produced mostly in the liver. Much research reveals that high levels of insulin cause low levels of SHBG. Low levels of SHBG's are found among diabetics, polycystic ovarian syndrome and people with hypothyroidism.

    Triglycerides To HDL Ratio Correlates With Insulin

    While testing insulin levels directly is preferred, the Triglycerides to HDL ratio is an indirect measurement to assess insulin levels. This is because insulin production increases triglyceride production and decreases HDL levels. The higher the triglycerides and the lower the HDL, the greater the likelihood of hyperinsulinism.
    What is critical to understand is that triglycerides (blood fats) are more often elevated due to the excess consumption of carbohydrates and sugar than from excess dietary fat consumption. Artificially made trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) are also responsible for significant elevations in triglycerides.

    Excess Adrenal Output Can Raise Glucose & Cause High Insulin Production

    Another lesser known fact is that adrenal hyperfunction can cause elevated levels of glucose. This is because both catecholamines (primarily adrenaline) and glucocorticoids (such as cortisol) will raise glucose levels. In response to the rise in glucose, the pancreas is called on to produce more insulin.
    The implications to the adrenal connection to CVD and type II diabetes is that stress and lifestyle factors are a major component to the development of these diseases. One of the best ways to lower excess insulin and to reduce stress is through exercise!
    When there is adrenal hyperfunction there also tends to be high levels of mineralcorticoids such as aldosterone. Aldosterone is an adrenal hormone that modulates the electrolyte dynamics, chiefly through the regulation of sodium and potassium. Adrenal hyperfunction implies that aldosterone is causing excess sodium to be retained and a loss of potassium through the kidneys and urine.
    As we learned earlier, this is a perfect set-up for CVD.

    Moderate Exercise Is Powerful to Reduce Excess Insulin

    One of the best ways to burn off excess glucose and insulin is through moderate exercise and cardiovascular activity. Show me someone with high amounts of glucose and insulin, and I'll show you someone who doesn't do much exercise.
    Cardiovascular exercise will make your cells burn up more glucose to make energy. Cardiovascular exercise will also cause triglycerides to be burned more efficiently by muscle cells.

    Eat Right For Your Type Of Metabolism

    Consistently over and over again I find that eating right for one's type of metabolism is the greatest starting point to learn what foods and nutrients are essential for each person.
    Having worked with more than 1,000 people with Metabolic Type Nutrition I have watched amazing things happen.
    Understand that the nutritional requirements you have are highly individual. Please email me if you are interested in learning more about my nutritional consulting services.

    Sources for this article:
    Lynne August, MD
    Ron Rosedale, MD,

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Overweight or Obese? Maybe its Not Your Fault

    Overweight or Obese? Maybe it’s not just you

    Caveman Doctor was recently arguing with another physician about the cause of the obesity epidemic. Caveman Doctor was trying to explain that people are “eating too many carbohydrates and modern/processed foods”, while the other doctor was falling back on the typical conventional wisdom. He kept saying things like it’s all about calories in (what we eat) versus calories out (exercising), and people have become essentially lazy and poor decision makers. They started to get into the data, and Caveman Doctor became furious as he realized, once again, the other doctor has never even looked at the data but was merely following recommendations from the ”authorities”. Caveman Doctor became so enraged that he challenged the other doctor to a good ole club off. Caveman Doctor is now looking for a new job, so if you know of anyone hiring, please contact him on the internet (whatever that is).

