Posts Tagged Sugar
Vitamin D has been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and its most severe form, Alzheimer’s disease,1 the latter of which now affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans.2
The latest mortality statistics places Alzheimer’s in the top three killer diseases in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.3 Vitamin D deficiency is also rampant. Researchers estimate that half of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.
Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. While certainly not the sole cause of dementia, evidence suggests vitamin D may be a very important factor for successful prevention.
A wide variety of brain tissue contains vitamin D receptors, and when they’re activated by vitamin D, it facilitates nerve growth in your brain. Researchers also believe that optimal vitamin D levels boosts levels of important brain chemicals, and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.
Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which are well established.
‘Most Robust Study of Its Kind’ Confirms Link Between Low Vitamin D and Dementia
The link between low vitamin D and dementia has again been confirmed with the publication of a robust six-year long study4 conducted by an international team of researchers. As reported by Science Daily:5
“[S]tudy participants who were severely vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease…
[A]dults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 percent in those who were severely deficient.
Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 percent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 percent increased risk for those severely deficient.”
The authors concluded that: “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.”
The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 50 nmol/L, or 20 ng/ml. Higher levels were associated with good brain health.
Based on previous research, I believe 20 ng/ml is still too low, and potentially dangerously so… When it comes to vitamin D, you really want to be in the optimal or clinically relevant range, and as the years have gone by, researchers have progressively moved that target range upward.
At present, based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml, or 125-175 nmol/L—a far cry from the threshold suggested in this study.
Sun Exposure Is the Ideal Way to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level
I believe sensible sun exposure is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels. As a general rule, you’ll want to expose large amounts of bare skin to the sun until it turns the lightest shade of pink, if you’re light-skinned.
This typically occurs in about half the time it would normally take you to burn. So if you know you tend to get sunburned after 30 minutes, you’d want to stay in the sun for about 15 minutes.
Those with darker skin may need to pay closer attention to notice when this slight reddening occurs. It’s really impossible to give any firm recommendations for how long you need to stay in the sun to optimize vitamin D production, as it varies greatly depending on a number of factors, such as:
Antioxidant levels and diet in general Age Skin color and/or current tan level Use of sunscreen Latitude and altitude (elevation) Cloud cover and pollution Ozone layer Surface reflection Season Time of day Weight Altitude
Other Alternatives: UVB emitting lights or Supplements
Your second-best option would be to use lights that emit UVB.
If your circumstances prevent either of these strategies, then you’re left with taking a vitamin D supplement. GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.
Be sure to take vitamin D3—not synthetic D2—and take vitamin K2 in conjunction with it. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, and without sufficient amounts, calcium may build up in areas such as your arteries and soft tissues.
This can cause calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries—a side effect previously thought to be caused by vitamin D toxicity. We now know that inappropriate calcification is actually due more to lack of K2 than simply too much vitamin D.
Magnesium Is Also Important for Vitamin D Activity
Magnesium is another important player—both for the proper function of calcium, and for the activity of vitamin D, as it converts vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium also activates enzyme activity that helps your body use the vitamin D. In fact, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to work. Magnesium also appears to play a role in vitamin D’s immune-boosting effects. As noted by magnesium expert Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND:6
“The effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate levels of magnesium in the body. Magnesium acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D, and yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.”
As with vitamin D and K2, magnesium deficiency is also common, and if you’re lacking in magnesium and take supplemental calcium, you may exacerbate the situation. Vitamin K2, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D all work in tandem with each other, which is why it’s important to pay attention to their ratios. Vitamin A, zinc, and boron are other important cofactors that interact with vitamin D, and indeed, zinc deficiency has also been identified as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease.
When taking supplements, it can be easy to create lopsided ratios, so getting these nutrients from an organic whole food diet and sensible sun exposure is generally your best bet. Dietary sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, and nori. Vegetables can also be a good source. As for supplements, magnesium citrate and magnesium threonate are among the best.
October 28, 2014
Today, walking into the local Costco, we could not help but noticed emblazoned in bright red [talk about ominous portent, right?] how Flu Shots were being advertised. Needless to say the thought of anyone injecting toxins into their system just makes me cringe.
