Tag Archives: diabetes

If you are into herbs, health and diet, why are you fat?

Me in Guatemala doing acupuncture outreach, not waiting around for life.

I  was recently asked, under the anonymity of a Google comment, how I can be into herbs and health when I am clearly fat,  I’m sure the question has been let unasked a lot more than it was voiced.  And my first instinct was to get all defensive:  the great American herbalist Michael Moore was fat.  The great Annishinabe medicine woman and ethnobotanist Keewaydinoquay  Peschel was fat.  What does fat on your body have to do with what you know, anyway?

The short answer is that once you are fat, unless you are slightly fat or you had a short term weight gain, it is incredibly difficult to reverse. You can lose weight, but it doesn’t last. You can do quite a bit to stay healthy via your diet and lifestyle, but you may end up healthy and fat.

I’ve been fat since age 5, with a short break during my late teens and 20s when I felt like and metabolically was an underweight fat person. Maybe it was my grandmother’s Native genes clashing with a 1960s Standard American Diet- I took after her rather than my parents.  Maybe it was a reaction  (mine? my  parents?) from nearly dying as an infant from weight loss due to digestive problems, although I didn’t notice them pushing food.  Perhaps I caught one of those obesity-promoting adenoviruses. Maybe it was all those fattening antibiotics I had for ear infections before anyone considered that dairy might be the culprit.  Perhaps my body had to sequester exposures to pesticides painted on the walls at the cabin.  Maybe I overate when they pulled me out of my sweet smelling acacia tree to send me to a dismal school and my happiness quotient fell.  In any event I was on Metrecal, the Slimfast of the day, by the first grade, embarrassed as we discussed our breakfasts in health class.  Junior high was torture, where I was relegated to the few chubette clothes available, until I discovered Guatemalan skirts and peasant blouses. I focused on learning instead of socializing.

I had by this time become quite expert on calories, carbohydrates and food exchanges, not to mention setpoints and portion sizes.  My doctors had suggested everything from locking cupboards, to liquid meals to diet pills that left me wired, but I believed there might be better ways.  I was under orders to lose weight by any means possible. I biked, swam in the summer, lived on a hill so steep the school bus couldn’t drive up so I walked it instead, went hiking in the woods behind our home, and had daily physical education classes taught by self-hating drill sergeants,  I wasn’t exactly a couch potato although I preferred reading, acting in school plays and establishing an underground school newspaper to afterschool sports.

I finally lost weight when I left home, had a new start, and went on a zero carb diet (in Italy, yet.)  I kept most of it off when I got home because I lived a mile’s walk from campus and took five 1-2 hour dance classes a week, blessedly subsidized by parents and low tuition.  And as a young single who chose a bike rather than a car, I swam daily and went scubadiving on weekends, so it only slowly crept back.  But the job ended, I moved to New York where work hours were long, picked up an inactive husband who preferred restaurants to Appalachian trail hikes and saw my weight skyrocket with the hormonal changes of pregnancy.  Periods of stress drove my cortisol through the roof.  By the time my children were born I was over a threshold where I could lose weight without getting sick or exercise without injury.  Not that I didn’t try:  Weight Watchers, Optifast, vegan diet, vegetarian diet, Atkins diet, metabolic bump diets, macrobiotic diet, fermented foods, paleo diet, Paul Bergner’s insulin resistance class, hypnosis, therapists, personal trainers, one- hour exercise sessions that didn’t work, two- hour exercise sessions that burned fat but left me too exhausted to work.  There was a lot of good stuff in many of those plans. I lost some weight. And I gained everything back.English: Typical Atkins diet meal

Was I perfect?  Of course not. As a teen I had justified saving calories from eggs  for ice cream (after all, a calorie is a calorie isn’t it?) I have caught myself eating emotionally, but it was aberrant enough to stand out and my thin friends do the same on occasion.  Portion size may be an issue, but the fat cells themselves call out constantly to eat more, something not true of thinner people. Occasionally I go on tiramisu jaunts.  I go between wondering if I am gluten-sensitive or just carb-sensitive and go in and out of drinking milk.