    Maybe we’re not all just fat, lazy, and stupid: The psychological advantage of fats over carbs

    In 1977, after intense discussion on the state of the diet of the people of the US, the McGovern committee issued a set of nutritional guidelines they thought would “combat” heart disease, cancers, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Three years later, the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans were made, with fat chosen as public enemy number one. The guidelines can be summed up by the infamous Food Pyramid above. Thus the low-fat campaign began in this country, demonizing fats, and especially saturated fat. Since then, saturated fat has been held responsible for obesity, diabetes, cancer, the Pittsburgh Steelers losing to the Cowboys in ‘95, and even the fall of the Soviet Empire (ok, maybe not the last two, but almost any health problem was linked to fat). With fat now no longer part of a healthy diet, it had to be replaced by some other food source, and the experts recommended we start eating more carbohydrates. Never mind that we only consumed carbohydrates in small amounts over the past several million years; they were the new health food. Here is how we have done with obesity since these recommendations (adapted from the National Health and Nutrition
    What do we make of the obesity epidemic that seems to have started at the exact time we shifted the dietary paradigm? While we all agree it’s concerning, I disagree with many of the “experts”, who will essentially tell you the reason people are all getting fatter is:

    1. People are stupid (they can’t follow the dietary recommendations).
    2. People are lazy (they just don’t exercise as much).
    3. People are gluttonous (they are eating way too much).
    Notice these are all based on the premise that the recommendations are 100% appropriate. The recommendations can’t be wrong, but rather people are fat, lazy, and stupid. How do you feel about this? Well, it bothered me, so I started to think about it more… A lot more. Actually, I thought about it nonstop for the past several weeks and did some reasearch. As a result, I have a slightly different theory.

    Caveman Doctor’s Theory:

    1. People aren’t stupid (most people actually follow the US dietary guidelines).
    2. People have decreased their activity thanks to technology, but this is not fully responsible for us getting bigger.
    3. Certain foods make people more gluttonous.
    Let’s review both sides of the argument.

    Expert Theory #1: People are stupid and can’t follow guidelines.

    Caveman Doctor’s Theory: We are smarter than they think and actually are just following their stupid directions.

    It looks like we are actually doing very well following the recommendations. Fat intake has consistently dropped, while carbohydrates have replaced them to a greater degree, just as our authorities told us. This data has been confirmed in several other nutrition and diet databases and published3, leading the authors to conclude:

    “It appears that efforts to promote the use of low-calorie and low-fat food products have been highly successful and have been in line with the objectives of the US Public Health Service.”

    The well-intentioned McGovern group gave us this diet in 1977, mostly in an effort to avoid heart disease and cancer. It boils down to this: replace high fat foods that we have been eating for millions of years and those which our bodies process like a well-oiled machine, with high doses of modern carbohydrate-laden grains. It looks like not only were we all smart enough to comprehend the new guidelines, but we ate them up – literally! The foundation of our diet, just like the food pyramid, became grains. Think about the average daily meals most people eat:

    1. Cereal, oatmeal, or bagel for breakfast (grains, and massive carbohydrate amounts)
    2. Slice of pizza, quesadilla, or sandwich for lunch (even more grains and carbs)
    3. Potatoes, rice, beans along with meat and vegetables for dinner (more grains…)
    And notice, this would be a “healthy” diet! I didn’t even get into fries, potato chips, pasta, or sweets. Grains and carbohydrates have become a major part of every meal for most Americans, under the direction of our leaders. Not only are we smart, but we are a trusting people: we trusted the “authorities” enough to follow their recommendations. In conclusion, we are not too dumb to follow directions. We are just misdirected.

    Expert Theory #2: People are lazy (they just don’t exercise as much).

    Caveman Doctor’s Theory: We could benefit from increased activity, but this hardly accounts for the massive increases in obesity, especially in the past decade.

    Less Walking, More Driving:
    I was recently giving a talk on cancer and low-carb/high-fat diets to an audience of medical personnel. As always happens, the conversation took a turn to low-fat diets surely being the best for cardiovascular health and fighting obesity. A friend of mine who has closely followed a caveman diet (i.e., high fat and low carb) for a year lost 10 pounds and watched her cholesterol levels dramatically improve. I shared her story, and her labs, as proof of my argument. The viewers were in disbelief – rightly so as it was in contradiction of everything they were taught in medical school. The next questions was the classic response, “Yes, but how much has her exercised increased?” Amazingly, before I could answer, a physician stood up and exclaimed: “I am on the same diet and made no alterations in my activity levels. Yet, I witnessed the same changes in my weight and lipid levels, irrespective of exercise.” An amazing moment for sure and extra amazing as it shows more people (and physicians) are returning to the diet we are meant to eat.

