Archive for July, 2019

News Roundup

When I see how much there is yet for us to learn about optimum health, I start wishing I had a radio show every day. Then I remember how hard it is to manage a show once a week and the thought quickly passes.

From Ronald Hoffman, MD

I had already planned to include a link to two articles on this fabulous doctor’s website. Then, today, I got his great newsletter. I added two more of his interesting tidbits (and borrowed the graphic).

  • “Everyone knows” that COFFEE is a diuretic, right?… Hah! Dr. Hoffman linked to a 2014 research article that put that myth to rest.
  • “Everyone knows” that CHOLESTEROL in food is bad, right? What if cholesterol is actually brain food? In the newsletter, Dr. Hoffman said, “The brain needs cholesterol for synthesis of myelin, the waxy sheaths that insulate nerve tracts.” He then went on to discuss multiple sclerosis (MS) and an animal study. It showed that when the scientists enriched the mouse chow with cholesterol, it helped slow damage and even began repair of the damaged nerves. (Those with a special interest in MS should read his article, 17 natural ways to treat Multiple Sclerosis.) The good doctor also points to stats showing that cholesterol that is too LOW is linked to dementia.
  • “Everyone knows” that SATURATED FAT is bad, right?…In Dr. Hoffman’s article, The weak case against saturated fats, he says that there is scant science to support the common demonization of saturated fat. It seems to be another case of using too broad a brush (like when “they” told us that ALL FAT was bad.)
  • “Everyone knows” that PSYCHIATRY is scientific and helpful, right?…Dr. Hoffman, who bases his advice on what the science actually says, wrote this:Is Psychiatry an Unscientific Mess? [You might also be interested in this article I found, Do antidepressants work better than placebo?]

From Jim LaValle, RpH, CCN: On the show Saturday, I asked him what natural steps to take for conditions such as allergy, GERD, constipation or autoimmune conditions before resorting to drugs. I said I would review his answer.

  • Change the diet. If the issue is related to the immune system, inflammation, or GERD, get off gluten and dairy. Chew your food better. And try to get 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Get the minerals back [e.g. magnesium and zinc]
  • Rebalance the gut bacteria. [Hint—they like vegetables, spices and fiber.]
  • He is also a big fan of exercise.

From Bill Sardi:  Our favorite guest is a prolific writer, but also sends me other articles he comes across.

From Green Med Info

  • An international study confirms that LDL cholesterol does NOT predict heart disease risk.
  • An article from the site founder (and one time guest on Healthy by Nature), Sayer Ji, details that the chemicals in nail polish are linked to cancer, obesity, autoimmune disease and more.

From Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Children’s Health Defense

  • Kennedy’s presentation shows studies that the “authorities” say do not exist about side effects of immunization.

I hope to save you some reading by doing this cherry picking.

8 Science-Backed No-Willpower Weight Loss Tips

Unusually Effective Science-Backed Weight Loss Tips

If you are overly qualified to do a belly flop, you might find these simple tips useful, especially because they do not require willpower or suffering. They were on a flier written by Andrew Shepherd, DC (Parker Wellness Center*). I picked one up while I was in for a tune up and he have me permission to use it here. [I added any text in these brackets.]

Hang a Mirror in Your Dining Room – Research has shown that people who eat in front of a mirror are less likely to enjoy junk food, and also eat less of it. However, people who sat in front of a mirror to eat healthy food felt better about themselves and also enjoyed their vegetables. Researchers believe that your reflection holds you accountable for your food choices.

Clean Your Kitchen – Spending as little as 10 minutes cleaning and uncluttering your kitchen can make you more likely to reach for a healthy snack. According to a study in Environment and Behavior, volunteers who spent time in a disorganized kitchen were more likely to reach for snacks like cookies and ate about more 100 calories, all of which were junk food.

Pay Cash for Junk Food – Scientists have found that having to look for dollars to buy candy bars or bags of chips can give you a moment to reconsider your purchase, as parting from your cash can stop your impulsive cravings, according to a study of shopping behaviors. A similar trick is to choose a smaller cart [or hand basket] at the grocery store. Also try using smaller plates and bowls at home to cut down serving sizes.

Dim the Lights – Soft lighting can melt stress away, improve your mood and even spice up boring conversations. But it can also make you eat less, according to research published in Psychological Reports. In the study, participants who ate their dinner under dim lighting were found to have enjoyed their meals more, took longer to eat, and consumed 18 percent fewer calories than people who sat under bright lights.

Beware of Action Movies – It’s no secret that eating in front of the TV can make you hungry. However, did you know that certain movies trigger these symptoms?  Try saving your snack for comedies or talk shows, and stash the chips away when you watch action movies or tear-jerkers, suggests the findings of a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. People were found to eat twice as much junk food while watching The Island than they did while watching the talk show Charlie Rose [has lost favor in this me-to era but did have a soothing voice]. At the movies, viewers of sad movies ate 28 to 55 percent more buttered popcorn than people who watched comedies.

Use the Power of Peppermint – Cravings and emotional eating can be suppressed just by the smell of peppermint, according to research published in the journal Appetite. In the study, people who smelled peppermint every two hours reported they felt less hungry, more focused, and consumed 2,800 fewer calories per week than non-smellers. In a similar study that took place in the UK, the same effect occurred when people wore a vanilla-scented patch. They lost five pounds in a month and felt more in control of their diets.

Use a Long Fork – Long elegant forks or spoons can help you slow down and enjoy your meal. (The same goes for long chopsticks versus short chopsticks.) [I would starve to death with either kind because I’m not competent using them.] A Taiwanese study published in Psychological Reports found that short utensils made participants feel the need to eat more food. However, people who were using longer cutlery stated they enjoyed their food more and took more time between bites.