One of the noxious substances featured in some vaccines is the element Mercury, which is known to be harmful in any form.
“Mercury Poisoning [also known as hydrargyria or mercualism] is a type of metal poisoning and a metal condition caused by exposure to mercury or its compounds….Toxic effects include damage to the brain, kidneys, and lungs. Mercury poisoning can result in several diseases including acrodynia [pink disease], Hunter-Russell syndrome, and Minamata disease.”
Mercury is highly reactive with selenium, an essential dietary element required by about 25 genetically distinct enzyme types (selenoenzymes). Among their numerous functions, selenoenzymes prevent and reverse oxidative damage in the brain and endocrine organs. The molecular mechanism of mercury toxicity involves its unique ability to irreversibly inhibit activities of selenoenzymes.
It goes without saying, but Mercury is also really detrimental to fetuses as well as infants.1
One would figure that such a dangerous substance should not make it anywhere close to a person, yet alone a child.
You can tell someone that mercury is toxic [and some don’t even know it is, sadly!], and they agree because they know. The mind-numbing part that stretches one’s brain/logic is that if you know it is toxic, why on Earth would you inject that into your child? It goes to show how well the propaganda machine works.
This ominously reminds me of Sodium Fluoride. Reason being is that although Sodium Fluoride is known to be toxic in many forms – even being an ingredient in rat poison! – it’s actually infused into the water supply.
Now let us get back to mercury. It is known that mercury is damaging in any dosages, as well as toxic in all forms.2 This isn’t stretching the imagination one bit. A simple way of thinking of Mercury is: Toxic Substance = Harmful Side Effects.
Shockingly, in 2009 there was a report covered by the Washington Post detailing that High-Fructose Corn Syrup, which been linked to many diseases including cancer, contains mercury.
Average American consumers ingest about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS with youngsters eating 80% more High Fructose Corn Syrup then average. It’s no wonder that Americans consumed more than 37 pounds of HFCS in the year 2008!3
Of course, that means a hefty amount of mercury making its way into the diets of children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. Perhaps that is one of the myriad reasons why America’s health [and global health for that matter] is declining?
With evidence continuing to mount about the efficacy [or lack there of] of flu vaccines, what is going to give?
Knowing what we know, it’s time that people not only wake up to these series health issues, but also aid in keeping the establishment accountable for allowing such a pervasive and damaging toxin not only in the daily foods we eat, but also in the vaccines millions take blindly. Only then will we being to ameliorate the tsunami of disease that just keeps getting larger and larger.
Splenda soon to unleash ‘Nectresse’ – Here’s what you need to know about this new ‘natural’ sweetener
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson
[NaturalNews] McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, maker of the artificial sweetener Splenda, is gearing up to introduce a new “natural” sweetener known as Nectresse that will cater specifically to those looking for a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar. But is Nectresse really as natural as McNeil claims it is, or is the product just another example of tricky marketing hype aimed at health-conscious consumers?
According to the Nectresse website, the product is “100 percent natural,” and is made from the heat-stable extract of an Asian melon known as monk fruit, or Lo Han. McNeil claims that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving, and that monk fruit is 150 times sweeter than sugar, which means that consumers do not need to use very much of it to effectively sweeten foods and beverages.
Nectresse contains other additives besides monk fruit
But monk fruit is not the only ingredient in Nectresse, nor is it even the primary ingredient. The first and most abundant ingredient in Nectresse is actually erythritol, a sugar alcohol commonly derived from corn, the vast majority of which has been genetically modified (GM) in the U.S. And the second ingredient in Nectresse is sugar, which is refined and more than likely comes from GM sugar beets.
The third ingredient in Nectresse is monk fruit, which McNeil explains is extracted using a natural process involving both water and heat rather than chemicals — this is good. But the fourth and final ingredient in Nectresse is molasses, which once again is a sugar that more than likely was derived from GM sugar beets — producers that use sugar from sugar cane, after all, typically indicate this on their ingredient labels.