    This is another simple topic that has eluded our nation’s best and brightest policy makers. However, if you go to your local gym and ask the first jock you see how to lose weight, he’ll tell you that he “cuts carbs” before the beach or a bodybuilding competition to “get ripped”. In fact, many body builders do no more cardio than 30 minutes on the treadmill a day walking. Granted, they are lifting heavy weights, but the point here is that activity can stay the same and restricting carbohydrates alone results in cutting fat and extra pounds.

    However, let’s look at the data below. Did people mysteriously turn very lazy overnight, roughly around 1977? Or did something else happen at this period that can explain it? A common remark is that people used to be much more active. While that’s true, it’s not the whole story as you’ll see below. Another similar common criticism is that we used to walk everywhere, and now we drive everywhere. This lack of walking is a major cause of the obesity crisis. However, if you look at the graph below (adapted from the Federal Highway Administration), we stopped walking and started driving a lot sooner than 1980. In fact rates shot up far before this period and as of recently, they are plateauing!
    So it would appear that people have slightly increased their caloric intake according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). However, compilation data from several databases actually shows that caloric consumption actually decreased by 4% from 1976 to 1991, the same period where the initial surge in weight gain occurred3. People love to look at all these factors individually, as if there is no connection between increased carbohydrate intake and increased caloric intake. Fat usually has the bull’s-eye on its behind because it has nearly double the calories per gram than carbs or protein, but this is a shortsighted view as we are ignoring the physiological and hormonal response to eating carbohydrates.

    When we eat carbohydrates we get a physiological response that makes us eat more food. The increased carbohydrates cause large increases in insulin and a plummet in our blood sugar (after the initial spike). This then stimulates our hunger, leading us to eat more carbs or anything else around (but especially carbs, as they can quickly spike your blood sugar back up, leading to a vicious cycle). And let’s not forget that sugar and carbohydrates affect the same area of your brain where cocaine and drugs act5-8. Some of cavelady’s patients tell her they are “addicted” to bread, and they are right in a very real way. All food is not created equal, nor does all food have the same effect on your body.A simple way to view this is to ask yourself how many times have you binged on pure fat and protein foods. A salty steak is absolutely delicious. How many times have you eaten one and just HAD to eat another steak or two? How many times have you lathered vegetables with some grass-fed butter and salt and became out of control and couldn’t stop eating them?

    Replace those vegetables with a piece of bread. How many times have you had “just one” piece of bread only to turn possessed and finish the basket? Caveman Doctor tried bread once, and after he went savage on the restaurant to get more, even his simple mind realized that there is a lot more to this food than its caloric content. Something different happens when we eat carbohydrates.
    Looking at things from the perspective that we are made to process the same foods we have eaten for millions of years, this makes perfect sense. Fructose, a sugar that makes our brain go a little crazy for food every now and again, has been found in safe food sources throughout the lifetime of humans: fruit. Fruit, and by fruit I mean mostly fibrous smaller-sized fruits in small amounts(not the modern fruits that are loaded with sugar and the size of your head), has been a safe food for us has been around for millions of years (unlike grains). Therefore, it is not surprising that it activates a part of our brain that says “good stuff here”. Unfortunately, even small amounts of carbohydrates hit the same receptors in our body and make us crave more food, especially more carbs. When we changes this to large amounts of carbohydrates, all bets are off.

