Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Acid, Acid Reflux, and Excess Gas

I'm NOT a doctor nor do I play one on TV

All I can say authoritatively is about my experience, your results may vary.

To date all of the doctors I've seen about my gastric health (and that hasn't been very many as I do not have health insurance) all say, to their knowledge, there isn't any effective treatment for excess gas.

Some doctors have asked me if I have "acid reflux", they've asked if I taste bile in my esophagus, I responded "no".

I think the only tool in their toolbox is for acid, excess acid, that "comes back up".

Mine does not.

What I can report is that if I eat certain foods, too much chocolate, too much sugar, too much starch, I have almost crippling gas. If I eat steak, the gas goes away.

I can only deduce that there is too much of one digestive enzyme and not enough of another.

Oh, and Activia does seem to help a bit

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ulcer Remedy Not a Drug

Fight Ulcers With Arugula

posted by Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine Oct 18, 2009 5:03 pm

You may find the latest remedy for painful peptic ulcers not at your local drugstore, but in your salad instead. Researchers recently discovered that Eruca sativa, an herb also known as rocket or arugula, helps reduce stomach-acid secretion that can irritate gastric ulcers, the type of peptic ulcers that form in the abdominal wall and can cause severe pain. Scientists speculate that arugula, already thought to help prevent cancer and stimulate liver health, affects ulcer activity by limiting stomach-acid secretion or by regulating hormones that protect the gastric-wall lining. Arugula also has high levels of antioxidants, which researchers believe may contribute to its anti-ulcer properties. The herb can be found in most produce sections and makes a tasty addition to salads, pizzas, and other dishes.
Arugula is available year-round in many supermarkets. Here’s three of our favorite recipes that use arugula, just remember to treat your ulcer kindly and skip the pepper!

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

An Overview of Rectal Surgery

An Overview of Rectal Surgery

By Jacob A. Greenberg, M.D., Ed.M., and Ronald Bleday, M.D.

I.  Introduction 

When a person hears about rectal surgery, they often react with fear. Since the rectum is often a source of both benign and malignant disease, it is frequently treated with medications or surgery. But when hearing of the need for surgery, patients often worry about the need for an ostomy or “bag.” The goal of this Knol is to give you a brief overview of the types of surgery performed on the rectum. While it may be somewhat technical, our goal is to be comprehensive and accurate so that you can discuss with your surgeon the major issues involved with any rectal operation. We will start with a discussion of surgery for rectal cancer and then discuss surgery for benign (non-cancer) conditions.

II. Surgery for Rectal Cancer

            Each year in the United States, approximately 42,000 patients are diagnosed with rectal cancer1
, and 8,500 patients will die of this disease. While the treatment of rectal cancer frequently involves chemotherapy and radiation, surgical resection (removal by surgery) is essential for cure. The five-year survival rates following potentially curative surgical resections vary based on the stage of the disease, and generally range from 80-90% for patients with stage I disease down to 30-40% for patients with stage III disease.
            The surgical management of rectal cancers depends on a number of factors, including stage, tumor size, location within the rectum, depth of invasion into the wall of the rectum, and involvement of the sphincter complex (the muscles responsible for the voluntary control of defecation). Select patients with small, superficial tumors with no evidence of spread to the lymph nodes may be candidates for limited surgery via a local excision. However, the majority of patients will require more extensive procedures such as low anterior resection (LAR) or abdominoperineal resection (APR) for management of their rectal cancer. This last operation is the procedure that leads a patient to having a permanent ostomy or “bag.” It is only recommended as a last resort, however, many patients live productive and active lives with the ostomy.

a. Anatomy of the Rectum

The rectum comprises roughly the last 20 centimeters of the large bowel. While it is similar to the rest of the colon in that it contains the same layers of tissue, there are some distinct anatomic considerations that make rectal surgery different from colon surgery. The upper rectum begins within the abdominal cavity and can be identified at the point where three longitudinal strips of muscle (the tenia coli) converge. From there, the middle rectum descends within the bony pelvis and runs between the sacrum and the bladder/prostate in males and the sacrum and uterus/vagina in females before terminating at the anus. Several nerves, including those responsible for proper sexual function in both sexes, run in close proximity to the rectum, and care must be taken to preserve the nerves during any operation.
            The blood supply to the rectum comes from several different sources. The superior rectal artery arises as the end branch of the inferior mesenteric artery. The middle rectal arteries are branches off of the internal iliac arteries, and the inferior rectal arteries come from the pudendal arteries. The venous drainage follows these three different arteries and therefore can either go to the liver, or bypass the liver through the internal iliac veins into the inferior vena cava. This is important, as it can allow metastases (cancer growth away from primary tumor) to travel not only to the liver, but also to other distant sites like the lungs and brain without traveling to the liver first.
            In the lower rectum, there are a number of muscles referred to as the sphincter complex that are responsible for the voluntary control of bowel movements. These muscles are left intact whenever possible in order to prevent incontinence postoperatively. However, in certain situations, it becomes necessary to sacrifice the sphincter complex and leave patients with a permanent ostomy. This will be discussed in greater detail below.           

