Category Archives: 3. How We Should Eat

Bergamot – a Food Answer for Statins

Bergemot – a Food Answer for Statins

References:  International Jr of CardiologyScientific ResearchWikipedia,  BioMed ResearchReggio do Calabria,

Ever heard of Bergamot? Not me! You should. It’s an ancient hybrid of mandarin oranges, pumalo and lemons but is now grown as its own fruit mostly in the Reggio de Calabria region of Italy and a few other isolated Mediterranean locations. It’s not been used much outside of Italy, except perhaps as the flavor of Earl Gray Tea. There is an herb called bergamot but that is in the mint family and completely unrelated. This article is about the orange-like fruit with its unique compounds melitidin and brutieridin which have statin like qualities.

Yes, statin like qualities. We know red yeast rice has statin like effects, but bergamot has not been well known. In one study, bergamot was added to rosuvastatin to see if there was similar or additional effects. There were! The bergamot lowered the LDL fraction all by itself, but additionally lowered markers of oxidative stress. This is the real driver of blood vessel damage. You can measure markers like malondialdehyde, oxyLDL receptor LOX-1 and phosphoPKB, (in research labs, not in practice) which are all biomarkers of oxidative vascular damage, in peripheral polymorphonuclear cells.

Another study from Italy looked at both cholesterol and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease markers against the use of bergamot. These are both independent markers of risk for subsequent heart attacks and strokes. Bergamot had pretty impressive effects. In the group receiving the bergamot extract of 650 mg twice a day, a statistically significant reduction of fasting plasma glucose ( 118 to 98) , serum LDL cholesterol (162 to 101) and triglycerides (232 – 160) alongside with an increase of HDL cholesterol (38 to 49) was found. Liver functions showing fatty liver dropped too. ALT went from 54 to 36 and AST from 54 to 41. Wow!
Now, all of those same changes can be made by eating less high glycemic foods. Cut out all grains and sugar and eat lots of greens, healthy oils and vegetables and you can get much of the same. Or get ketogenic with 20 grams of carbs a day and you will see all the same effects.

WWW. What Will work for me. My eternal struggle to find a sensible role for statins keeps coming up short. And when I find a natural food that nature has made for us, I get great satisfaction. Bergamot has just been released as a supplement you can purchase. I’m adding it to my protocol for heart disease reversal. I am looking for folks who want to try it for three months and see what happens to an otherwise stable situation. I suspect it will have overlap for any condition that benefits from lower blood sugar: Alzheimer’s and cancer to name two.

Pop Quiz

  1. Bergamot is an herb that helps heart disease. T or F
    False. Get the details right. It’s an orange family fruit. The herb smells nice but is unrelated.
  2. Bergamot appears to lower heart disease risk factors more than any other single food. T or F
    That is probably true
  3. We have great research showing that it reduces heart attacks. T or F
    False. And we never will. There is no money behind this. It costs millions to follow people for years. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t. It just hasn’t been clinically proven. These two papers simply show that it has the same chemical effect as statins and lowers the key risk factors. You have to make a leap of faith to assume it would help. Probably reasonable well founded leap, but still not proven.
  4. If you have fatty liver, you should take bergamot. T or FAbsolutely true. Fatty liver is a dangerous marker for both vascular disease, but also for sudden, unexpected liver failure. That’s worse! Getting rid of fatty liver is a big deal.
  5. I need a prescription to get Bergamot. T or FFalse. I have it in my office. MD Custom Pharmacy has it. Amazon has it. Don’t get the essential oil. You want the orange extract. The oil is a mint family extract.

 

Diet Right and Regenerate Your Pancreas

Diet Right and Regenerate Your Pancreas

References: BBC News, Cell,

This is a major story. Type two diabetes is what we all get when we live on a diet of too many carbohydrates and too many calories for too long. The effect to carbs is to make us secrete insulin. Insulin is our storage hormone, not our blood sugar controlling hormone. It instructs our body to make and store fat in an integrated fashion. It is the hormone we need in September and October as we store up calories for January. Our bodies were not designed to have continuous exposure to carbohydrates year around, year after year. As we get fatter, our fat cells get larger, not more numerous. As our fat cells get larger and are continuously bombarded with insulin, the number of insulin receptors on their surface declines. With that, our fat cells become insulin resistant. And in the pancreas gland, our insulin producing cells begin to decline in number and ability to make insulin.

