Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This may be easier to read here: tinyurl.com/n5qkcd
Mayo Clinic DEAD Wrong on Diabetic Recommendations (and STATINS)
"Researchers from North Carolina State University and the Mayo Clinic have developed a computer model that is intended to determine the best time to begin using statin therapy in diabetes patients to help prevent heart disease and stroke.
According to the lead author, "The research is significant because patients with diabetes are at high risk for cardiovascular disease and statins are the single most commonly used treatment for patients at risk of heart disease and/or stroke."
The new model incorporates patient-specific data. An established risk model calculates each patient's probability of heart attack and stroke based on risk factors, such as their cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. This overall risk "score" is used to weigh the medical advantages of beginning statin therapy against the financial cost of the statins.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Statins, which are a class of drugs used to lower your cholesterol, are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the world, and I believe, one of the most unnecessary drugs there are.
This is one class of drugs that I am dedicated to sound the alarm about. We are actually in the process of seeking to replicate a campaign similar to what was done to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking, to inform the public about the dangers and combat the media fraud, deception and manipulation that causes people to believe otherwise. They could have saved loads of time and money here by reading this website, because the answer to the question, “When should you begin taking a statin?” is “never.” No computer models required.
Why? Because it’s safe to say that a drug intended to prevent heart disease which actually causes heart failure is not the right treatment for most people. Statin drugs offer a “cure” that is far worse than the disease.
Why It’s Highly Unlikely You’ll Ever Need a Statin Drug
At least 12 million Americans are already taking statins, and based on new expert recommendations another 23 million “should” be taking them.
Now, there are a small group of people with genetic enzyme defects that have cholesterols levels above 325-350 who seem to benefit from statins. However, in my clinical experience over more than two decades and tens of thousands of patients, there have been a grand total of three patients that required statins to control this relatively uncommon genetic problem.
What This Computer Model Will NOT Tell You
It’s the emergence of these kinds of dangerous diagnostic strategies that make it so important to remain educated on this issue and not simply go along with what the media and professionals claim.. Especially since statin drugs are linked to many, many dangerous side effects. And I can guarantee you this computer model will not evaluate your risk of being harmed by the drug, even though there are over
NINE HUNDRED STUDIES SHOWING STATIN DRUGS TO BE DANGEROUS.
For example, Bayer's statin, Baycol, was pulled from the market in 2001 after 31 people died from rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down resulting in kidney failure.
Other serious and potentially life threatening side effects include, but are not limited to:
Polyneuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, which is characterized by weakness, tingling and pain in the hands and feet, as well as difficulty walking
An increase in cancer risk
Immune system suppression
Potential increase in liver enzymes, so patients must be monitored for normal liver function
Another example is Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering drug prescribed to about 1 million people each week. It was not only found to have no medical benefits, but the trial also discovered that arterial plaque growth increased, growing nearly twice as fast in patients taking Vytorin, a drug that combines Zetia with Zocor (another statin drug).
Despite these disturbing facts, Zetia and Vytorin account for about 20 percent of the cholesterol drugs on the U.S. market.
What You Need to Know About Cholesterol in Order to Understand the Dangers of Statins
Statin drugs work by preventing the formation of cholesterol, and reduce LDL cholesterol, which is considered the "bad" cholesterol.
There is no argument that these drugs do work very well at lowering your cholesterol levels. However, was has not been proven is that they significantly lower your risk of dying from heart disease. In no way, shape or form, do they treat the cause of your problem. They are nothing more than a toxic band-aid.
So just what makes statins so dangerous, and why are they not the answer for managing your cholesterol levels?
First you need to understand the biological workings of cholesterol.
In fact, there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions in your body, which is why it’s actually dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are actually proteins that transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues.
Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to steroid hormones. For example, you can’t make testosterone or estrogen, cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other steroid hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol.