b. Resection Margins

The term margin refers to the distance between the edge of the surgically resected specimen and the edge of the tumor. Gross margins are calculated based on the edge of the tumor as it can be seen with the naked eye, while pathologic margins are determined using the microscopic edge of the tumor. In surgery for rectal cancer, there are three margins of interest: the proximal margin, the distal margin, and the radial margin.
            The proximal margin refers to the distance between the proximal cut edge (the edge of the specimen that is closer to the mouth) and the beginning of the tumor. It is currently recommended that this margin be at least 5 centimeters in length2. While the proximal margin is certainly important, the distal margin and radial margin are more critical for preventing local recurrence of rectal cancer.
            The distal margin, which refers to the distance between the end of the tumor and the cut end of the specimen that is closer to the anus, has been a subject of great debate. The traditional belief was that a 5-centimeter margin was necessary for an adequate surgical resection. However, more recent studies have shown that there were no statistically significant differences in rates of local recurrence or survival between patients with <2cm, 2 to 2.9cm, and >3cm margins3. Therefore, the current recommendations are for a distal margin of at least 2cm whenever possible2, however, a shorter margin is sometimes accepted if this means that the patient will be spared a permanent colostomy. Radial margins refer to the circumferential amount of normal tissue between the edge of the tumor and the edge of the resected tissue. The importance of adequate radial margins in the prevention of local recurrence has only recently been appreciated, but appears to be beneficial both in terms of decreased local recurrence as well as improved overall survival. The importance of negative radial margins has led to the acceptance of the Total Mesorectal Excision (TME), which will be discussed in further detail later in this chapter.

c. Bowel Preparations

 The goal of mechanical bowel preparation (cleansing of the bowel) is to reduce the amount of feces in the colon. This in turn makes the bowel easier to handle during the operation and reduces the chance of fecal spillage, which can lead to contamination of both the abdominal cavity and the wound. Most surgeons prefer preparation of the bowel prior to surgery with a mechanical bowel preparation, as well as a combination of oral and intravenous antibiotics. The addition of oral and intravenous antibiotics reduces the bacterial count of the colon and helps prevent infection should fecal contamination occur.
            Most bowel preparations will require that you eat no solid foods the day before surgery. Instead, you will likely be instructed to have only clear liquids on the day prior to surgery and then nothing from midnight on.  A number of products are currently used for mechanical bowel preparation, and the choice of bowel prep depends on your other medical illnesses as well as surgeon preference.
            Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), which is used in products like GoLYTELY and NuLYTELY (http://www.nulytely.com/), is administered as a 4-liter solution that is drank the day prior to surgery. Patients are instructed to drink roughly 8 ounces every 15 minutes over 4 to 6 hours or until their bowel movements are clear of particulate matter. This regimen is not associated with severe electrolyte imbalances and therefore is ideal for patients with kidney disease. However, the large volume of salty-tasting liquid that must be drank can lead to nausea, bloating, and vomiting and should not be used in patients with disorders of gastric motility such as diabetes.
            Sodium phosphate solutions, such as Fleets Phospho-soda(http://www.phosphosoda.com/), are an alternative to PEG preparations. It is usually given as two separate doses of 45mL of medication, each diluted in a glass of water. It does not require the ingestion of large volumes of fluid used for the PEG preps, but has been associated with some severe electrolyte disorders and should be avoided in patients with renal failure, cirrhosis, ascites (a collection of fluid in the abdomen), and a number of other medical conditions. Enemas can also be given on the morning of surgery to further wash out any particulate matter that may remain following either of these preparations.
            The oral antibiotics administered as part of some bowel preparations are either minimally absorbed or not absorbed at all, and therefore help decrease bacterial counts in the colon. Most surgeons use a combination of neomycin and erythromycin, but some have started using a combination of ciprofloxacin and metronidazole to avoid the cramping associated with erythromycin. Intravenous antibiotics are given before incision, so that they reach maximal tissue levels at the time of operation. The use of intravenous antibiotics decreases a variety of postoperative infectious complications and is well supported in the literature.

d. Standard Resections

Two different standard resections are employed in the treatment of rectal cancer: the low anterior resection and the abdominoperineal resection. Both of these operations involve the removal of portions of the rectum through similar operative techniques. However, there are some important differences, which will be discussed in the following sections.