Our bodies show it. In a progressive fashion. We can observe our insulin level rising in response to increasing weight (fat cell size), then our glucose rising, then gradually insulin failing and glucose shooting higher. It’s as though we only have the ability to make a certain amount of insulin in a life time. If we use it up at a rate faster than our pancreas can make, we run out. Our fate is to start on pills, then transition to insulin, all in the vain attempt to forestall organ failure. But organ failure comes inevitably with kidneys failing, arteries plugging, joints stiffening and brains fading. A method to reverse this would be attractive.

That’s what this weeks news is about. In a mouse model of diabetes, the authors demonstrate that the mice progressively lose beta-cells in their pancreas glands as their diabetes progresses and worsens. Just like in humans. But, their intervention was unique. The put the mice on a 4 day diet of just fat with only a tiny trace of protein and carbohydrate. Mostly fat. Fat is insulin neutral. No demand on the pancreas. But it is fuel to work with. Not much. It was the equivalent of 1100 calories in humans. Key, though, is providing some calories in the form of fat instead of carbohydrate. Then, the mice could eat whatever they wanted. Repeat the cycle every week.

What they found was extraordinary. The mice reversed their type two diabetes. They stopped losing beta cells. In fact, they grew them back. By every measure, the fasting turned off what has been thought to be a one way street – a down hill slide into diabetes. Inflammatory cytokines went down, (TNFα and IL-12) and anti-inflammatory cytokines went up (IL-2 and IL-10). Whatever was killing off the beta cells went away.

The authors were so surprised, they then took a known pancreas poison, streptozotocin which is know to kill insulin producing cells. They treated normal mice, not diabetic prone with the streptozotocin. Guess what happened. Yup. The treated mice got diabetic with sugars up to 350 but then recovered within a month with normal insulin production and no diabetes. This suggests they really were inducing brand new beta cells from scratch. Did you get that? Recovered!

The authors warn folks not to do this on their own without supervision from their doctors. They don’t know if the method applies to humans. But they do mention that it would be about the equivalent of 800-1,100 calories a day, mostly in the form of olive oil and a tiny bit of protein and carbohydrate.

WWW.What will work for me. I have a broken foot right now. I’m very anxious for it to heal/heel. I’ve been extremely careful with my diet in the last month and have had most days at 75% fat with a few of them being around 1400 calories. Close to this study. More importantly, my blood sugar has been in the mid 70s all month, my surgical wound is closed and fixed, and I’m on the road to better. I’ve probably rejuvenated some pancreas cells. I’ve had a few days of 1400 calories, not 1100. I’ve been tiptoeing close to reproducing this study in myself. Now, I’m determined to show folks in my practice that they can do it. We can reverse diabetes. This throws open a huge door of opportunity. We should take it. Carefully, of course!

 

Pop Quiz

1. Type Two Diabetes will happen to all of us if we put on too much weight. T or F

Almost true. There are something like 20-30% of folks that can get way overweight and never get diabetic, but it’s a pretty good premise.

‪2. Fat cells get insulin resistant as they get bigger. T or F

That would be true. It’s as though insulin receptors get further apart.

‪3. Starving mice with an insulin neutral high fat diet stimulates the regeneration of pancreas beta cells that make insulin. T or F

Bingo.

‪4. Repeated cycles of the 4 day fast even regenerate poisoned pancreases that have their beta cells killed off. T or F

True.

‪5. If this is that effective, trying it in humans may be risky? T or F True, mostly because if you stay on diabetes medication, your blood sugar may go too low once your own pancreas starts kicking in. You can imagine what the answer to that is. Check your sugar a lot. Like 4-6 times a day and be ready to stop taking as many pills.

The Case Against Sugar: A Book by Gary Taubes

The Case Against Sugar, By Gary Taubes

Reference: The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes

It has been worth the wait. It was my Christmas present, and didn’t come till this last week. What a treasure. Gary Taubes new book has a different tone. He’s mad. We wants to know why sugar fell off the stage of scientific inquiry in the 1960s and 70s with fat becoming the enemy for the next forty years.

That’s what he details in this book. First of all, the curious addictive quality of sugar that we all demonstrate. Of course we act that we. It has served us well as long as we were living in the jungle and sweet only occurred just before the 6 month starvation season. Sugar makes you eat more so you put on weight, store calories and have enough to make it through the next dry patch.

But there is much much more. Did you know, for example, that the American cigaret industry really took off because they started soaking their tobacco leaves in sugar it allowed smokers to inhale much deeper, and get more seriously addicted? That was great for tobacco sales. Not so good for smokers. That’s still how cigarets are being made today.

But the most troubling part that Gary details is the clear historical record of populations being exposed to sugar, and then becoming fat, then obese, then diabetic, then cancerous, then heart attacks and kidney failure. Population after population showed this all around the world.