Nectresse, not so natural after all
So three out of the four ingredients used in Nectresse appear to be derived from bioengineered crops, and two of these ingredients are refined sugars. And since erythritol is a sugar alcohol, as well as the most abundant ingredient in Nectresse, McNeil can legally claim under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving.
But the fact that Nectresse more than likely contains ingredients derived from GM sources means that it is hardly the “natural” product that McNeil is hyping it up to be. Sure, Nectresse contains a little bit of monk fruit which, like the stevia plant, contains compounds that are naturally very sweet, but that do not provide the body with calories in the same way as sugar. But the other ingredients found in Nectresse can hardly be considered natural.
According to MonkFruit.org, (http://www.monkfruit.org/monk-fruit/68/food-beverage-manufacturers) monk fruit can actually be up to 200 times sweeter than sugar because it contains natural antioxidants known as mogrosides that have a strong, sweet taste, but that are not actually considered to be sugar. These mogrosides are unique to monk fruit, and they also contain zero calories.
By itself, in other words, monk fruit appears to be viable as a healthy, alternative sweetener that, because of its heat stability, can work better than stevia in certain food applications that require baking, sauteing, or other forms of heat cooking. Nectresse, on the other hand, appears to be an adulterated version of the monk fruit that represents the corporate food industry’s latest attempt at trying to cash in on the health-conscious.
Sources for this article include:
by: Vic Shayne Ph.D.
August 6, 2012
Peering into the politics of the food industry is like getting a peek behind the curtain where the Wizard of Oz is working the controls. It seems quite obvious that food giants like Kellogg work hard to become reputable and good not by the products they produce, but by the friends they make. You really have to look at the whole picture to see what’s going on in the PR arena to understand why, in the end, the consumer gets it in more ways than one.
Buying a reputation by supporting a cause
Besides assessing whether huge food processors are good or bad or just doing their job, we should consider the ethics of associations like the American Heart Association, the Dietitian’s Association and others who readily take the money of corporate sponsors. Does this prevent them from fully disclosing the truth about the unhealthy ingredients in many processed foods? You be the judge.
It’s blunt but to the point
This quote from Common Dreams is so succinct that it bears publishing: “The American Heart Association (AHA) has sullied its reputation by getting in bed with whatever corporation comes around with its checkbook open.”
Way back in 2004, reporter Robert Weissman wrote, “Subway has given $4 million to the American Heart Association (AHA) since 2002, and will gave an additional $6 million through 2007. That’s a total of $10 million. In exchange, Subway gets to put the AHA ‘fighting heart disease and stroke’ logo on its materials throughout its chain of stores, according to an AHA spokesperson.”
Kellogg raises kids on sugar then tells them they should eat right
Here is a direct quote from Kellogg: “Kellogg Company in 2005 kicked off a partnership with the Girls on the Run®, a nonprofit organization that encourages girls ages 8-13 to be more active, eat right and live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Kellogg is sponsoring Girls on the Run over three years as part of its Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes® Earn Your Stripes™ initiative.”
In 3/4 cup of Kellogg’s Frosted Flake there are 110 calories, zero fat, 140mg of sodium and 11 grams of sugar. Is this Kellogg’s idea of part of a “healthy lifestyle”?
Kellogg also states, ” To demonstrate its commitment and help call attention to this critical health issue, [Kellogg’s] Smart Start Healthy Heart has launched a major heart health initiative. In addition to providing national support for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, this initiative includes free health screenings, community events, and on-pack promotions.”
It’s ironic that the maker of so many deleterious sugar-drenched dead food provides health screenings and claims to care about heart disease.
The list of sponsorships by Kellogg goes on. They talk about cancer, obesity and heart disease as being terrible and they say they work for at-risk elementary children.
An optimist might say this is confusing, given Kellogg’s line of processed foods. A more realistic view is to say that they’re riding both sides of the fence. And worse, groups like the AHA allow them to do so by censoring the truth in return for some huge donations.
Why pick on just one company?