Low Anterior Resection

            Low Anterior Resection (LAR) involves the removal of a portion of the rectum including the tumor, while maintaining continence by preserving the sphincter complex. LAR is the treatment of choice for upper and middle rectal lesions as well as some lower rectal lesions where there is enough distance between the end of the tumor and sphincter complex to ensure a 2cm distal margin. Therefore, during an LAR, the sphincter complex is preserved and the patient should have normal or near-normal bowel control as long as they do not require a temporary diverting ileostomy, which will be discussed later.
            The LAR begins with an incision in the middle of the abdomen that usually starts beneath the belly button and extends downwards towards the pubic bones. The fatty and muscular tissue beneath the skin is also divided in the midline until the abdominal cavity is entered. After placing a variety of retractors (surgical instruments used to hold tissue or organs out the way) that help to obtain an isolated view of the colon and rectum, the rectum is dissected (separated) free of its surrounding attachments and care is made to divide large blood vessels with minimal blood loss. The rectum is divided proximally and the dissection is carried down in the pelvis making sure to excise the rectum as well as its surrounding fatty tissue, referred to as the mesorectum. Care is also taken to identify and preserve the ureters, which are the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys into the bladder, and the nerves, which are responsible for sexual function. The dissection is carried down below the level of the tumor and the rectum is stapled off distally. At this point the surgeon can choose a variety of techniques to reconstruct the bowel. Frequently, a stapling device is used to reconnect the two ends (see Figure 1), and other times the surgeons will sew the two ends together by hand. In the majority of cases, the operation ends at this point and the abdomen is closed. In certain situations, such as a very low anastomosis, previous radiation to the pelvis, or any concern about the anastomosis (reconnection of the two ends of the bowel), the surgeon may choose to create a temporary ileostomy (an ostomy created out of the small intestine) to divert the stream of feces and provide the anastomosis with the adequate environment for healing. 

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Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

The Calcium Myth

By Michael Castleman, Natural Solutions
We’ve been told all our lives to drink milk for strong bones. Many of us even feel guilty when we don’t get the recommended three servings of dairy each day. In fact, we’ve been led to believe that we have a “calcium crisis” in the United States because so many of us don’t get enough dairy. The proposed solution? Drink more milk, eat more yogurt and cheese, and take calcium supplements.
So why are we convinced that milk, dairy foods, and calcium supplements prevent the fractures osteoporosis can cause? Because teachers, doctors, and advertisers have told us we need calcium–and lots of it–to keep our bones strong as we age. Because every major US health agency endorses daily consumption of milk and dairy: the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
But consider this: The most industrially advanced countries–the US, Australia, New Zealand, and most Western European nations have the highest fracture rates–yet consume more dairy than anywhere else in the world. Meanwhile, the people in much of Asia and Africa consume little or no milk (after weaning), few dairy foods, and next to no calcium supplements, and their fracture rates are 50 to 70 percent lower than ours. What’s going on?
The latest research shows that our bones need more than just calcium. It turns out the way we eat–along with our lifestyle choices and stress levels–can actually contribute to bone depletion, no matter how many calcium supplements we take or glasses of milk we drink. Amy Lanou, PhD, an assistant professor of health and wellness at the University of North Carolina Asheville, and I came to this realization after reviewing 1,200 studies on the dietary risk factors for osteoporosis. Our rather radical conclusion: The calcium theory is bankrupt. The better solution? Eating a low-acid diet, which strengthens bones much more effectively and, as a growing number of bone-health researchers agree, holds the key to preventing osteoporosis.

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Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Caffeine and Stomache Acid

I'm posting this because I'm of the opinion that not only Coffee but Caffeine can mess up our stomach acid. I know the tannic acid in Coffee upsets the PH balance but I'm now wondering if caffeine contributes to that imbalance as well.

What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is known medically as trimethylxanthine, and the chemical formula is C8H10N4O2 (see Erowid: Caffeine Chemistry for an image of the molecular structure). When isolated in pure form, caffeine is a white crystalline powder that tastes very bitter. The chief source of pure caffeine is the process of decaffeinating coffee and tea.

Medically, caffeine is useful as a cardiac stimulant and also as a mild diuretic (it increases urine production). Recreationally, it is used to provide a "boost of energy" or a feeling of heightened alertness. It's often used to stay awake longer -- college students and drivers use it to stay awake late into the night. Many people feel as though they "cannot function" in the morning without a cup of coffee to provide caffeine and the boost it gives them. Caffeine is an addictive drug. Among its many actions, it operates using the same mechanisms that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin use to stimulate the brain. On a spectrum, caffeine's effects are more mild than amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, but it is manipulating the same channels, and that is one of the things that gives caffeine its addictive qualities. If you feel like you cannot function without it and must consume it every day, then you are addicted to caffeine

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Is Milk Really Good For You? Evidence Mountng...