And our American scientific community blamed it on us. We were lazy and we ate too much. It could all be easily cured by better Puritan values of “eat less and exercise more”. We know that is what our health care system has said to us for years. Where did that come from? That’s the indictment. The sugar industry has funded critical players on the American nutrition scene for decades, never insisting that they tell outright lies, (well, maybe) but more that they focused the spotlight on fat and just ignored sugar, letting it slide out of sight. Because American medicine has not invested in its physicians understanding nutrition, there really hasn’t been the ability of American medicine to really understand adult human nutrition. We just learn by rote, memorize some convenient rules, and tell folks to get out there and eat less and exercise more.

As readers of this column you should know that it is not the calories you eat that make you fat, it is the hormonal effects of those calories that affects the amount that you eat for the next 12-24 hours.. For example, teens at a summer camp given identical calorie content of either high fat or high sugar breakfasts, are proven to eat more, later in the day, when they eat carbs. It is the insulin response to carbs, and sugar, that sets us off down the path of gaining weight and eating more. Insulin is your storage hormone, not your blood sugar controlling hormone.

Gary even has a nice section on the really dangerous chemical called fructose. It is half of table sugar (sucrose is a glucose hooked to a fructose). Fructose immediate damages your liver, forcing you to make small, dense, dangerous LDLs, making fatting liver, raising insulin, and starting the path to hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol…….. Humans appear to tolerate fructose well enough when it comes in the package of an apple. But in table sugar, and in every form of added sugar (70% of all prepared foods have sugar added to them: bread, pasta sauce, ketchup, peanut butter etc) we get too much, to our peril.

The verdict is in. This is a brilliant book. He’s mad. There’s more in it about cancer, about kidney failure..the prosecutor is talking to the jury, and he’s mad. It’s a good thing some of those wicked food scientists who shaped American nutrition back in the 60s-80s are dead. Because they would have to hang their heads in deep shame. They harmed us so much, for a few pieces of silver.

WWW. What Will Work for Me. I just finished reading the book. It’s actually just as good as his others. The case is made for us cutting it out. Then I read today the study showing that our food stamp program has 10% of it spent on sugared sodas. And the food industry lobbies heavily to not let us restrict that. So our poor folks get sicker. So, let’s punish them and take their health care away now.

Pop Quiz:

‪1. Sugar is a natural food, but not so terrible other than it’s empty calories. T or F

False, false, false. It’s as dangerous as alcohol. Causes as many metabolic damaging effects. And probably just as addictive

‪2. About 20 years after starting to eat sugar, folks starting getting sick. T or F

That’s what hundreds of studies have detailed.

‪3. Cancer rates in societies without sugar are just the same as ours. T or F

False, false, false. Cancer rates rise in proportion to populations eating sugar. Insulin is one of cancers most potent growth factors.

‪4. I’ll be ok if I cut down and only have sugar on weekends. T or F

It may be true. If your fat cells are small enough, the human body has lots of resilience in it. You likely need to cleanse it out of you with good behavior for the next week.

‪5. If I eat a food with sugar secretly inserted in it, what happens next.

A: I eat more.

Taurine: Your most abundant and important amino acid

Taurine: Your Most Abundant and Maybe Important Amino Acid

References: JPEN 2016, DisMarkers 2016, Life Extension , J Neuroscience 2016, Amino Acids, Westin Price Slides,

Taurine is the most abundant amino acid in your body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, like different beads on a necklace. It is highest in your brain and your heart, but is everywhere else as well. It contains a sulfur atom, which is the key to its powerful and beneficial effects. All mammals have this balance, which is what leads animal products to being slightly “acidic” when they are digested and broken down: all the sulfur is turned into acid. When it’s in is though, it’s a huge benefit.

How does that benefit play out? Well, the hear it from the makers of sports energy drinks, who add a bit of taurine to their mix, it helps your brain be sharper. That it does, but the sugar and excess caffeine, from which there have been documented deaths by cardiac arrhythmia, perhaps not helpful enough.

The benefits of taurine are becoming increasingly manifest. The foundation of those benefits is likely the delicate dance with glutamate, another amino acid, and its sulfur atom. Glutamate is an excitatory signal in many cells. Too much glutamate and you have unbridled excitation. How this plays out is in atrial fibrillation where studies show that the balance of glutamate to taurine is out of whack. As we age, our glutamate rises and our taurine falls. By age 80, 15% of us are in atrial fibrillation (where the upper chambers are fluttering spastically and you lose 15-20% of your pumping ability).