Even more importantly, your cells cannot regenerate their membranes without it. The reason you have LDL to begin with is to transport the cholesterol to the tissues in order to make new cells and repair damaged ones.
However, there are different sizes of LDL particles and it’s the LDL particle size that is relevant, and statins do not modulate the size of the particles. Unfortunately, most people don’t know about that part, and very rarely, if ever, get tested for particle size.
The particles are sticky, so very small LDL’s can easily get stuck in different areas, and the build-up eventually causes inflammation and damage.
The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not cause damage is through your diet. In fact, it’s one of the major functions of insulin.
Conveniently enough, a healthy diet is also the answer for type 2 diabetes, so by focusing on what you eat, you’re treating both your diabetes and your cholesterol levels, and reducing your associated risk of heart disease.
If you eat properly, which is really the only known good way to regulate LDL particle size, then it does the right thing; it takes the cholesterol to your tissues, the HDL takes it back to your liver, and no plaque is formed.
The second thing you need to know is that statins work by reducing the enzyme that causes your liver to make cholesterol when it is stimulated by high insulin levels.
Again, you can achieve the same, or better, result by simply reducing your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and most grains, which is also what you need to do to successfully address type 2 diabetes.
What Most Doctors Fail to Tell You When Prescribing Statins
Another important aspect that most doctors fail to tell you about is that statins are non-specific inhibitors of not just one, but a number of very important liver enzymes, one of of the most important being Coenzyme Q10.
CoQ10 is a vital enzyme that your body needs for energy and cardiovascular health.
It is widely recommended to repair heart damage, boost the function of the heart and acts as a protectant against heart attacks and valve damage. Additionally, CoQ10 has been shown to be beneficial in heart and lung cancer, as well as maintain cognitive function.
Thus, when you take statins your production of this enzyme is dramatically depleted and you do not reap the health benefits associated with it. Unfortunately, few patients are ever told about this fact and their health suffers accordingly.
How to Normalize Your Cholesterol Without Dangerous Drugs
Just about every person, other than thesmall minority with the genetic enzyme defects mentioned above, can normalize their cholesterol levels with the Total Health Program, which includes modifying your eating habits based on your body's unique nutritional type.
If you truly want to normalize your cholesterol levels, following these simple lifestyle changes can get you there:
1. Normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains.
2. Take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil or fish oil
3. Most men, and women who is in menopause, should check your iron levels as elevated levels of iron can cause major oxidative damage in the blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk
4. Regular exercise is another important tool that can help
5. Energy Psychology methods such as meridian tapping techniques can also be helpful for cholesterol. Read this press release for the possibilities.
As I stated earlier this week, one of our top priority goals is to spread the message that statin drugs are clearly not the weapon of choice for high cholesterol. I urge you to share this information as well, by forwarding this article to your friends and family."
Monday, August 17, 2009
In the battle to lose weight, hunger is the dieter's worst enemy. But research has revealed a simple aid to taming the appetite: soup. It's dieting's best kept secret says one science writer.
Imagine a typical lunchtime meal - say, chicken and vegetables with a glass of water.
If you eat the food and drink the water, you will feel full for a couple of hours before hunger kicks in. But if you blend the food with the water - to make soup - you will stay hunger-free for much longer, and less likely to snack through the afternoon.
How can blending the food into soup make such a difference? The answer lies in the stomach. Scientists have used ultrasound and MRI scans of people's stomachs to investigate what happens after eating solid-food-plus-water meals compared with the same food made into soup.
After you eat a meal, the pyloric sphincter valve at the bottom of your stomach holds food back so that the digestive juices can get to work.
Water, however, passes straight through the sphincter to your intestines, so drinking water does not contribute to "filling you up".
FIND OUT MORE...
10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight is broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday, 27 May at 2000 BST
Or catch up here using the iPlayer
When you eat the same meal as a soup, the whole mixture remains in the stomach, because the water and food are blended together. The scientists' scans confirm that the stomach stays fuller for longer, staving off those hunger pangs.