Don’t Color Coordinate – Eating too much of the same color can be counterproductive. For instance, eating white pasta in white cream on a white plate can cause you to overeat. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that volunteers noted better control over their portion sizes when the food contrasted with the color of the plate. The solution? As published in the International Journal of Obesity, a study found that eating off a plate with a blue rim led diners to perceive their servings to be larger.

[Thank you Dr. Shepherd!]

*Parker Wellness Centers. Dr. K. Andrew Shepherd. DC. CN. 4709 W Parker Rd. #440. Plano. Tx. 75093.  (972) 398 0440.

Healthy blood pressure without drugs


When Jim LaValle was my guest on the show last week, I took notes! Here is a brief review of the blood pressure discussion plus some of the extra items that I said I’d provide. Husband Bill while proofreading said this is too much information. Maybe. But, people who have tried a number of things, may need to know what else to try. 

Why high blood pressure should be remedied—Jim said that BP above the recommended 120 over 80 can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidneys and damage to the brain. The problem seems worse for women and blacks. Note that most people cannot tell if their blood pressure is elevated. We are in favor of knowing what your blood pressure is and, if it is high, finding and fixing the cause. Excessively low blood pressure is not good either. That can cause falls and brain function problems.

What drives blood pressure up? Age, smoking, medications (e.g. NSAIDS and even nasal sprays), sleep apnea, stress, gum disease, and lead toxicity. Massive salt intake is probably not good for anyone and those who crave it might be low in nutritional minerals. However, only a relatively small percentage of the population has blood pressure that is salt-sensitive. (Jim said that those who are salt sensitive should check on their adrenal function.) He says metabolic inflammation is a factor.

Why drugs shouldn’t be the first choice—Some types of drugs interfere with vitamin C, zinc and magnesium with unpleasant results. (FYI magnesium is nature’s calcium channel blocker.) Drug side effects can include cough, falls, joint pain, allergic swelling, rash, shortness of breath, hair falling out, insomnia, erectile dysfunction, cold hands and feet, worsening insulin resistance, reduction in testosterone, hormone changes for women, immune challenges, diarrhea, weakness, fatigue, depression, sexual dysfunction and increased breast cancer risk. Mr. LaValle said that low dose angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB’s) might not be so bad.

Lifestyle improvements that will help lower blood pressure—Weight loss, lowering insulin and insulin resistance are major and those are achieved by eating fewer simple carbs. Quick digesting carbs make insulin go up. Then we make more adrenaline which in turn contracts blood vessels making pressure go up. Insulin is also inflammatory and uses up antioxidants. Insulin resistance damages kidneys which raises blood pressure. Exercise may be as effective as medication at lowering blood pressure. Jim suggested what the Cooper Clinic recommended, 150 minutes of exercise a week. Also helpful: ceasing smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, taking anger / stress management training, getting more sleep and petting a dog.

Specific foods and diet changes that help—I found articles in my pudgy blood pressure file saying that all of these items lower blood pressure: avocados, beans, beets, blueberries, brown rice, celery, chocolate, egg whites, garlic, grapefruit, grapes, green tea, hibiscus tea, Italian cheese, leafy greens (more magnesium in the darker ones), nuts, olive oil, pomegranate, protein, tomato, watermelon, and whole grains. You will notice that these are all real whole foods and that the list does NOT include pasta, cake, cookies, Cheetos, bagels, Dr. Pepper, etc. In fact, reducing intake of sugar and starch is a big help. Mr. LaValle said he believes that the “DASH” diet recommended by the American Heart Association and even the Mediterranean diet both contain too many refined carbohydrates. His advice = eat more plant foods. See additional discussion of diets at the bottom under “Genetics”.

Natural remedies—We discussed Kyolic Formula #109 at some length because multiple human studies show that the main ingredient, Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), lowers blood pressure. It makes arteries less inflamed and more flexible; reduces plaque formation; reduces oxidized LDL (the form that annoys arteries); and even reduces gum disease which is a cardio risk factor. Other related benefits are an improvement in the nervous system and reduction of general inflammation that affects all parts of the body including the brain.

The formula also features the extract of fermented soy, nattokinase, which helps blood to be less sticky and is a rich source of vitamin K2 (which as we’ve discussed helps keep calcium in the bones rather than the arteries). The formula helps blood vessels to be more flexible and the calming amino acid theanine in it blocks the excitotoxin glutamate which tightens blood vessels.

Both Jim and I are big fans of magnesium which is not only good for blood pressure study but also metabolic syndrome and hundreds of other things. These things are also noted for a positive impact on blood pressure: zinc (Bill Sardi’s 12/2/17 radio interview and his very interesting article), potassium, fish oil, vitamins B6, C, and D (review of several studies), probiotics (Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics of course), CoQ10, tocotrienols, alpha lipoic acid, pycnogenol, l-Carnitine, carotenoids, fiber, resveratrol, Hawthorne, olive leaf, and many other herbs.

GeneticsEating habits are often passed from one generation to the next, but genetics are also a factor. Jim LaValle mentioned the APOE 3 and 4 genes in connection with a lowered ability to deal with saturated fats. A listener wrote saying that she has that gene and eating the paleo diet with its higher fats sent her LDL cholesterol “through the roof”. When she started eating the Mediterranean, the LDL’s became normal and she feels better. The low carb diet even made her HbA1c (long term measure of blood sugar) go up. Good carbs (e.g. vegetables, fruits & whole grains) work best for her. Some people do well as vegetarians. I’m not one of them. Testing the diets may be more meaningful and cheaper than testing the genes. I’ve asked an expert to be on the radio show soon. Bottom line on diet: everyone needs vegetables, no one needs sugar and refined starch.

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