The same process of glutamate toxicity happens in your brain. And again, taurine may ride to the rescue. It reduces the imbalance that occurs with aging, and leads to greater loss of hippocampus cells (memory) and increasing accumulation of beta amyloid. Other benefits in the brain include: protecting brain cells against environmental toxins including lead and organic pesticides, preventing mitochondrial dysfunction within brain cells, protecting brain cells against glutamate excitotoxicity, enhancing the inhibitory systems driven by the “relaxing” neurotransmitter GABA, which directly opposes excitotoxic effects, reducing brain inflammatory processes active in production of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, stimulating proliferation and new neuron formation to sustain learning and memory, protecting brain cells against destruction following a stroke, softening the damage caused by beta amyloid protein, a major contributing factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Isn’t that a nice list!

The sulfur atom picks up extra electrons from reactive oxygen species. That makes taurine a pretty good detoxing drug too. More taurine and you have an easier time of making glutathione, getting rid of bile acids…..

I could go on. But you get the gist. You should know about taurine. If you have heart failure or concerns about brain dysfunction, you might consider adding it as a supplement. Just not in the form of high sugar energy drinks.

WWW.What will work for me. I’ve just really learned about taurine and I want to find more. I first focused on it 5 years ago when I read an article about micronutrient in heart failure. When I have a dear friend get hospitalized with atrial fibrillation and heart failure, I took a second look. I’m buying some for her today.

 

Pop Quiz

‪1. Taurine is the name of a constellation in the southern sky. T or F

‪False, You were in LaLaland and not reading the article. It’s your bodies most abundant amino acid and maybe its most beneficial

‪2. Taurine plays a role of balancing too much glutamate. T or F

Exactly right. This is certainly true in the brain and the heart.

‪3. Taurine helps balance the effects of heavy metals. T or F

True. Suggesting that if you are worried about heavy metals, you might benefit from a supplement of extra. Give it try.

‪4. Taurine may also play a role in helping Alzheimer’s. T or F

Yup, it’s been shown to reduce beta amyloid and help memory in animal models.

‪5. Taurine’s benefit may come for it’s containing a sulfur atom. T or F

‪It may be that simple. Yes.

Vitamin K2 Builds Stronger Bones

Vitamin K2 Builds Stronger Bones

Reference: European Jr of Endocrinology    Published Nov 21, 2016

Vitamin K2 is going to be the story of the decade when it comes to bone health. Why? Well, hip fracture is currently happening at a rate of 17% of elderly Caucasian women and 6% of Caucasian men. African Americans are lucky, breaking their hips much less frequently than Caucasian women. But the incidence of osteoporosis is increasing around the world with rates dramatically rising in countries where doubling and tripling of rates of fracture in the last few decades is not uncommon. And hip fracture is not safe for you! It dramatically increases your mortality in the following 12 months with as many as a third of folks never escaping hospitals or chronic care facilities after their fractures.

Kids need K2 also. You reach maximum bone density around age 20-25 and that predicts what will happen to you over your remaining 60 years. Did you know that the rate of forearm fracture in kids has increased from 262 / 100,000 in 1969 to 399.8 in 1999? And lots of evidence aligns that with the loss of K2 in our diet, and our kids’ diets.

What’s happening? My interpretation is that around the world we are industrializing our food supply, raising our animals on feedlots. In that context, they are losing grass as a food source, and consequently losing their source of Vitamin K which they change into K2. When we humans eat those animals, or their milk products, we don’t get K2.

And that’s why I believe this article this week ought to raise eyebrows. In this study, 148 postmenopausal women who already had osteopenia were given Vitamin K2. It was randomized, placebo controlled in methodology, so should be valid. And the results were simple and significant. K2 prevented the loss of trabecular bone compared to the placebo group. This is the first study I’ve seen in which Uncarboxylated Osteocalcin was measured and was proven to decrease (that’s good) by 65%. You want your osteocalcin to be carboxylated as then it is able to bind calcium into bone. This validates the COMB study in which 77 volunteers increased bone density in just one year by 2-4 times the amount of those taking bisphonates. The COMB study wasn’t randomized. They were volunteers. So, it’s been questioned.

I’ve had a tricky time finding what happens to food when animals are moved from pasture to feedlot. I remember one reference that compared Gouda cheese from America to Dutch gouda and saw a 90% difference. But I can’t provide that reference. There is lots of evidencethat the bacteria that make gouda actually make K2 themselves. This makes gouda a very good source of K2.

Can you get enough K2 in your diet today? Well, no. To get 45 mcg, the minimum you should have a day, you would need to eat 5 Liters of yogurt, 8 eggs, 5 liters of milk and 8 pounds of beef. Not practical. If your meat is grass raised, well, better. We just don’t know how much.