The key to this low-tech weapon against hunger is a hormone called ghrelin. It is one of the major players in the body's appetite system.
Discovered as recently as 1999, ghrelin is released by specialised cells in the stomach wall.
These cells produce a constant stream of ghrelin whenever the stomach is empty. The ghrelin travels via the blood stream to the brain's appetite centre, an organ called the hypothalamus. As a result, the hypothalamus screams "You are hungry - find food."
But whenever the stomach wall is stretched - when the stomach is full - the cells stop producing ghrelin, and the hypothalamus responds accordingly, turning off the appetite signal. The longer the stomach remains full, the longer you feel satisfied and the less you are likely to eat.
WHICH VARIETY IS BEST?
Vegetable soup is best
It produces a more consistent blend
And it generally has fewer calories than chicken or fish soup
Find out more about sensible weight loss at BBC Health: Your weight
The stomach gradually empties, more slowly for the soup than the solid meal plus water. The BBC staged an experiment for the programme 10 Things You Need to Know About Losing Weight to test this theory. In this experiment, and in previous experiments, participants reported feeling full for up to an hour-and-a-half longer than their solid meal counterparts.
Although some researchers refer to appetite as "the cupcake circuit", the mechanism behind human appetite evolved long before cupcakes were invented - at a time when food was scarce.
As a result, we are hardwired to eat high-calorie foods, which are unfortunately so abundant in the modern world.
Finding ways to control the appetite signal is crucial if we are to stave off the meteoric rise in obesity. Food scientists and pharmaceutical companies alike are on a major quest to find ways to do just that.
Could soup help address obesity?
Appetite is one of the most researched areas of weight-loss science. Unfortunately, the appetite system is complex, and still poorly understood.
There are probably dozens of hormones that play a role in regulating appetite. Of those that have already been discovered, there is one that is released after eating protein-rich meals (called PYY), one that is released by fat cells (leptin) and several that respond to the presence of any kind of food.
But of all the hormones that make up the appetite system, it is ghrelin that has caused the most interest. In addition to its role in sending the "stomach empty" signal to the brain, ghrelin also promotes fat storage.
Even worse, it inhibits the breakdown of stored fat during times of weight loss. Inject ghrelin into the bloodstream of a rat and the animal eats insatiably - and quickly becomes obese.
In 2006, scientists at the Scripps Research Centre in the US developed a vaccine to counteract the influence of ghrelin, in an attempt to control appetite.
It is still undergoing clinical trials - so for now, the best and simplest way to keep hunger at bay is to reduce your stomach's release of ghrelin: blend your food into a healthy, voluminous soup. The best sort? Vegetable soup, as it produces a more consistent blend and is generally lower calorie than chicken or fish soup.
Just in case you just skimmed this quickly... the soup has to be "BLENDED" i.e. you would have to puree your vegetable soup for the the four hour fullness effect.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Six small meals a day... In my mind their is no such thing. Their are meals and then their are snacks...
I think I need to change some of my habits, but I'm not sure.
Today I got up, was soon in the kitchen making breakfast, I wasn't hungry but it was breakfast time, and we always hear how we HAVE to eat this most important meal of the day... sheesh.
I then make lunch at lunchtime... doesn't matter if I'm hungry or not, it's lunch time by golly!
I think I have to eat these three meals every day... do I?
Something has to change, I'm too old to eat this much. I think we have to eat less as we grow older, well unless we are triathletes or something.
But then I always hear it's better to eat 6 small meals a day (for weight loss enhancement) rather then three regular sized meals.
I don't know how to make a tiny roast beef or a tiny anything for that matter. I'll have to make whatever regular size, then it tastes so good I want to eat more then a tiny amount, and all that work of cooking something nutritious for only three small bites???