Evidence Mounting For Case Against Milk In Our Diets

By Sally Lehrman, Natural Solutions

The dairy industry portrays milk as an essential part of a good diet and our best bet for staving off osteoporosis. Should you buy it?

Denise Jardine had loved dairy products since she was a kid. You could even say she shaped her day around them. She’d start out with cream in her coffee and low-fat milk on her cereal. Lunch might include cheese or yogurt, and instead of sipping soda, she quaffed milk. Often she’d finish off the evening with a little ice cream.

Not an unfamiliar scenario to many Americans, no doubt. Every year, we down more dairy products: Sales are at their highest since 1987, reaching an annual total of 594 pounds per person. And the chorus of voices urging us to eat still more just got louder: The federal government’s new food pyramid for 2005 pumps up recommended dairy intake to three cups of milk per day, compared with two in the earlier version.

But evidence is accumulating that milk and milk products may not be the wholesome, ideal foods we think they are. A growing number of activists, nutritionists, and heart and bone specialists say the health benefits of dairy have been vastly oversold. The science simply isn’t there, says Amy Joy Lanou, the director of nutrition for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.

“Milk has a lot of calcium and other nutrients, but there is a large body of evidence that it may not be the best nutritional package for some people–maybe a lot of people.”

What’s more, dairy may actually be causing health problems in many people. Digestive problems plague the up to 50 million Americans who are lactose intolerant. And whole milk and cheese, of course, are notorious for being loaded with saturated fat, which not only adds to waistlines but also threatens our hearts. But that’s not all: Recent research has shown that some milk contains trace amounts of rocket fuel–hardly a wholesome substance. And though the evidence isn’t conclusive, some studies suggest that drinking lots of milk may raise the risk of ovarian and prostate cancers.

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Acknowledgedly No Cure

(Acknowledgedly) there is no ethical treatment for:

Irritable Bowel Snydrome
According to Julie of LocalWin

Though in gastroenterology, irritable bowel syndrome has been defined as a functional bowel disorder; a significant question remains unanswered – whether the irritation refers to the affected person or is it experienced by the medicine man who gets vexed by being unable to diagnose the disease. The irritation on part of the former is nevertheless, understandable – he/she has to rush to the toilet in the middle of a session at 2 in the afternoon which under normal circumstances would have been considered preposterous and most inappropriate, and yet it becomes a ‘must’ to save the situation. Another issue is equally relevant with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and that relates to its ‘discovery’. Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, occasional blood stool, etc accompanies many other human disease conditions that seldom becomes ‘irritable’, whereas, IBS seems to have a self-appointed displeasure attached to it.

However, there seems to be some fine line of demarcation between diarrhea in a normal person and the same with a person with IBS. One affected with IBS may have a loose motion for a couple of days and then suddenly develop constipation for the next couple of weeks. Also bizarre are the abdominal pain pattern that accompanies IBS. It appears to shift from one abdominal region to another as the disease (or its manifestation) progresses. It is probably the unpredictability of the uneasiness that defines IBS best.

Also, as the disease has not yet been fully defined, its cure obviously has not been in sight. However, several chronic conditions are often linked with IBS like celiac disease, parasitic infections like amoeboid contamination or giardiasis, cholangitis, cholecystis, inflammatory bowel diseases, functional chronic constipation and chronic functional abdominal pain. In IBS, routine clinical tests yield no abnormalities, though the bowels may be more sensitive to certain stimuli, such as balloon insufflation testing. The exact cause of IBS is unknown. The most common theory is that IBS is a disorder of the interaction between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, although there may also be abnormalities in the gut flora or the immune system.

Apart from having gastroesophageal reflux, the primary symptoms of IBS include abdominal discomfort, sudden impulse to visit the toilet with a feeling of incomplete evacuation (tenesmus), abrupt change in bowel movement, bloating or abdominal distention and a host of pseudo-imaginary stomach ailments. People with IBS also often complain about symptoms relating to genitourinary system, fibromylagia, backache and headache. IBS may also take the form of diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D), constipation-predominant (IBS-C) or alternative type, i.e. (IBS-A). Those who have developed IBS after suffering from some infective disease conditions are often branded under post-infective syndrome or simply IBS-PI.

As there is neither any pathological testing system that can identify IBS or any imaging procedure to pin point IBS, the only method of diagnosing IBS stems from negative approach. In other words, diagnosis of IBS involves excluding conditions that can manifest IBS-like symptoms and then taking up procedures to identify IBS. However, since there are quite a good many causes of diarrhea and IBS-like symptoms, the American Gastroenterological Association has published a set of guidelines for tests to be performed to diagnose other conditions that may have symptoms similar to IBS. While these include lactose intolerance, gastrointestinal infections and coeliac disease, practical experience proves that the guidelines are seldom followed. What happens instead consist of practicing various diagnostic algorithms. Some of the superior algorithms include Rome I Criteria, Rome II Process and Manning Criteria. Incidentally, the controversial Rome III Process has been published about a couple of years ago, which, unfortunately, has not been able to throw enough light on IBS or its probable cure.