The International Journal of Obesity says that of people who lose 75 or more pounds, 95-98% gain back every pound within 3 years, 2/3  of them within the first year.  Even Oprah who can afford cooks, a personal trainer and all the backup possible gains it back. People who keep weight off are a statistical aberration, unless the gain was transient. Younger men who haven’t been obese long and are willing to, say, become exercise instructors or indulge in full time physical labor stand the best chance of  joining that elusive 2-5%. as do people who spend the rest of their lives monitoring every mouthful and every bit of exercise.  The National Weight Control Registry tracks strategies and data on those who lose at least 33kg and keep it off or 5 years. Even they say that only 20% of dieters are successful at a 10% weight loss for over one year.   You have to make your life about keeping weight off and maybe change your work to something physical all day.

Three adult Hymenolepis nana tapeworms. Each t...
Three adult Hymenolepis nana tapeworms. (length: 15 to 40 mm) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t tried everything.   Tapeworms, for instance  seemed to work for Maria Callas, but I’m squeamish and like my B vitamins.  Nor have I tried surgery, although I did check it out.  The painful death of my pharmacist after gastric bypass surgery destroyed any question I might have had about a procedure that creeps me out on the face of it.  (What colonizes that empty length of intestine cut off by the surgery?)  Two of my obese patients had the surgery and are still fat- and one lost her spleen during the operation.  And while a lap band seems less intrusive, I watched one patient struggle for a year with infected ports. For a cool $25,000 plus extra surgery for the sagging skin you get an 80% complication rate and 5 years of becoming thinner before you gain it back.  Even if you get thin, you are metabolically fat compared to an always thin person, with every deflated cell urging you to eat at any moment.  And the yo yo is harder on your heart and toxin release harder on your brain than just staying fat.  Thanks, I’ll work on health at any size.

The truth is, despite Joy Nash’s wonderful YouTube  Fat Rants, fat is a matter of shame in our society.  We don’t criticize the selfish or the vain nearly as much as the fat.  Obesity is treated as a character flaw instead of  just extra avoirdupois.  It is extra flesh not failure incarnate. Heck we have a worldwide epidemic of obese 6 month olds who probably eat and move much like infants always have, so it makes no sense to blame.  And we need to get real about it.

Diagram of a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
Diagram of a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. (Wikipedia)

I have no question that if I had bypass surgery and lost weight that people would congratulate me on becoming healthier and it might well help me get a teaching job or keep patients.  It would not be true. My digestion would be permanently ruined, I’d weaken the muscle in my heart along with all the other muscles (non ketogenic weight loss lowers your muscle mass and the heart is mostly muscle) and I would have scars through my meridians.  To be fair my feet and knees would feel better and I might have more energy during the low weight  phase, but the assumption of health would be falsely generalized.  It is possible that I would live up to 3 years longer, although those figures were not derived by comparing fat and formerly fat people and they certainly didn’t sort out the physically fit fat people for comparison.  We aren’t talking decades of life.  Besides the most recent word is that thin people with big bellies die sooner than the obese.

What I can do, even if the fat is intractable, is something about is my health and fitness.  A low carbohydrate diet including good fats, green vegetables, seaweeds, low glycemic flavonoid-rich fruits and clean protein will keep my blood sugar down and normalize my cholesterol and triglycerides.  Exercise will keep my circulation and lung function intact.  Weight training will build muscle mass.  Yoga, qigong, MELT or Pilates will stretch my muscles and strengthen my core.  Regular acupuncture, massage or craniosacral balancing will keep me centered and enough sleep will allow restoration.

Most important I love the work I do and would rather be fat than work at a different, more physical job or spend an additional hour at the gym when I could be spending time figuring out how to affect patients with difficult problems that don’t lead to easy resolution.  While my preference for treating zebras, as difficult cases are called, may not make me thin or rich, at least I learn things that help others.