If you look at guidelines for preventing hip fracture and osteoporosis, you don’t see mention of K2 yet. It should be there. If you know it, you are ahead of national guidelines. Now that we can measure uncarboxylated osteocalcin, it will soon become apparent and it will become part of our annual examination.

www.What Will Work for Me. I think K2 is a critical nutrient that every human should be on. We used to get it when we ate grass raised animals. Back when we were hunter gatherers, or primitive farmers, that was easy. It isn’t easy now. But one in six of us breaking a hip should give us pause and passion. Use that passion to buy some gouda cheese, and take K2 for the rest of your life. Think of the investment in you that makes. Ask your doctor to order your uncarboxylated osteocalcin. (Have a sense of humor…..they will look at you like you were a little daft.)

Pop Quiz

‪1. My risk of breaking a hip is?

‪Women 17%, Men 6%, African American Less, Asian in Asia, Less

‪2. If I take K2 I can expect my osteocalcin to become decarboxylated. T or F

False. It becomes carboxylated, and that is what actives it. Simple put, it completes the basket that holds calcium tightly. Without K2, you can’t hold calcium tightly.

‪3. This weeks study has validity because? It was a randomized, placebo controlled study. Nice work

‪4. The COMB study showed that folks decreased their risk of hip fracture? T or F

False. That wasn’t proven. But their bone density increased up to 8% within one year. And in my practice, I’ve seen several folks hit 7% with a year.

‪5. K2 is widely appreciated in national guidelines. T or F

Not yet. Hardly made a peep.

Lipotropic Shots: Fact or Fiction?

Lipotropic Shots: Fact or Fiction

References:  Priority HealthEmpower PharmacyHepatologyAmer Jr Clin NutrBlood Review,

Ever heard of lipotropic injections? I hadn’t, until a few months ago. When a client came to me and asked if I would give them to her, because her doctor in Arizona was using them and she could lose weight with them, I paid attention. When I was asked a second time, I sat up and started reading.

The literature goes back to the 1930s when fatty liver started raising its head as a problem. Charles Best was researching how to help the liver recover from fatty liver. It was his initial research that sparked interest, and discovered many of the agents that worked. Today as many as 50% of Americans over age 60 have fatty liver without even knowing it. It slows down our energy flow, our ridding of toxins, our efficient burning of fat.

We see it as being overweight, and wanting to lose weight. Well, who doesn’t want to do that? What do the shots do? They combine the compounds that have been found to increase your liver’s efficiency of metabolism. The benefits are considered to be the preservation of muscle, the burning of fat, the enhancement of energy and the improvement in liver function. The ingredients include methionine, choline and inositol, along with all the B vitamins and l-carnitine. The ingredients work because together, they have a synergistic effect. And many aren’t well absorbed from the gut. Hence, a shot. Many folks include betaine as an oral supplement along with the shots to enhance it even better. That is well absorbed orally.

From what we now know of mitochondrial function, this is exactly the process of helping the mitochondria access and burn energy more efficiently. In fatty liver, our liver is all clogged up with little fat globules, inhibiting the liver factory from working efficiently. With the ingredients of the lipotropic injections, your liver’s mitochondria start clearing the liver of backed up fat and your peripheral mitochondria to be able to burn more of it.

Suddenly, my lights turned on. All the literature I read shows that lipotropic injections improve the methionine cycle, and help lower homocysteine. So, now I get it. I’ve been trying to help folks lower homocysteine to improve risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Many of us have homocysteines hovering in the 10-12 range, some even higher. For every point over 7 of homocysteine, your risk of AD goes up some 16%. The narrative we use with Alzheimer’s is that we want your brain to learn to run on ketones, or fat. To do that, we need to cut carbs and increase the efficiency of our methionine, homocysteine cycle.

Son of a gun, the Lipotropic Shots do that! Coming at it from a different way.
So, maybe they are fact. The fiction part of me suspects that this is a bit of marketing hooey. Can’t you get all this from food? What does it take a shot to get it into you ?

WWW. What will work for me. I’ve ordered all the ingredients for my office and I’m going to run an experiment for myself. I’m looking for some hard nosed skeptics, who want to lose weight and who are willing to give themselves a shot every week/day. If you are willing to do this, I will set up a regiment of shots for you for cost. I want to take the first 5 people who give the office a jingle and are willing to give feedback. I want your weight before and after 12 weeks of shots. You have to keep exercising, cutting carbs and eating sensibly. Let’s see if this old fashioned idea still has legs.