    Telling people to eat more carbohydrates and less food overall is not a diet, it is torture. It is the ultimate test of someone’s willpower. When carbohydrates hit our brain and turn our blood sugar levels into a roller-coaster ride, we crave more and turn into gluttons. The recommendations to eat more carbohydrates are the CAUSE of our current gluttonous state, NOT THE RESULT of it – down to the exact date of these recommendations!
    People have been fighting about whether eating fat gives you a metabolic advantage over carbohydrates for years. Well, we can ignore the controversial, but very compelling “metabolic advantage” theory of fats versus carbohydrates9,10 and turn our attention to the “psychological advantage” of eating fats over carbs, which can be viewed all around us. Let’s stop blaming people for gaining weight. Let’s at the very least re-examine the recommendations.

    The “experts” have updated the food recommendations with the recent “Food Plate”, which pushes fruits, grains, protein, vegetables, and a side of dairy. There is once again a general theme of avoiding fats, which, depending on how you look at the table, can actually make up no part of the diet. Judging by the past, I would expect such recommendations to have little effect on reducing the weight of our nation.

    Yet, fat is getting the last laugh as we now have anecdotal evidence and high quality level I evidence that a low-carbohydrate and high fat diet is vastly superior to a low-fat diet in not only weight loss, but also in reducing inflammation, blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels, while increasing HDL (healthy cholesterol)11-15. The fact that it actually improves cholesterol is perhaps the bitterest pill to swallow for our health leaders that have been clinging to these horrendous recommendations.

    Here is what the simplistic real food pyramid should look like:

    Real Food Pyramid Overweight or Obese? Maybe it’s not just you

    If you are struggling with losing weight, maybe it’s not just you. Maybe you are just following bad advice. You are not a lazy, gluttonous, stupid person.

    Paleo Blogger Under Attack

    Cooksey v. Futrell, et al.Caveman Blogger Fights for Free Speech and Internet Freedom

    Paleo blogger Steve Cooksey
    .IJ client Steve Cooksey
    Paleo blogger internet speech video
    Watch a brief video clip on this lawsuit
    Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what food people should buy at the grocery store?
    That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition. In December 2011, diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey started a Dear Abby-style advice column on his popular blog ( to answer reader questions. One month later, the State Board informed Steve that he could not give readers advice on diet, whether for free or for compensation, because doing so constituted the unlicensed, and thus criminal, practice of dietetics. The State Board also told Steve that his private emails and telephone calls with readers and friends were illegal, as was his paid life-coaching service. The State Board went through Steve's writings with a red pen, indicating what he may and may not say without a government-issued license.
    But the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.
    That is why on May 30, 2012, Steve Cooksey joined the Institute for Justice in filing a major free speech lawsuit against the State Board in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. This lawsuit seeks to answer one of the most important unresolved questions in First Amendment law: When does the government's power to license occupations trump free speech?

    Exercise Sweet Spot

    For people who exercise but fret that they really should be working out more, new studies may be soothing. The amount of exercise needed to improve health and longevity, this new science shows, is modest, and more is not necessarily better.

    Phys Ed
    Phys Ed
    Gretchen Reynolds on the science of fitness.