So what have I learned about weight loss?

  • Statistics on health and Body Mass lump couch potatoes together with the fit fat people.  You don’t want to be a couch potato.  If you work out regularly and eat well, your main problems will be structural.
  • Overweight people react differently to dieting strategies than do obese people.  Formerly fat people are metabolically quite different than always thin people of the same weight.  Don’t assume that everyone can do the same thing to either lose weight or stay thin.
  • Most fat people do best on low carbohydrate diets, without appreciable grains.  Even if you might have done well with grains pre-obesity, your metabolism is probably damaged by long term weight gain. Go Paleo, for good.
  • If you want to lose weight, you need to restrict food even on a low carb diet.  You may be too satisfied to overeat, but many fat people have lost touch with their body’s signals.
  • Ketosis (not the dangerous ketoacidosis) metabolically causes you to lose fat rather than muscle, provided that you don’t overeat. There are entire civilizations in ketosis (traditional Inuit, Bantu, hunter-gathers) who are not in active weight loss. Nonetheless I know of no better start for fat burning.
  • To start a ketogenic diet, mineralize yourself with magnesium, potassium, iodine, trace minerals, sea vegetables and kale.  Otherwise the first two weeks while you are transitioning from glucose-burning to ketone (fat) burning will be hell.  Which is probably why Atkins allowed free consumption of fats during that induction period.
  • For a long term diet, a food plan that hovers between ketosis and low carb just above ketosis is probably the best.  Green vegetables and clean fish or pasture-raised meat, eggs from outdoor chickens and small amounts of berries, yellow fruits and vegetables or pickled root vegetables should be the basis of your diet.
  • This actually can be done with a vegetarian diet but will be a lot more interesting with animal protein.  The infamous low glycemic vegetarian diet that beat the ADA diet for diabetes was basically vegetarian Atkins.
  • Weight gain after periods of intense stress may be more benign than other self-medication (although others may not act as if it is.)  The weight won’t necessarily go away when the stress does or just because you take up yoga, even Birkram.
  • There is a threshold beyond which losing weight is close to impossible without extraordinary changes, so don’t get there. Overweight is better than obese.
  • The kind of extraordinary changes that allow weight loss include moving away from family and friends who may reinforce inactivity or stress, changing to a very physical profession, radically increasing exercise and changing the kind of food you need and a spiritual renewal that doesn’t involve lots of sitting  or reading. Move to a 5th floor walk-up or work a  half hours walk from home to build in exercise.  You also need to make peace with monitoring everything you eat, monitoring exercise and monitoring weight.
  • Some people become fat in reaction to sexual abuse, negative feedback from family members, dissatisfaction with a lack of purpose, or to hide sources of shame.  Others pick up a sense of shame after they become fat.  Continued emotional eating may or may not play a part in this reaction.  Getting rid of the shame is essential to your well-being, whether or not it converts to being thin.
  • If you suddenly gain weight, loose it as soon as possible so that your setpoint weight doesn’t increase.
  • When you take medications like steroids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, long term antibiotics or insulin you will probably gain weight, often substantial amounts. Statins can cause diabetes, but are pushed on people with insulin resistance.  It may be worthwhile, but consider the effect in evaluating your course of treatment and also whether protective lifestyle changes are realistic.
  • Most benefits of weight loss happen in the first 10%.
  • After 10% weight loss, your setpoint tries like crazy to make you regain the lost weight.
  • While some people can, I have never lost weight from exercise alone but I also don’t lose significantly without exercise, including interval aerobics, weight training and stretching. Don’t skip the stretching, because heavy weight predisposes you to injury if your muscles are in the wrong place.