Pop Quiz
1. Lipotropic shots have ingredients that reduce your ability to burn fat and help you burn carbs? T or F False. Go back and read the column. It appears that lipotropic shots increase the ability of your cells to turn all energy, and preserve muscle.

2. Lipotropic shots got their name from research in the 1930s aimed at reducing fatty liver? T o F True

3. Today, we understand that lowering homocysteine has some overlapping effects, as both processes are aimed at enhancing the methionine, homocysteine cycle, that helps your body get rid of toxins and burn energy more effectively? T or F True

4. Can’t you get all this stuff from food? Apparently not.

5. Is this just a marketing gimmick? Let’s try and find out.

The Great Sugar Conspiracy

The Great Sugar Conspiracy

Reference: JAMA Inter Med Sept 2016,  Published Oct 3, 2016

If you are an average American, you are getting roughly 10-15% of your calories from sugar. Hmmm. Of 800,000 foods in America found by Lustig’s graduate students team, 600,000 of them have sugar added to them. When you go to the grocery store, you find cheerful markers on most food items claiming they are “LOW FAT” and hence, meant to be good for you. But low fat almost always means, high sugar. Where did this all come from?

It came from a remarkably successful PR campaign waged by the sugar lobby back in the 1960s. That’s what this week’s article details. The remarkable influence of the sugar lobby on the leading nutritional experts of the day. In the 1960s there were two leading nutritionists who held opposing views on how coronary artery disease wreaked its havoc. Angel Keys (The K in K-rations) was highly regarded because of his prominent role in Army nutrition. He advocated that fat was the enemy. John Yudkin believed it was sugar. He was off in England and what did those English know anyways!

Now, 60 years later, letters written between scientists and public policy folks are in library archives and open for the public. When these letters were unearthed and examined, the authors of this review find a terribly inconvenient truth.

Rojer Adams, a professor at the University of Illinois, was on the Sugar Research Foundation’s scientific advisory council. His letter, written to Mark Hegsted, professor of nutrition at Harvard, asking him to write a review of article on the mechanisms and risks of sugar versus fat is the smoking gun. Hegsted was also on the Sugar Research Foundations research council. He agreed to write a review article downplaying the risky components of sugar and emphasizing the problems with cholesterol and fat.

Angel Keys rose in time to greater and greater prominence, and he carried the torch forward. He was a bully in public and at meetings of anyone who disagreed with him, and literally hounded any opposing opinion off of the agenda of national meetings. High fat was his bugaboo. As chair of the NIH funding committee for research, you crossed Ancel Keys at your peril.

Early research suggested that sugar was in fact, the enemy. The Sugar Foundation swung into action and started Project 226, essentially to pay Hegsted and his boss, Stare, at the Harvard School of public health to write a review article downplaying sugar and pointing the problem to fat. That article was written, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine without mentioning its Sugar industry sponsorship. Hegsted got paid.

From there, it’s all history. It was the 1980s and food guidelines came out recommending lowering dietary fat, which means more sugar of one kind or another. Over the next 20 years, every food in America became low fat and consequently high carb. Ancel Keys ruled at the NIH and no-one question the hegemony of Hegsted and Keys. You gained 20 pounds.

This was the biggest public health policy disaster in American History. We didn’t let good science be conducted because secret, behind the scenes, payments led to the corruption of our medical research process. It took 20-30 years to fully correct that error. We are still struggling with it today.

WWW.What Will Work for me. It’s a struggle to avoid sugar. It tastes good and all of us are vulnerable to its effects. You eat sugar, you want more and you eat more. I’m so aware of my own sugar sensitivity. If I eat regular peanut butter on a spoon, I stop at one spoon and feel full. If I eat a brand name that has sugar in it, I can have 4-5 spoonfuls before I stop. But the science is now solid. Avoid sugar. If you want to escape the damage of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Pop Quiz

‪1. Sugar isn’t as harmful as people make out? T or F

False. It’s the core enemy of metabolic problems. MUCH worse than fat.

‪2. Our belief that cholesterol is the problem is the result of a carefully crafted PR campaign based on bribery to key doctors, paid for by the Sugar Industry. T or F

Spot on.

‪3. Our food guidelines followed the outcome of the PR guidelines, and suggested we eat a ceiling of 35% fat. T or F

True. That’s how we got there.

‪4. 35% fat should be the floor of our eating, with encouragement to go higher – aka, to 50% or the Mediterranean Diet. T or F

Again, true.

‪5. It’s critical for all published research to have openness as to funding sources. T or F

True. (Same idea would be good for politics, don’t you think?)