    That is the message of the newest and perhaps most compelling of the studies, which was presented on Saturday at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in San Francisco. For it, researchers at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health and other institutions combed through the health records of 52,656 American adults who’d undergone physicals between 1971 and 2002 as part of the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. Each participant completed physical testing and activity questionnaires and returned for at least one follow-up visit.
    The researchers found that about 27 percent of the participants reported regularly running, although in wildly varying amounts and paces.
    The scientists then checked death reports.
    Over the course of the study, 2,984 of the participants died. But the incidence was much lower among the group that ran. Those participants had, on average, a 19 percent lower risk of dying from any cause than non-runners.
    Notably, in closely parsing the participants’ self-reported activities, the researchers found that running in moderation provided the most benefits. Those who ran 1 to 20 miles per week at an average pace of about 10 or 11 minutes per mile — in other words, jogging — reduced their risk of dying during the study more effectively than those who didn’t run, those (admittedly few) who ran more than 20 miles a week, and those who typically ran at a pace swifter than seven miles an hour.
    “These data certainly support the idea that more running is not needed to produce extra health and mortality benefits,” said Dr. Carl J. Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans and an author of the study. “If anything,” he continued, “it appears that less running is associated with the best protection from mortality risk. More is not better, and actually, more could be worse.”
    His analysis echoes the results of another new examination of activity and mortality, in which Danish scientists used 27 years’ worth of data collected for the continuing Copenhagen City Heart Study. They reported that those Danes who spent one to two and a half hours per week jogging at a “slow or average pace” during the study period had longer life spans than their more sedentary peers and than those who ran at a faster pace.
    This decidedly modest amount of exercise led to an increase of, on average, 6.2 years in the life span of male joggers and 5.6 years in women.
    “We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity,” Dr. Peter Schnorr, a cardiologist and an author of the study, said in presenting the findings at a clinical meeting organized last month by the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. “The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.”
    “The relationship appears much like alcohol intakes,” he continued. “Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise.”
    There’s further confirmation of that idea in the findings of a large study of exercise habits published last year in The Lancet, which showed that among a group of 416,175 Korean adults, 92 minutes a week of moderate exercise, like walking, gentle jogging or cycling, increased life span by about three years and decreased the risk of mortality from any cause by about 14 percent.
    In that study, those who embarked on more ambitious exercise programs did gain additional risk reduction, as seems only fair, but the benefits plateaued rapidly. For each further 15 minutes per week of moderate exercise that someone completed beyond the first 92, his or her mortality risk fell, but by only about another 4 percent.
    Whether and at what point more exercise becomes counterproductive remains uncertain. “In general, it appears that exercise, like any therapy, results in a bell-shaped curve in terms of response and benefit,” says Dr. James H. O’Keefe, a cardiologist and lead author of a thought-provoking review article published on Monday in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that examines whether extreme amounts of vigorous exercise, particularly running, can harm the heart.
    “To date, the data suggests that walking and light jogging are almost uniformly beneficial for health and do increase life span,” Dr. O’Keefe says. “But with more vigorous or prolonged exercise, the benefits can become questionable.
    “I’m a fan of distance running,” he adds. “I run. But after about 45 to 60 minutes a day, you reach a point of diminishing returns, and at some point, you risk toxicity.”
    His advice? The study by Dr. Lavie and his colleagues offers excellent guidelines for safe and effective exercise, Dr. O’Keefe says. “Twenty miles a week or less of jogging at a 10- or 11-minute-mile pace can add years to your life span. That’s very good news.” Indeed it is — especially since that routine happens to replicate almost exactly my own weekly exercise regimen.
    “I wouldn’t automatically discourage people from doing more if they really want to” and are not experiencing side effects, like extreme fatigue or repeated injuries, Dr. O’Keefe continued. “But the message from the latest data is that the sweet spot for exercise seems to come with less.”

    Saturday, June 9, 2012

    Saturated Fat the Advice and the Science

    Is the advice to eat less saturated fat based on any good science? Well, not necessarily according to this fantastic new review:
    Nutrition: Saturated fat and cardiovascular disease: The discrepancy between the scientific literature and dietary advice
    The article analyzes the references for three sources of dietary guidelines: USDA, IOM and EFSA. They all recommend avoiding saturated fat. But they need all their imagination to find the science to back it up:

    Lots of embarrassment

    I recommend the article above, it’s an amusing read. I particularly liked how the USDA refers to Jacobsen at al, a pooled analysis of 11 cohort trials, and its finding that eating more carbohydrates (like bread) or monounsaturated fat (like olive oil) instead of saturated fat (like butter) actually seem to increase the risk of heart disease.
    To put this embarrassing finding “in perspective” they referred to another observational study that found the opposite correlation. The only problem? That study was actually an outdated version of one of the 11 studies pooled in Jacobsen et al. In other words, they chose to believe in one old study, instead of 11 studies combined – including a newer version of that same study!
    More embarrassment in the Nutrition article.