    Chickweed
    Chickweed
  • If you lose weight, you will free toxins locked up in your fat which may be redistributed in your organs.  Take detoxifying herbs like dandelion, chickweed, Oregon grape, triphala or coptis and seaweeds to tie them up.  Getting sick will derail your exercise program.
  • Extra weight is especially hard on your feet, hips and knees.  A heel spur or knee problems will also derail exercise.  Get good shoes, watch Katy Bowman’s biodynamic body DVDs, stand on little balls to massage the small areas of your feet, vary your exercise and be proactive about foot, leg and hip care.
  • Modify exercises to function like they should, not to look like what thin people do.  Maybe that means your toe touch only goes to your thighs.  Maybe your push-up is against a wall, not the floor.  And you need a total substitute for the plough asana if your bust or belly won’t let you breathe.
  • Minerals are essential, especially magnesium which is no longer in soils in appreciable quantity, iodine, potassium, chromium and trace vegetables.  Seaweeds are the main food source of minerals.  Additionally octacosanol will bring down triglycerides.
  • If your endocrine system is unbalanced, try adaptogen herbs like rhodiola, ashwaganda, ginseng and eleuthero.
  • Weight loss herbs basically fall into a few categories:  detoxification, bulk laxatives, liver support, starch blockers, fat blockers and thermogenic herbs. Studies are minimal and are often done on small groups of slightly overweight people.
  • Thermogenic (heating) herbs like cayenne are fine if you run cold.  Otherwise go to cooler circulatory herbs like turmeric, frankincense, myrrh or chuanxiong.  A bit of pepper, long pepper (pipalli) or prickly ash will help the herbs to penetrate and won’t be too hot in small doses.
  • Starch blockers, from phaseolus beans usually give you gas while you don’t assimilate the starch.  Just stay away from starch.
  • Liver herbs like dandelion leaf, green coffee extract, Oregon grape, berberis and milk thistle will help you convert fat and get rid of toxins that were locked up in your fat. Also see detoxification herbs.
  • Fat blockers  are basically liver herbs that cause you to dump.  The pharmaceutical version Olestra (orlistat) can cause explosive diarrhea and deplete you of fat-soluble vitamins and EFAs, but does cause your body to dump toxins.  A less intensive intervention using 7 fat free Pringles a day got rid of both persistent organic pollutants like chlorohexabenzene and fat in some studies.  Pringles of any sort are not food, but personal experience using fake fats to get rid of artificial toxins were not notably successful.
  • The only laxatives I would suggest are triphala, a nourishing and detoxifying group of fruits, and if you are constipated, psyllium, flax or cannabis seeds (sterilized and legal in Chinese medicine stores.)   If it is really bad one dose of senna, cascara sagrada, aloes, or da huang (rhubarb), but only for the first bowel movement.  Eat seaweeds and okra.  Take probiotics or probiotic foods. Drink lots of water.
  • Did I say drink lots of water?  And yes, some of that can be coffee or teas.  Best to avoid diet drinks, even the fairly benign stevia-sweetened ones.  Or save them for special occasions.  Taste can trigger your insulin secretion.
  • Go for periods of time without appreciable carbs, like between dinner and lunch with salmon salad or a veggie frittata for breakfast. When your blood insulin goes up you can’t burn fat or make muscle.
  • Don’t graze.  See above for why.
  • Eat before exercise, which brings your insulin curve back down.  If you eat or swill a sports drink afterwards, you defeat the metabolic effect of exercise.   (Marathoners or Iron Men are an exception and aren’t losing weight, but if you have read this far it probably doesn’t apply to you!)
  • Exercise after eating, even a short spin around the block.
  • Take pride in what you do well, how you affect the world and in who you are.  There will always be people willing to see you as a size rather than a person.  Don’t fall for their shortsightedness.

See also:

Our Symbionts, Ourselves

Chemicals and Obesity: What if if isn’t all your fault?