One of the most significant points about IBS is that it is a so-called functional disorder, suggesting that it does not have any underlying structural cause. And this may differentiate it from two other chronic digestive diseases that are caused by inflammation, namely, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis, commonly known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD. Chances are that people often tend to mix up IBS and IBD though quite different in nature.

Since there is no ethical treatment of IBS, doctors often prescribe peppermint oil which acts as antispasmodic in the intestinal tract. Although peppermint tea is widely used to aid digestive troubles, if you’re treating IBS it’s probably better to take a standardized dosage on a consistent basis. For this you’ll probably want to get capsules and the best of these are enteric-coated, meaning that they have a special covering that prevents breakdown in the stomach, which can cause heartburn, and allows for passage down through the intestines for proper absorption. Also significant is the consumption of soluble fibers that include oats, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), fruits and berries. However, trial and error method perhaps suits the condition best.

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coffee, Dehydration and Hemorrhoids




You can help prevent the irritating and painful symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Avoid constipation

  • Eat more fiber. Include foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, raw and dried fruits, and beans. Limit your intake of low- or no-fiber foods, such as ice cream, soft drinks, cheese, white bread, and red meat.
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Avoid liquids that contain caffeine (such as coffee and tea) or alcohol. These liquids may cause dehydration, which can lead to constipation.
  • Stool softeners containing bran or psyllium can be helpful. You can save money by buying bran or psyllium (available in bulk at most health food stores) and sprinkling it on foods or stirring it into fruit juice. Avoid laxatives, another type of medicine that affects the bowels, because they may cause diarrhea, which can irritate hemorrhoids.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that seem to make your symptoms worse. These may include nuts, spicy foods, coffee, and alcohol.
  • Regular, moderate exercise, along with a high-fiber diet, promotes smooth, regular bowel movements.

Practice healthy bowel habits

  • Go to the bathroom as soon as you have the urge.
  • Avoid straining to pass stools. Relax and give yourself time to let things happen naturally.
  • Avoid holding your breath while passing stools.
  • Avoid reading while sitting on the toilet. Get off the toilet as soon as you have finished.

Modify your daily activities

  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing. Take frequent short walks.
  • If possible, avoid lifting heavy objects frequently. If you must lift heavy objects, always exhale as you lift the object. Don't hold your breath when you lift.
  • If you are pregnant, sleeping on your side will lower pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvis. This can help keep hemorrhoids from becoming bigger

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Eat What Is Good For You

The Benefits of Berries
Red, Black & Blue are Berry Good for You!

Isn't it wonderful when something that tastes so yummy is also good for you? That's what you get when you enjoy the delicious, sweet flavor of berries. The pigments that give berries their deep red, blue, black and purple hues are powerful, disease-fighting antioxidants. It is believed that antioxidant-rich foods offer protection against conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

The scientific community measures the antioxidant levels in foods using the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) test. The higher the ORAC value, the more antioxidants a food provides.

Scientists have discovered that berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fresh fruits. Raspberries, for example, contain an especially high level of antioxidants--three times more than kiwis and 10 times more than tomatoes.

The average serving of fresh or lightly cooked produce provides between 600 and 800 ORAC units. But berries blow these values away--one cup of blueberries has...

Read Entire Article

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In Defense of Fat (as a food)

By Janet Paskin, Ode Magazine

For decades, fat has been blamed for everything from heart disease to obesity to cancer. But new research shows that fat can be good for you.

Jenny Matthau stands in front of hundreds of students at the Natural Gourmet School and speaks heresy. The New York City culinary program specializes in “health-supportive, whole-foods cuisine” with a “plant-based curriculum.” So when Matthau, who’s president of the school and teaches the core nutrition class, delivers her lecture in praise of fat, students are often surprised.

“A lot of students expect to hear just what the government is saying: You have your good fats and your bad fats, and you should try to eat a very low-fat diet,” Matthau says. “And we don’t agree.”

Instead, Matthau’s lecture includes a long section on why we need fats of all kinds in our diets, much more than we’ve been led to believe. She points out societies like the Maasai, a Kenyan tribe that counts meat, blood and whole milk among its dietary staples, yet has low rates of heart disease and obesity. She praises fat’s capacity to add flavor to a dish and make people feel full. “Fat makes things taste great, period,” Matthau says. “I’m a big fan.” Even so, sometimes it feels like a losing battle. “Students still want alternatives to butter.”

For more than three decades, we’ve been told that fatty foods are deadly, to blame for a full menu of health hazards, from heart disease to obesity to cancer.

