Archive for July, 2017

Sometimes it isn’t you, the PARADE is OUT of STEP

Maybe all our mothers used this question: “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that?” (Well, in my case that was before bungee jumping or I might have had a sassy comeback.) Moms are right. Just because nearly everyone is doing something, doesn’t mean it is smart.

Below are a few examples:

  • In the July 6 blog I talked about the dangers (e.g. death) of the routinely prescribed heartburn drugs that are also advertised in a way that paints them as harmless.
  • Many cardiologists make it sound like cities should add statin cholesterol drugs to the municipal drinking water. That is despite these facts: there are perhaps hundreds of side effects; the whole cholesterol theory of primary prevention of heart disease is under attack (not so for those who have had a heart attack); and studies show that taking them for prevention of heart disease might only add 4 days to the end of your life. Read Bill Sardi’s article.
  • Antibiotics are routinely prescribed for sinus congestion which is usually caused by yeast overgrowth and for upper respiratory infections which are usually viral. It isn’t just a waste of money because they don’t help. The improperly used antibiotics can also have serious side effects. That frivolous usage can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of pathogens. When that happens, antibiotics may no longer be lifesavers when we urgently need them. I explain the problem and solutions in my book, The Probiotic Cure.
  • Fat-free yogurt still fills the cooler shelves at the supermarket. Never mind that studies show more health benefits with full-fat dairy. Then there is the blood sugar destabilizing effect of the sugars added to make the low-fat items taste better. The light versions are no better because they ignore growing concerns that artificial sweeteners seem to be hard on our good bacteria and may cause weight gain instead of weight loss.

There is so much of this type of silliness, it is no wonder people that don’t know what to do. My guests on the radio show and I look at what the research actually says; compare that with the immutable laws of nature; and put that through a filter of what healthy populations around the world do. We hope to help you better understand which parades are worth joining.

 

12 reasons to cut back on grain products like bread

 

Obviously, an occasional sandwich won’t kill you (unless you are deathly allergic to an ingredient). However, a steady diet of bread, rolls, buns, tortillas, crackers, cereal, cookies, pancakes, pastries, pretzels, waffles, cakes, biscuits, pizza crust, donuts, toaster pastries, muffins, bagels and the like might speed you toward poor health. Most cultures in the world that are healthier than us do not eat much of that kind of stuff. The baker’s dozen list of problems I give below is not nearly complete, but it is a start.

  1. Blood sugar. Refined grains (even whole grain bread is processed grain) create unstable blood sugar and begin to wear out the insulin system. That is a step on the road to diabetes. Read more about that.
  2. Yeast. Intestinal yeasts (fungus) are very damaging to our health. They can result in a wide range of symptoms from rashes and headaches to joint pain and perhaps even cancer. Starches and sugars are their favorite foods. Read more.
  3. Mycotoxins. In addition to crowding out our beneficial bacteria, much of the harm from yeasts comes from the poisons (mycotoxins) that they create. Molds (fungus) grows on grains stored in silos. Commercial grain can stay in silos for as long as 5 years…organic grain only 1 year. These poisons cannot be cooked out. Doug Kaufmann’s TV program Know the Cause is a great source of information about yeasts, fungus and mycotoxins.
  4. Chemicals. I ran across a study about methods for detecting residues of 405 pesticides in grain! That doesn’t count herbicides (like Roundup) and fungicides. None of these need to be listed on the food label.
  5. Gluten. The media and some “experts” paint those of us who avoid gluten as silly fad followers. They do acknowledge that folks with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, but they usually underestimate the number who have it. (At this link, 200 documented reasons to avoid wheat.) I’m one of many who have specific non-celiac sensitivity problems with gluten. This substance is found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten may bother everyone to some degree because it leads to the creation of zonulin. That can loosen the ties between cells that line the intestinal tract causing leaky gut. Leaky gut can lead to food sensitivity and even autoimmune conditions. Most gluten free substitutes for the “foods” listed in the opening paragraph have many of the same issues. For example, there is concern about arsenic contamination of rice. Sour dough bread has been touted as an answer to gluten sensitivity. This linked article sheds some light on that theory. If it is truly fermented for a long period the old fashioned way it is indeed better. But, to avoid some of the other 9 reasons it should start with whole grain organic flour, not have additives and be eaten in moderation.
  6. Lectins. These are substances created by plants to keep animals (like us) from eating them. They are among other things, hard on our gut bacteria. Gluten is a lectin, but not the only one in wheat. and maybe not even the worst. Steven R. Gundry, MD writes in The Plant Paradox about wheat germ agglutinin WGA that, being smaller, can wiggle through the gut barrier to cause trouble. Surprisingly, whole wheat is a bigger problem than white. Incidentally, bacteria have lessened the lectins in sourdough bread. 
  7. Food additives. There are a slew of chemicals that can be used in making flour. None have been tested to my satisfaction and certainly not in the infinite variety to combinations. DATEM is one I was recently asked about.
  8. Effects of baking. When exposed to high heat, carbohydrates formacrylamide which is toxic to nerves. It is also being studied for a possible role in changes that lead to cancer.
  9. Bad company. The end products using grain often contain, sugar, corn syrup, bad fats, emulsifiers, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Most of those are bad for our beneficial bacteria and some contain traces of mercury and other heavy metals.
  10. Addictive. Can you eat one pretzel or just a smidgen of the crusty french bread the waiter brings? Worse yet are the cravings we can get seemingly out of the blue.
  11. Fattening. Can you eat one pretzel? Grains are fed to farm animals to fatten them up. That roll of fat over our belts may have been dubbed “Muffin Top” because that is what it looks like. But, also, eating muffins will help build one.
  12. Phytic acid. This is a constituent in grains. It binds up minerals making them hard to absorb.
  13. Low Nutrition. Most of the starchy items listed at the top have had the nutrition refined out of the ingredients. While we are eating those, we fill up room that could be used for better foods that contain more vitamins, minerals, plant antioxidants, polysaccharide, and polyphenols as well as protein and good fats.