Why A Parasite Cleanse Can Make You Worse

Probiotics and Probiotic Foods

 

 

 

 

 

 

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H. Pylori Can Keep You Thin

This month’s Scientific American has an article on a subject close to my heart, “Your Inner Ecosystem.”  Only 10% of the DNA in our bodies is human.  In other articles I have advanced the idea that we are walking colonies of microbes, worms and fungi in a human superstructure, where ecological balance is the goal of health rather than purity.  That begs the question of which creatures might be pathogenic- I certainly don’t want ebola in my ecology. Not only doesn’t  it play well with my other creatures, but it is deadly.

Ebola is easy to classify.  However some organisms are difficult to classify.  Acidophilous is great in your gut, especially if you have difficulty assimilating nutrients but it can eat away at your teeth where you might prefer Streptococcus oralis.  There are benign E. coli strains, sold in Europe but not the USA as probiotics, which  tend to predominate in thin people while firmiciute bacteria like the Lactobaccili predominate in fat people and can make thin rats fat.  Even low level staph infections on the skin may crowd out nasty drug-resistant MRSA.

Heliobactor pylori is another example.  This bacteria increases acidity in the stomach, resulting in both the environment where it thrives and breakdown of food.  However in susceptible individuals, it causes ulcers.  When Dr. Martin Blaser, now professor of microbiology and internal medicine at NYU found H. pylori 25 years ago, he approached it as a simple pathogen causing ulcers- and with antibiotic treatment ulcer diagnoses have reduced by more than 50%.  But in 1998 he published research showing that in the vast majority of people H. pylori is beneficial, regulating the acidity of the stomach properly.  H. pylori was also linked to a reduction in adenocarcinomas.  In 2008 he found that H. pylori regulates ghrelin which tells your body to stop eating.  When ghrelin levels are high you become hungry.  After you eat -unless your H. pylori levels are low- ghrelin levels plummet.  In a study of 92 veterans treated with antibiotics to lower H. pylori for ulcers, gained weight in comparison to uninfected peers.  Lower H. pylori is also linked to higher diabetes rates.

Helicobacter Pylori, Stomach Biopsy, Giemsa Stain
Helicobacter Pylori, Stomach Biopsy, Giemsa Stain (Photo credit: euthman)

One of the curious things is that two or three generations ago something like 80% of children were hosts to H. pylori.  Now fewer than 6% of children have the appetite suppressing bacteria, perhaps because of broader-range antibiotics and the inclusion of antibiotics in meat production which could account for less exposure to seed the microbiota.  There is apparently preliminary information suggesting a second mechanism for this where antibiotics silence bacterial signalling for undifferentiated stem cells to make tissue other than fat.

The hygiene hypothesis also may affect the acquisition of H. pylori.  Water is cleaner.  Plant food trucked across the country may contain fewer live bacteria.  Increased C-section rates may prevent the transmission of a mother’s microbiota to the infant in the birth canal.  We have fewer commensal bacteria now altogether and H. pylori is a stunning example of the reduction of a bacteria that can help keep us thin.

However it appears that adding H. pylori may not be helpful once you are fat and possibly the age of acquisition is important.  In further experiments people who were obese and diabetic had higher levels of H. pylori.  Researchers think lowering H. pylori with antibiotics might help lower A1c levels in diabetics.   Is H. pylori exerting a U-shaped influence where too little and too much cause weight gain?  We don’t really know. In the human body with all its feedback loops, direct interventions work quite differently than in petri dishes.

Still, farmers have known for some time that adding antibiotics and increasing starchy feed is the best way to get animals fat for market.  When we do this to ourselves and our children, it should not surprise us if we get the same result.  While it is not a likely single cause of obesity and diabetes, its effect may be far from trivial.

Sources:

Your Inner Ecosystem: Jennifer Ackerman  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ultimate-social-network-bacteria-protects-health

Endosymbiosis: Lynn Margulis http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/_0/history_24

Ecological and Evolutionary Forces Shaping Microbial Diversity in the Human Intestine http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867406001929

Gut Reaction: Environmental Effects on the Human Microbiota http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2685866&blobtype=pdf

Immune Gene Evolution May Be Driven By Parasites http://www.dana.org/news/features/detail.aspx?id=22816

The Body Politic http://seedmagazine.com/content/print/the_body_politic/ (picture from this article.)