How do you have only 3 tiny bites of this:
Now I'm all disgruntled!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A new US study on monkeys found that social stress is linked to increase in deposits of harmful fat in the abdomen which can speed up the build up of plaque in blood vessels, a major risk factor for heart disease which is the number one cause of death in humans worldwide.
The study was the work of principal investigator Dr Carol A. Shively, a professor of pathology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and colleagues Drs Thomas C Register and Thomas B Clarkson, also at Wake Forest. Their paper appears as the cover story in the current issue of Obesity, the peer-reviewed journal of the Obesity Society.
Shively said in a media statement that overweight people tend to carry most of their excess fat in the abdomen and fat located here behaves differently to fat in the rest of the body.
"If there's too much, it can have far more harmful effects on health than fat located in other areas," she added.
In Western societies, obesity appears to go up as socioeconomic status goes down, and this trend is the same for heart disease. Shively said this could be because the people who have the least access to resources that buffer us from the stresses of life are the ones most likely to suffer the health consequences.
In their paper, Shively and colleagues explained that in previous work with monkeys they showed there were significant links between (1) social stress and the amount of fat that gets deposited in the viscera or abdominal cavity, and (2) the amount of fat deposited around the middle of the body and the build up of plaque in blood vesses (coronary artery atherosclerosis, or CAA).
They said however that direct relationships between plaque build up and abdominal fat have so far not been demonstrated either in people or animals, and that this was the first study to look at links between stress, visceral obesity and CAA at the same time.
For this study, they fed 41 female monkey a Western-style diet containing fat and cholesterol for 32 months. The monkeys were kept in social groups where a natural dominant-subordinate hierarchy could develop.
In social groups, subordinate monkeys at the bottom of the hierarchy tend to be targets of aggression from other more dominant monkeys higher up the hierarchy. They are also given much fewer opportunities to take part in grooming sessions, and this can increase their social stress.
The researchers monitored the monkeys' social behaviour and ovarian function, and a number of other biological variables, including BMI, stress biomarkers, and the amount of fat in the abdomen and elsewhere in the body (ie the subcutaneous fat).
Shively and colleagues found compared to monkeys whose ratio of adbominal fat to subcutaneous fat was low, the monkeys whose ratio was high were also the subordinate ones, who were socially isolated, received more aggresssion and less grooming, had impaired ovarian function, and had more biomarkers of stress (desensitized to circulating glucocorticoids). They also had higher heart rates late in the day and more plaque in their blood vessels (CAA).
Poor ovarian function meant that the ovaries produced fewer protective hormones.
They concluded that poor ovarian function in female monkeys with a high ratio of abdominal fat to subcutaneous fat is a new discovery and suggests there is a need to study fat distribution and ovarian function in women.
They suggested that the stress of being at the bottom of the pecking order resulted in the monkeys' release of stress hormones that encouraged their bodies to deposit fat in their abdomens or viscera.
We already know that visceral fat encourages the build up of plaque in blood vessels, and this leads to heart disease, so this study suggests a link from social stress through plaque build up to heart disease.
However, Shively said that what is interesting about this relationship is that the bodies of human and monkey females have a natural protection against heart disease: on average women develop heart disease about 10 years after men.
She said perhaps stress and build up of visceral fat erodes this natural protection from the ovaries:
"Suppressed ovarian function is a very serious condition in a woman," said Shively.
"Women who are hormone-deficient will develop more atherosclerosis and be at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease and other diseases such as osteoporosis and cognitive impairment," she added.
Women whose ovaries don't make enough hormones may not be aware of it as there are often no symptoms: the condition doesn't always mean fewer menstrual cycles for instance.
"We need to take a closer look at the ovarian function of obese women.
"They might not be producing enough hormones to maintain adequate health," she warned.
She also said that the study appeared to reinforce the usual message about health: be careful about what you eat, take regular exercise and manage your stress.
"Social Stress, Visceral Obesity, and Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis in Female Primates." tinyurl.com/mbbq4p
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