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    The Wisdom and Science of Traditional Diets

    Dr. Daphne Miller is a family physician and author. For over a decade, her clinical work and writing have focused on the balance and interplay between nature, traditional healing and western medical interventions. She discusses how to improve our diets and our lives. Series: "UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public" [1/2011] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 20220]

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Extreme Endurance Exercise Bad for Heart

    Exercise is generally great for health, but extreme forms of it may be bad for the heart in some cases, experts say.
    Recent evidence suggests training for and participating in extreme endurance exercises, such as marathons and triathlons, may cause heart problems in some, researchers say.
    There's very little to gain from doing more than about an hour of exercise a day, said Dr. James O'Keefe, at cardiologist at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo."A lot of people do not understand that the lion's share of health benefits accrue at a relatively modest level," O'Keefe said in a statement. "Extreme exercise is not really conducive to great cardiovascular health," he said.
    However, experts emphasize that exercise is very important for health, and the proportion of endurance athletes at risk for exercise-related heart problems is quite small: The rate of sudden cardiac death among marathon participants is one in 100,000.
    "I would never say don’t do it," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, referring to participation in extreme endurance sports. Instead, Steinbaum said she recommends that athletes undergo an examination from a heart doctor before participating in such activities. While tests cannot predict for sure whether an athlete will experience heart problems down the road, they can provide clues to how big a person's risk may be, Steinbaum said.
    Exercise and the heart
    Studies suggest extreme endurance training can cause temporary changes to the heart's structure, such as stretching of tissue, and increases in certain biomarkers known to be associated with heart injury, O'Keefe said. These factors have been shown to return to normal after one week, but over time, repeated bouts of extreme exercise may lead to more permanent damage, such as heart scaring, in some people.
    In one study of about 100 apparently healthy marathon runners, 12 percent showed evidence of heart scaring — a rate three times higher than that of non-marathon runners.
    Heart scaring can increase the susceptibility to heart rhythm problems, the researchers said.
    Extreme exercise has also been associated with an increased risk of calcium build up in artery walls, leading to a narrowing of the arteries, the researchers said.
    And studies of marathon runners show that up to 50 percent of them have increased levels of troponin, a marker of heart injury, and B-type natriuretic peptide, a marker of pressure on the heart, during and after a marathon, the researchers said.
    How much is too much?
    To exercise for health, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
    A recent study found exercise beyond this amount doesn't translate to extra health benefits. In the study, people who ran moderate distances at moderate speeds, and exercised a few times a week lived longer than those that ran longer distances at faster speeds (7.5 to 8 miles per hour) more than four times per week, O'Keefe said.
    "When it comes to running, it helps to be a little less intense about it," O'Keefe said.
    Athletes interested in extreme endurance sports should have certain biomarkers checked, such as troponin levels, Steinbaum said. "If they're elevated, maybe it's not the right thing for you," she said.
    Pass it on: In a small percentage of endurance athletes, extreme exercise can lead to the development of heart problems.

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    AMA May Back GMO Labeling

    Even the American Medical Association (AMA) May Back Labeling of GMOsAnthony Gucciardi
    The AMA will reportedly be considering the proposals on June 17th, during its annual meeting. What’s more, the long list of individuals and organizations behind the push for labeling does not stop there. The resolutions submitted to the AMA are backed by a multitude of researchers and physicians, including Dr. Martha Herbert, a pediatric neurologist and past vice-chair of the Council on Responsible Genetics. In response to the secretive nature of GMOs and the subsequent lack of real knowledge on their wide scale effects, Dr. Herbert stated:
    “Tracking the millions of people with vulnerable immune systems and their reaction to novel proteins and virus fragments in genetically engineered food is impossible without food labeling.”
    Even mainstream medical groups are coming out of the woodwork to lend support to the labeling of GMOs. It’s time that the government began responding appropriately to the overwhelming amount of support towards the many labeling campaigns and initiatives currently being launched around the globe.