Regularly described as the nutritional equivalent of cigarettes, fat has been the target of public-service campaigns and municipal bans aimed at keeping us slender and healthy. But a growing body of international research suggests our obsessive fear of fat may be misplaced. A high-fat diet won’t necessarily make us sick or fat; a low-fat diet may not make us healthy or slim.

Even the American Heart Association (AHA), a leader in the campaign against dietary fat, recently revised its nutritional guidelines, increasing the daily recommendations for fat. “The science just wasn’t there,” acknowledges Robert Eckel, president of the AHA and a professor of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Not only that, but our myopic aversion to fat may be doing more damage than an order of steak frites ever could. In our effort to avoid the demon lipids at all costs, we’re forever tinkering with our diets–substituting Snackwells for Oreos, dry toast and a glass of orange juice for a plate of bacon and eggs–in hopes it will keep us skinny almost effortlessly. But these dietary contortions often have unintended consequences. They inspire us to eat more food, for starters. And the food we eat more of? It contains more chemicals, starches and sugar. These ingredients “are more harmful than the much-feared animal fats,” says Irina Baumbach, secretary of the Association for Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics in Aachen, Germany.

Next: Is Fat Good For Us?

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Glycemic Index De-coded

By Lisa Marshall, Natural Solutions

We’ve churned through Atkins, South Beach, and The Zone and seen the rise and fall of countless other “miracle” diets. But as the nation’s collective waistline continues to swell, along with rates of heart disease and diabetes, many believe the solution lies in a decades-old system called the glycemic index. “It’s not glamorous, it doesn’t have any sizzle, but it works,” says Lucy Beale, a weight-loss coach in Utah and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Glycemic Weight Loss (Penguin, 2005).

Created nearly 30 years ago, the glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on how much they raise blood sugar. It has been generating considerable buzz, with such celebrities as Bill and Hillary Clinton among its fans and TV commercials heralding it as the key to weight loss. At the same time, a chorus of critics has emerged questioning the index’s purported benefits and arguing that following it too strictly leads to an unhealthy diet.

Carb conundrum
Diabetes researchers in Canada invented the index in the late 1970s while testing the effect of starchy foods on blood sugar. When you eat carbohydrates, digestive enzymes break them down to glucose, which enters the blood and raises blood-sugar levels. The pancreas pumps out insulin, prompting cells to take in the glucose to either use as energy or convert to fat.

During the 1970s starch tests, the researchers discovered that—contrary to conventional wisdom at the time—not all carbs are created equal. Some, like Russet potatoes, speed through the digestive system and send blood sugar and insulin levels soaring and crashing fast; others, like lentils, metabolize far more slowly. Surprisingly, much maligned foods—like ice cream—actually spike insulin less than healthy-seeming ones like rice cakes.

In the glycemic index system, foods receive a score from zero to 100 based on how much and how quickly they raise blood sugar levels. Pure glucose scores a 100, while proteins and fats, which don’t impact blood sugar, get a zero. A score of 70 or higher qualifies as high glycemic; 56 to 69, medium; and 0 to 55, low. For years, the index didn’t spark much interest. But fast forward to 2006, and diet gurus and health experts have resurrected it, calling the low-glycemic or “slow carb” diet a healthier evolution of the low-carb fad.

“Part of the rationale of the low-carb diet is to reduce those radical spikes and ebbs in insulin,” says Thomas Wolever, MD, a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto and one of the pioneers of the index. “The GI is a way to do that without reducing the carb intake and without eating more fat and protein.” A growing body of research suggests that stabilizing blood-sugar and insulin levels not only lowers the risk for diabetes, but also fends off heart disease, certain cancers, and age-related macular degeneration. One Harvard study, for example, found that those who ate foods higher on the index had nearly twice the risk for a heart attack over a 10-year period. In another 2006 study, conducted at Tufts University, researchers followed 500 women between 53 and 73 years old and discovered that those who had eaten a high-GI diet during the previous decade were more than twice as likely to show early signs of macular degeneration.

The payoff
Why should blood-sugar spikes contribute to these various diseases?

“There are some new theories that suggest when blood glucose is fluctuating, this puts a stress on cells and causes inflammation,” Wolever says. “And we know inflammation can be related to various chronic conditions.” Over the years, Wolever and Australian researcher Jenny Brand-Miller, PhD, a nutrition professor at the University of Sydney, have tested nearly 1,000 foods by feeding them to people and testing their blood glucose levels in the two hours afterward. The values are published in their book The New Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index (Marlowe and Co., 2003), the seminal tome that re-ignited worldwide interest in the index.