Gut Bacteria Do More Than Digest Food http://www.hhmi.org/bulletin/aug2010/features/gut_bacteria5.html

Swapping Germs:  Should fecal transplants become routine for debilitating diarrhea? Maryn McKenna  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=swapping-germs

See Also:

Our Symbionts, Ourselves

Chemicals and Obesity: What if if isn’t all your fault?

Why A Parasite Cleanse Can Make You Worse

Probiotics and Probiotic Foods

How to Make Miso


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What is the Right Vitamin D Level?

Vitamin D
Vitamin D

The symptoms of low vitamin D levels are subtle and difficult to distinguish, given that receptors are found in most organ systems in the body and affect genetic transcription in cells. For chronic pain the Mayo clinic suggests that Vitamin D deficiency is the first thing that should be considered. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to depression, osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteomalacia, rickets, periodontal disease, seasonal affective disorder, increased susceptibility to colds and flu, colon cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma, Continue reading What is the Right Vitamin D Level?

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Grapefruit seeds for urinary tract infections and diabetes

Grapefruit seed found sprouted in the fruit, used with permission

I am not a fan of grapefruit seed extract, because  as a natural antibiotic it is a scam, a drug basically.  But grapefruit seeds themselves do have antimicrobial effects and apparently, like many herbs, can reverse antibiotic resistance.     Continue reading Grapefruit seeds for urinary tract infections and diabetes

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Agave Nectar: A Healthy Sweetner?

When Agave nectar first burst on the scene as a healthier sweetener, it appeared to be superior to sugar and other dietary sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.  It was easy to imagine that for thousands of years Native Americans had been tapping the sap of the agave plant, Continue reading Agave Nectar: A Healthy Sweetner?

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Fermented Blueberry Drink Prevents Diabetes and Obesity

For some time I have been promoting probiotic foods (foods with “good bacteria” for the gut) as superior to probiotic pills.  The probiotics in food are present with their prebiotic food sources, often have fat or other compounds to protect them from digestive juices and are found in the forms that our bodies evolved to expect.  Now a study from the University of Montreal shows that fermented blueberry juice, using the organisms that are found on Continue reading Fermented Blueberry Drink Prevents Diabetes and Obesity

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Chinese Herbal Formulas May Prevent Diabetes

Ginseng_in_KoreaAdding herbs to lifestyle changes doubles the likelihood of lowering blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome and according to the study will prevent progress to Type 2 diabetes unlike lifestyle changes alone.  Three proprietary Chinese formulas included Jiangtang Bushen, Xiaoke huaya and Tang Kang yin. The ingredients were not specified but when I searched Pub Med I found that the lead researcher has done positive research on American ginseng saponins, puerarins from kudzu, glucosides from bai shao and berberine from coptis for the problem.  Herbs such as rhemannia, jiaogulan and mai men dong are also traditionally used for diabetes, depending upon the Chinese medicine pattern.  And I suggest that Continue reading Chinese Herbal Formulas May Prevent Diabetes

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Ten Things About Being Fat

Joy Nash
Joy Nash of Fat Rant

As someone who has dealt with obesity since kindergarten, when they pulled me indoors from climbing trees all day, I have dealt with fat, diets and fat fallout all of my life.  I was on Metrecal shakes in the third grade, and at 16 my Italian doctor was shocked at the diet pills my US MD had prescribed since age 14.  Every kind of diet- low fat, low carb, low calorie, Weight Watchers, fad diets, macrobiotics, non diets,- lots of exercise, hypnosis, EFT, and positive imagery was tried.  I know all the supplements, the portion sizes, the caloric values, the allergens and the energetics of foods.  And like most fat people I have had the will power to lose weight many times over.  Continue reading Ten Things About Being Fat

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And more on Vitamin D

This is a very funny and informative video on Vitamin D, with images that will stick with you.  (I especially liked his publication strategy to get new patients.)