Black Tea and C-Reactive Protein‬

Black Tea and C-Reactive Protein

Reference: Toxicology, ResearchGate,

I drink black tea. Quite a lot, in fact. I like chai. I’m also on the quest to find how to lower C-reactive protein. When I see research that addresses both topics, I pay attention. This is interesting.

The study design was pretty simple. Three cups of black tea a day, with no additives, for 12 weeks. The control group drank hot water. The groups were large enough to show statistically significant drops in uric acid of 8-9% across the various ranges of uric acid. And better, C-reactive protein, the common pathway for inflammation, fell by 40-50% in folks with levels over 3 mg %. Now, 50% drop is a lot! The goal is to get folks to below 1.0 on their CRP. So a 50% drop from 3 gets you to 1.5. Almost there!

From the same study, published in a different journal, was evidence of what happened to other markers of cardiovascular risk. Again, the same 12 week period with three cups of tea a day. The tea had high levels of gallic acid derivatives (50 ± 0.4 mg/L), flavan-3-ols (42 ± 2 mg/L), flavonols (32 ± 1 mg/L) and theaflavins (90 ± 1 mg/L). (All good things). The metabolic changes were quite striking: a fasting serum glucose decrease of 18.4%; (p<0.001) and triglyceride level decrease of 35.8%; (p<0.01), a significant decrease in LDL/HDL plasma cholesterol ratio (16.6%; p<0.05) and a non significant increase in HDL plasma cholesterol levels 20.3%. For those who have read this column and gotten facile at glucose and its effect on blood lipids, you would understand it all as the same phenomenon.

To recap: a lower blood glucose means less insulin. Less insulin means less instructions to the liver to manufacture triglycerides and LDLs. With fewer LDLs and triglycerides to manufacture and ship out to fat cells, HDLs will rise. The real primary effect is on glucose with all the others following. Small, dense LDLs, stimulated by high glucose levels, drive heart disease, so there you have it. All these risk factors stem from elevated glucose.

Guess where this study came from? Mauritius! Not the common place for research. But they are looking at life style and food. Just what we need.

WWW. What will work for me. I feel too buzzed with coffee and don’t like all the caffeine. Tea is gentler. But I spend all day with my clients trying to find ways to lower CRP. Lots of folks have mildly elevated level. To know that we can drop it 30-40% with 3 cups of tea. In Afghanistan, 3 Cups of Tea means you are a friend. Same effect in America.

Pop Quiz:

‪1. Three cups of tea will lower your CRP by 40-50%? T or F

True. Black tea.

‪2. I can also lower my triglycerides with black tea. T or F

Yup

‪3. Uric acid, unfortunately, goes up with black tea. T or F

Gotcha. Read it again. Uric acid goes down. Another good thing

‪4. High blood glucose results in high blood lipids. T or F

Simple as that. True. Glucose is the real story for causing heart disease, not blood fats.

‪5. This research was done in a place that drinks a lot of tea and doesn’t have much pharmaceutical company influence. T or F

Mauritius.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Heart

Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Heart

Reference: BBC News Sept 2016, Published Sept 5th, 2016

It’s September, the apples are ripe. The farmers’ market is overflowing. We are all in a fall festive mood. The vendor at the farmers’ market hands you some apple cider samples. Delicious. She tells you about making vinegar and how it’s good for your heart and your digestion. Is it?

Well, along comes a new show on BBC in Britain with a whole segment on just that topic. What does Apple Cider Vinegar actually do for you? On the show, “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”, the following experiments were done. First, they recruited healthy volunteers to eat a bagel after an all night fast. Sure enough, their sugar shoots up. The next night, instead of just a bagel, they preceeded it with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, diluted in water. Sure, enough, 36% reduction in blood sugar. The third night, malt vinegar before the bagel. No reduction in blood sugar. Wow, it’s something to do with the apples.

This got them excited. Off they went with a bunch of other tests, notably blood. They increased the group size to 10 in each group and made a placebo group with colored water. They checked for inflammation, weight change and cholesterol. To distill what they found, the apple cider vinegar continued to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids with a dramatic drop in bad cholesterol. But not the malt vinegar.

Now, here’s the catch. Can you, a reader of this column explain to yourself why a high sugar response turns into high cholesterol? This should be simple, but utterly profound and far reaching. Start with the mechanism by which we make blood lipids.

It’s simple. Our blood fats are manufactured in our liver in response to insulin. Apple cider vinegar lowers the blood glucose, that lowers the insulin response to a glucose load. That makes for less push to make blood fats that have to be transported from the liver to the fat cell. That transport happens in the blood. We know now that you elevate blood lipids by eating carbs, not by eating eggs and butter. In fact, the more purified carbs you eat, white wheat flour and sugar being the most egregious, the more small dense LDLs you make.