Even without precise GI numbers, Beale says people don’t need a secret decoder ring to figure out how foods rank on the index. Yes, a few surprising exceptions exist, like with ice cream and rice cakes. But as a general rule, more refined carbohydrates and finely milled breads and pastas tend to be higher glycemic, while coarser whole grains, high-fiber cereals, and legumes are lower. In essence, “Light and fluffy makes you puffy,” Beale says. She recommends roughly 85 percent of the day’s carbs come from low-glycemic sources.

Beale says low-glycemic foods help with weight loss because you digest them more slowly, which keeps you full longer. They also don’t trigger the same spikes in insulin and cortisol (a stress hormone) as higher glycemic foods. Elevated insulin and cortisol levels have been associated with both greater appetite and increased fat storage in the midsection. “Choosing low-glycemic foods keeps your waist thin,” says Beale, who maintains her “size 16 to size 6″ transformation with a low-GI diet.

A lotta hype?
Not everyone accepts such lofty claims, though. Many dietitians have criticized the diet, largely because many high-fat foods, including candy bars and pizza, are rated as low glycemic. Plus, despite the clinically proven disease-related benefits of the low-GI diet, research hasn’t yet concluded that it leads to weight loss.

Another tricky aspect of the glycemic index, according to Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, a diabetes researcher with the University of South Carolina, is that the glycemic value of a food can vary widely depending on what you eat with it. For instance, a sour food, like lemon, slows digestion of the food it accompanies, effectively lowering its glycemic ranking. How you cook a food also matters, as in the case of pasta (the longer you cook noodles, the higher the GI). Even the brand can affect GI ranking. With that much variability, Davis questions how useful the numbers are.

She also fears that people may shun foods that, though high glycemic, are rich in vitamins and antioxidants—choosing instead low-glycemic but nutritionally impoverished ones. “There are people who are thinking that perhaps they shouldn’t eat this fruit or that vegetable because of the glycemic index, and that is very unfortunate because there are so many other values to those foods,” she says. “I think it has been a real distraction to people trying to manage their weight or otherwise have a healthy diet.”

Controversy notwithstanding, the index continues to gain momentum. The New Glucose Revolution series has sold more than 2 million copies. Food manufacturers in Australia now include GI values in the nutrition label. And several nutrition bars, like Solo GI, Balance, and even Snickers Marathon, are specifically marketed as low glycemic.

So, is it a passing fad, or a lasting cure-all? Brand-Miller, who is slightly irritated by the hype the index is receiving in the US, insists it’s neither. Instead, she says, it offers a way to fine-tune a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as protein and healthy fats. By paying attention to the kinds of carbs we eat—while keeping in mind other commonsense nutritional guidelines—she believes people can go a long way toward preventing heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. If weight loss follows, that’s an added bonus. “Nobody, including me, ever said it was a magic bullet,” she says. “It’s one tool in the toolbox. It can be a helpful tool, but it’s not the only one.

Source http://www.care2.com/greenliving/glycemic-index-decoded.html

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bacterial infections in the colon

The Bizarre Truth: The Catastrophic Effects of Over Indulgence of Sugar

by Rohan Agrawal, Nov 2, 2008

Are you thinking that adding a little sugar as a sweetener to your drink is completely harmless? Think again. After you read this, you may never think of sugar the same way again.

Haven't you thought that consuming a little more sugar than you are supposed to isn't going to harm your body? Maybe you just decide that a spoon of sugar in your coffee won't effect your health. Think again.

All humans require sugar to preform their daily needs, without it, we would die. But if we consume more than the recommendation of 40 grams, what is going to happen to our body?
Sugar is found in almost every food. From milk to vegetables and fruits to meats and nuts.

Nearly 99 percent of all foods contain sugar, some of these contain insignificant amounts. Even more of these have added sugars which are even worse. Naturally occurring sugar is healthier in terms of risks than granulated, sucrose and fructose. Now that we learned a bit about sugar, we can move on to the main part.

How much soda do you drink? One maybe 2 sometimes even 3. The average person in the U.S. and U.K. drink around 3 8 ounce bottles a day.

Overindulgence of soda have been linked to the increased risk of the following:

1. It weakens the immune system by producing hormones
2. It can change mineral balance in bodily fluids
3. It can effect anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, and thinking abilities.
4. It can increase the number of triglycerides in the blood.
5. Cause Drowsiness and Fatigue
6. Reduces good HDL cholesterol and increases LDL cholesterol (Bad)
7. It can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
8. Increase the risk of bacterial infection (i.e. diarrhea)
9. It has bad effects on the kidneys

10. Increases risk of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer
11. Can vastly increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease
12. Lead to several vitamin deficiency 
13. Can increase fasting glucose (aka increase risk of diabetes)
14. Promote Dental Problems.