But aren’t the grains a good source of fiber?  The main role of fiber is to feed our intestinal bacteria. Those critters prefer vegetables, seeds, nuts and some fruits. Grains are best when organic, whole and used in something like tabbouleh. Better yet, sprouting or fermenting whole organic grains reduces many of the issues as noted under gluten. Here is information on those methods.

 

 

Heartburn pills increase the risk of dying in the next 6 years by 25%

The public is being bamboozled to death by the makers of Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Zegerid and the other 24-hour acid blocking heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s). Their advertising clearly implies that anyone who gets heartburn should be on the drugs just in case. What is wrong with that? A HECK OF A LOT!

  • This text that is fine print on the back of the box should be in bold on the front of the box:

The box shown holds 42 pills. How many people understand that it is a year’s supply?

  • We need a good amount of stomach acid to digest protein, absorb minerals, make vitamin B12 and protect us from disease-causing bacteria.
  • Therefore, it is just common sense that if you shut down your acid for 24 hours a day for an extended time, there will be a price to pay in your health. Even in the first edition of my book, Natural Alternatives to Nexium 10 years ago, scientific evidence was beginning to showing serious side effects from long term use. I’m talking big problems like dementia, hip fracture and pneumonia. By the time I did the second edition there were a lot more studies. A recent study shockingly comes right out and says they can significantly shorten our lives. STUDY. (This made bigger news in the UK where the media isn’t so dependent on drug advertising.)
  • The drugs don’t even address the root cause of the pain. The problem is seldom the presence of stomach acid, it is that it is going where it doesn’t belong—into the esophagus. Sorting out the various reasons for that was a main point of my book and is covered in the class on heartburn in my Digestive Health Course (that is both online and in DVD’s. Use the code HBN20 to save 20%).
  • Even if you take the PPI’s for just a few weeks, it becomes very hard to get off them. Study subjects that didn’t have heartburn to begin with had it after a month on the drugs!
  • The best doctors don’t recommend proton pump inhibitors. Caring but uneducated docs probably know it isn’t a good idea but just don’t know the alternatives. It doesn’t help that these formerly prescription drugs are just sitting on pharmacy shelves like they are safe.
  • Here are some free tips to help with heartburn without the drugs. Cut back on starchy carbs and sweets. Swallow Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics daily, and chew one or two at the first sign of trouble. Use Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera stomach formula. There is a lot more information on heartburn in the Digestive section of the Library on this website:

Note: The pills in the background of the graphic came from a lawsuit website. That should tell us something.


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