Kellogg is but one in a list of corporations that put money in the hands of nonprofits while touting good health programs and serving millions of suffering people junk food. General Mills, the makers of Chocolate Cheerios, claims on their website that this product is a “good source of calcium.” Really? I don’t think so. A good source of calcium is broccoli, organic milk or kale. In a long list of good sources of calcium, Chocolate Cheerios wouldn’t be anywhere near the top.
Then there’s Post, purveyors of Fruity Pebbles children’s cereal. Like the others, they also get the seal of the American Heart Association. No comment necessary.
Kraft is proud to help children make healthy lifestyle choices. How again?
Kraft Foods says it “is proud to collaborate with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation,” an association “founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2005…to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015 and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices.”
So, Kraft, maker of something that’s not cheese but is called cheese food, is concerned about our children’s health? Kraft’s Singles contains zero fat. Zero. How can anything made of cheese not contain fat? By the way, good fat is essential to everyone’s health. It feeds the nerves, fuels the hormonal system, is needed for bone and brain development and healthy skin. There’s also no calcium in Singles. How can a milk product not contain calcium? But Kraft gives some big bucks to nonprofits, so that make everything hunky dory.
Who’s sponsoring the American Dietetic Association?
Dietitians get mad at me for writing these kinds of things, but let’s be honest — the American Dietetic Association (ADA) is sponsored by some companies who produce substances that are bad for the health. Go to their website and see what I mean. You will find Coca Cola, Hershey, Mars, Kellogg, General Mills and Pepsico, among others.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By: PF Louis
[NaturalNews] There are two controversies with eating fruits: Should you eat them and if so, when? Those who reject fruit consumption point to glycemic indices and claim fruit’s sugar spikes could lead to diabetes while pointing out that fruit sugar is fructose, and fructose is hard on the liver.
Those who regard eating fruit as a healthy habit caution against mixing fruit with other foods. Their concerns are solely digestive. Both viewpoints have their interesting points that should be compared to one’s own experience.
A little discourse on the matter may help one reach a healthy decision for eating fruit without concerns.
Fructose and sugar spike concerns
Pure fructose is worse than plain sugar, although sugar does also contain fructose. Table sugar (sucrose) is generally 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose. Fructose goes to the liver directly to be metabolized, and the metabolic product is fat and toxic byproducts rather than the instant energy that sucrose provides.
The stuff added to processed foods and beverages, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is anywhere from 55 percent to 90 percent fructose. A study at The University of Southern California (USC) concluded that most popular sweet beverages are 65 percent pure fructose.
You may think what the heck, that’s only 15 percent more than table sugar. But according to USC professor of preventive medicine and The Childhood Obesity Research Center, Michael Goran who led the research mentioned above, the 15 percent differential amounts to 30 percent more extracted fructose.
Goran points to the main source of obesity among the young with the intrusion of HFCS into their diets. Breast milk contains lactose, which is not a sugar problem for infants. But baby formulas, baby foods, children’s cereals, juices, sodas and other foods often contain HFCS to create a liver shock among the young. (Goran’s site link below)
Professor Goran is quick to point out that fruit’s fiber and other nutritional aspects inhibit rapid fructose assimilation and minimize fructose’s negative effects. You would need to eat a heck of a lot of fruit to endanger your health in any way. (Science 20, source below)
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 28, 2012
It’s important to note that steering clear from these foods completely may be difficult, and you should merely try finding other sources than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured the crops aren’t GMO. Even better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and grow them yourself
Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List
1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.
2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone
3. Sugar: According to NaturalNews, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of it’s sugarbeets, being ordered to remove seeds from the soil due to illegal approval.
4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.
5. Papayas: This one may come as a surprise to all of you tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though they can’t be sold to countries in the European Union, they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and Canada.
6. Canola: One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.
7. Cotton: Found in cotton oil, cotton originating in India and China in particular has serious risks.
8. Dairy: Your dairy products contain growth hormones, with as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows in America are pumped with these hormones. In fact, Monasnto’s health-hazardous rBGH has been banned in 27 countries, but is still in most US cows. If you must drink milk, buy organic.
9. and 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Closely related, these two squash varieties are modified to resist viruses.