15. Can cause Acidic Stomach
16. Increase the Adrenaline in blood (the stress hormone)
17. Can speed up aging
18. Increase total cholesterol
19. Majorly contributes to obesity
20. Can increase the risk of ulcers disease such as Crohn and Ulcerate Colitis 
21. Contributes to Osteoporosis
22. Causes decrease in the production of insulin
23. Can cause cardiovascular disease
24. Increase systolic blood pressure
25. Increase food allergies
26. Can increase the amounts of radicals in the bloodstream
27. Cause Toxemia
28. Over stresses the pancreas resulting in problems resulting the pancreas
29. The build-up of plaque in the arteries

30. Increase the size of the liver
31. Increase the amount of fat in liver

32. Can cause hormonal imbalances
33. Can cause hypertension (high blood pressure)
34. Causes headaches
35. Increase the risk of blood clots and strokes
36. Bacterial infections in the colon

Sugar and Cancer

In the U. S. alone, there are over 4 million patients being treated with cancer. Cancer feeds on the glucose in the blood which overindulgence of sugar causes. This means that people with diabetes or any other condition are more likely going to die from cancer. If a person consumes too much sugar, the insulin hormone production would increase causing the body to have it's immune system depressed. The immune system is also a major part of cancer, with a weaken immune system, your body won't be able to help fight cancer that efficiently which results in death. Sugar has been linked to the increase of pancreatic cancer. One study shows that people who drink 2 cans of soda a day have more than twice the risk of pancreatic cancer than people who don't. One lady in her 50s who had been diagnosed with lung cancer,  changed her diet in which 90 percent of all the sugar she consumed was eliminated. Along with chemotherapy and radiation sessions, the cancer was repaired and she lived another 7 years.

Maybe after you read this, you understand why overindulgence of sugar is a big deal. Perhaps you'll think twice before you add the additional sugar in your coffee.

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swine Flu killed 60 in Mexico

Meat raising industry causes hundreds of thousands of deaths, each year. Swine Flu is from pigs. Raised in larger than natural by livestock farms in warehouses, 1 gets it, it travels to infect all the animals, then before its ever detected thousands of infected livestock pigs get sent to be killed, eaten by humans, and then people begin dying before it's inevitably traced back to animal raising for food.

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Bird flu, comes from poultry. Chickens raised by livestock farms for consumption. 1 gets it, then thousands in cages in close proximity are all susceptible to the spread of the infection. Before it's caught thousands get sent to KFC or tyson or packaged into meat in stores, bought eaten and kills multiple humans before it's inevitably traced back to a factory meat farm.

Avian flu H5N1 kills 50% of its victims. To put that in perspective, the great Spanish flu of the year 1918 killed over 50 MILLION humans. The flu killed more than several world wars. And the spanish flu was only 3% deadly. In contrast, the Avian bird flu kills half the people who get infected with it. The tendency is to think that things that happened long ago were more harsh, and they are nothing nowadays in the 21st century. However this exemplifies that the flu that is out there today has an even WORSE mortality and deadliness. And a reminder there is no cure for it. Remember it is killing half the people that contract it, even with today's medical knowledge and technology.

Beef is responsible for killing 12 people in Canada. It infects people with listeriosis, ecoli, brucellosis, anthrax, tape worms, creutzfeld jakob disease which if you eat cow meat infects you with prions for which there is no known cure and essentially turns your skull into swiss cheese. In the news, when you read or hear about ecoli or salmonella infecting spinach, or tomatoes or something, keep in mind, ecoli and salmonella CANNOT generate in a tomato or from spinach, those are Not the cause. Ecoli and salmonella generate inside the intestines of meat animals. What is happening, is that there is some meat farm, raising some animal for meat, the farm conditions have resulted in sick animals, bacteria are growing inside the meat animals, the animals then defecate feces, and then rain or irrigation water is washing the feces into the groundwater, and often nearby there is another farm using that water infected by meat animal feces to spray all over their plantings.

This is how the spinach or tomatoes or whatnot are getting infected. Vegetables cannot develop those bacteria, it wasn't the vegetable, the source was bacteria up inside the rectum of animals on a meat farm, which defecated, and their feces got washed into the farm's water runoff which then merely got onto the surface of those plants and then picked and trucked to the market like that. It's actually raising meat animals that caused it. It's viruses that infect animals that can infect humans. Plants use chlorophyll, not hemoglobin. It's animal physiology that is closer to humans that allows the contagion to jump to humans. Plants are often too different in biological composition. Humans cant catch plant-only viruses from vegetables, it's animal diseases that can leap to infect humans. And this is made worse by meat farms which raise more and more livestock, beyond the population found in nature, and even worse when they are raised in close proximity, in cages, trying to be more 'efficient', condensing space, and having operations that promote eating more & more of it, and ship millions of pounds of potentially infected meat all over the place.

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Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for use of this information. Use is entirely at your own risk.
Information contained herein is for educational purposes only.