  • Infant chimps, which we have already seen need similar Vitamin D to humans can take 5000 iu per day.
  • Collagen without sufficient Vitamin D is like putting Jello in water- it gets softer and can’t support the bones.
  • Iguana owners have a better idea of Vitamin D needs than most doctors. (And the pictures of Vitamin D deficient iguanas will stick with you.)
  • Vitamin D is responsible for regulating the blood pressure hormone rennin, and for combating elevated levels of C-reactive protein in your body.
  • Malignant melanoma usually appears in areas without exposure to sun, and working out of doors lowers your malignant melanoma rate.
  • Squamous cell skin cancer is the only cancer that occurs more in sunbathers, the ones that will kill you are lower.
  • Vitamin D toxicity occurred in a Florida lawyer who was taking 1 million iu of Vitamin D for two years due to a manufacturing accident.  When they gave him a diuretic and kept him out of the sun for a month, it reversed.
  • While tanning bed enthusiasts get more cancer, they also have higher bone density.

Lots more and hard information:

See Related Posts:

Vitamin D Regulates the Immune System

Nursing Mothers, Infants and Vitamin D

How to Get Vitamin D from the Sun

Vitamin D Prevents Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes, MS, Heart Attack and Pain

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Vitamin D Prevents Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes, MS, Heart Attack and Pain

Watching this You-Tube video from the University of California at San Diego might be one of the best things you can do for your health. It explains clearly and in detail which levels of vitamin D3 are necessary to prevent a great variety of diseases. Rickets, the disease our woefully inadequate RDA was designed to prevent, needs very little Vitamin D.    Cancers, diabetes, heart attack, falls, fractures, hypertension, neurological impairment, even pain will be prevented by raising your blood Vitamin D levels to the recommended range.

I have been taking 10,000 iu of Vitamin D3 daily for the last year and am only in the low end of the recommended range.

You can find the charts shown in the video at http://www.grassrootshealth.net

A blood level of Vitamin D (have your doctor test it) should be 40-60 ng/ml, which is likely higher than the reference range of the test. You would need to reach 200 ng/ml to suffer from toxicity. The amount you need to supplement will vary, but is way way higher than you find in any multi.  Unless you seek out a special high concentration vitamin D supplement, you are not getting enough, at least above the Mason-Dixon line (and usually below as well.)

This video puts together the Vitamin D research and offers a public health program designe Continue reading Vitamin D Prevents Cancer, Type 1 Diabetes, MS, Heart Attack and Pain

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Breastfeeding May Be Beneficial To Mothers, Not Only To Babies


(Schwarz, Eleanor et al. University of Pittsburgh. Quoted by the New York Times April 22, 2009)

Breastfeeding

A study from the University of Pittsburgh looked at the health history of 139,681 women and concluded that the longer women nursed their babies, the lower their risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.  While mothers who nursed only one month had lower blood pressure and diabetes, those who nursed at least one year had significantly lower rates of cardiovascular disease as well.

Continue reading Breastfeeding May Be Beneficial To Mothers, Not Only To Babies

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What is the Glycemic Index?

Carbs

Most people with blood sugar problems have noticed that carbohydrates raise blood sugar, often followed by a crash. The various low carbohydrate diets- Atkins, South Beach, Anti-Inflammation Diet, and even the Zone- do somewhat better at weight loss compared to a low calorie diet, but really excel at keeping blood sugar levels stable, lowering triglycerides, lowering blood insulin, and even cholesterol.

But not all carbs are created equal:  a baked Idaho potato with a sprinkle of salt will send your blood sugar spiraling more than an equal weight of even ice cream or table sugar. Continue reading What is the Glycemic Index?

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