The dangers of some of these foods are well-known. The Bt toxin being used in GMO corn, for example, was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies. But perhaps more frightening are the risks that are still unknown.
With little regulation and safety tests performed by the companies doing the genetic modifications themselves, we have no way of knowing for certain what risks these lab-created foods pose to us outside of what we already know.
The best advice: steer clear of them altogether.
by: Dr. Mercola
July 25, 2012
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at fast food restaurants? Fast-food insiders (i.e. former employees) reveal a slew of nasty secrets that may make you think twice about ever eating in one of these restaurants again …
Black Oil, Blood and “Melted” Chicken
The featured article has quite a few doozies, such as a former worker from Burger King who describes the restaurant’s oil rotation policy:1
“Here is how the oil rotation went. You had four vats of oil that you cooked fries in. And boy did you cook fries. Tons of them. After about 2 days worth, the oil got too dark for fries. So we switched it over to the ones for chicken. Since it was darker, it was ok.
Then that goes on for a week. After a week of massive frying. The oil is black as motor oil. At that point, it’s switched to the Fish Filet vat. That’s the only thing you cook in that vat.”
Another former worker, this one from McDonald’s, recalled what happened when a bag of chicken nuggets was left out on the counter for too long:
“They melted. Into a pool of liquid. I never understood why. But they were completely indiscernible as being the nuggets I once knew.”
Other unsavory confessions revealed by these fast-food whistleblowers include:
- Large chunks of mold in ice-cream machines and ice dispensers (which are rarely cleaned)
- A worker continuing to handle food with an open, bleeding wound on her hand
- “Recycling” overcooked burgers into chili, or stripping chicken patties of their breading and passing it off as chicken salad
Startling discoveries like these are all too common when it comes to fast-food … it was several years back when 12-year-old middle schooler Jasmine Roberts won the science fair at her school when she discovered that the ice used in the drinks of fast food restaurants had more bacteria than the toilet water. And in 2010, nearly half of soda fountains at fast food restaurants tested were found to contain coliform (bacteria that grows in feces) while 11 percent also contained E. coli!2
And Then There’s the Food …
Even under the best circumstances, fast-food restaurants fail when it comes to your health.
Eating the food at nearly every fast food chain (except maybe Chipotle and a few other restaurants committed to sustainable, organic suppliers) means you are likely consuming feedlot animal meat – flesh that comes from animals raised in crowded unsanitary conditions, fed massive doses of antibiotics and unnatural “frankenfeed” full of GM crops and some other truly disturbing ingredients.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the decidedly unhealthy practices that go on at a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). The problem begins at the massive CAFOs where the beef, chicken or pigs are fed genetically modified corn and soybeans and excessive grains in general (which are not the natural diet of these animals), along with the following almost unbelievable feed ingredients:
- Plastics — for the many animals whose digestive systems need roughage to pass food through them, the CAFOs now use plastic pellets.
- Meat from members of the same species — CAFOs turn farm animals into cannibals. Scientific research has linked this practice to the spread of both mad cow disease and avian bird flu.
- Manure and animal feces– this can include cattle manure, swine waste, and poultry waste. It also includes wood, sand, rocks, dirt, sawdust and other non-food substances.
- Roxarsone — more commonly known as arsenic, which until last year was put into chicken and pig feed to control intestinal parasites that might cause them to eat less and grow slower. Chicken litter (containing the arsenic that passes through the birds) is also collected from chicken CAFOs and fed to feedlot cattle, for some apparent reason that defies common sense.
- Animal byproducts — categorized as “animal protein products,” this includes rendered feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, internal organs, intestines, beaks and bones, dead horses, euthanized cats and dogs, and road kill.
Most Fast Food is a Mixture of Chemicals, Sugar, Flavoring and Salt …
From there, fast food is often nothing more than a slew of chemicals, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and salt … for instance, only about half of a Chicken McNugget is actual chicken. The rest is a mix of corn-derived fillers and additives (most likely genetically modified), along with a slew of synthetic chemicals, including:
- Dimethyl polysiloxane, a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods like Silly Putty
- Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a petroleum-based product with antioxidant properties