Imprint that in your brain. Eating free carbs raise your blood sugar, and that in turn raises your small dense, dangerous LDLs. That is what drives heart disease. The ancient Egyptians were eating wheat, and we now know that they too had heart disease. They too had elevated LDLs. If only they had been able to drink apple cider vinegar.

How does apple cider vinegar work compared to malt vinegar that doesn’t?  I hope to live long enough to find out that mystery. Is it the mineral/alkaline effect?  It happens with a bitof wine too. Is that why those Mediterraneans do so well?

WWW.What will work for me. I enjoy finding out old cures for modern maladies, and understanding the mechanisms. The same goes for apple cider vinegar and reflux and heart burn. But that’s for another day. Can I drink apple cider vinegar every day? That’s a stretch. I would rather have my breakfast without the bagel, just the eggs.

 

Pop Quiz

‪1. Eating a whole wheat bagel will lower my blood sugar more than apple cider vinegar(ACV). T or F

False. Whole wheat flour is still flour and has the precise, exact same glycemic response as white four. A tiny bit of fiber will help your bowels move better but will have no impact on your weight or cholesterol.

‪2. Apple cider vinegar before a glycemic load will lower your blood sugar response to that load. T or F

True. That’s this news.

‪3. It’s smart to plan on eating ACV before all carbs. T or F

Probably smarter to eat less simple carbs and go for more vegetables.

‪4. When I go to a restaurant, I can lower my cholesterol response with some wine also. T or F

Wine appears to also lower glycemic index response.   T   True

‪5. The beneficial effects of ACV may be from the minerals that alkalize your body? T or F

True. Despite being acidic, the actual metabolic effect on your body is slightly alkaline because of the magnesium and potassium in it. They may be the secret sauce.

How The Bacteria in Your Gut Make You Fat

How Your Gut Bacteria Make You Fat

References: Science News, Nature,  Published August 29, 2016

Ok, this isn’t in humans, it’s in rats, but we share a lot of their basic physiology, and they are easier to cut open and examine and sample. If this holds up in humans, we will have gained quite a lot. The signal is as follows. Acetate is a two carbon acid that is a break down product of both carbs and fats. It makes its way back to the brain. The brain turns on signals via the vagus nerve to the islets cells in the pancreas to make insulin. Insulin makes you store calories.

But that isn’t all the acetate does. It also turns on ghrelin, your hunger hormone. You eat more. You gain weight. Coordinated processes by which you just pack it on. Acetate. Now the researchers found this by noting that infusing acetate causes rat pancreases to put out insulin. That was in earlier research. Feeding rats a high fat diet also turns on acetate production.

Now, kill all the bacteria in the rat’s gut and in a germ free rat, see how much acetate they make. None! Restore their gut biome and watch the difference, acetate shows up, particularly on eating fat. Following the line of logic, the researchers then found that the acetate didn’t do it directly. It worked through the brain, which then turned on the pancreas.

Now, in humans, it is known that we turn on acetate production when we eat carbs too. Humans have switched their biology in the last 5 million years to being less vegan and more fat consumers. In that process, the weight and source of acetate may have changed. But this research opens a whole new understanding of how our gut and it’s population of bacteria play on our own metabolism. The production of acetate in our gut may be a big key to sort out this conundrum.

www.What will work for me. There is certainly contrary evidence between eating carbs versus eating fat for optimal weight loss. What is clear is that the production of fine flours containing ground up carbohydrates are easily digestible, stimulate insulin directly instead of through gut bacteria. Fine white flour was available to us as human only after the 1870s when John Stevens of Neenah Wisconsin, invented the high efficiency flour mill. Then we added sugar and got extra acetate directly bypassing much of the bacterial biome. No wonder we gained weight, we are overwhelming our internal signals with free acetate.

Ergo: stop eating flour and sugar, deep fried in fat: donuts.

 

Pop Quiz:

‪1.  Rats, fed high fat diets, make acetate in their guts which gets to their brains and turns on insulin and gherkin production. T or F

That’s about the sum of it.

‪2.  Acetate is a natural break down product of fat and carbs? T or F

True. (But in this study, it was fat in rats that set it off the most)

‪3. The brain reacts to acetate but signaling an increase in what hormones?

Insulin (drives calories into storage) and gherlin (increasing appetite)

‪4. Rat metabolism is identical to humans? T or F

Close but no cigar. Humans have adapted to fat, but not to sugar and abundant flour.

‪5.  In the rat model, acetate didn’t happen without the right gut bacteria? T or F

That’s one of the key messages of this study. Very intriguing.