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Juicing is Dangerous for You

Juicing is Dangerous.

References: Advances in NutritionAppetiteEating on the Wild Side,

I get asked all the time about juicing or “smoothies”. Most of the smoothies are described as rich combinations of green vegetables, or yogurt, or fruit. Then, I had someone describe to me how their blood sugar went up almost to 1,000 with a seemingly innocuous concoction. What’s going on that can make that happen?

This column has reviewed the science of changing an apple to apple sauce, then juice before. Barbara Rolls and her team at Penn State observed 58 random volunteer adults for a meal once a week over 5 weeks. Each volunteer was provided a precise “preload” of calories weighing exactly 226 grams with 125 calories in it; aka, one really nice apple. After 15 minutes, they eat whatever they wanted for their meal.

This is what they found. Eating a whole, solid apple resulted in a 15% reduction of calorie intake. That is a 62-calorie reduction for the entire meal. That would be interesting enough by itself. You can lose weight by having an apple 15 minutes before a meal! (62 calories a day is 1800 calories a month or 6 pounds a year.)

But wait, it gets better. Here is the heart of the juicing question. When they changed the apple into applesauce with the same weight, calories, rate of ingestion, timing, resulted in eating 91 calories less overall. Then change the calories into juice. It became 150 calories less.. Applesauce reduced total meal calorie consumption a tiny bit, compared to juice which had virtually no reduction in calories.

The final sword in the experiment was to add fiber added back into the apple juice. Now it becomes a drinkable product, aka juicing. You erase the positive effect of eating a whole apple before a meal. The drinkers did compensate for their calories in the meal, but they did not reduce their total overall calories like eating a whole apple did. It’s interesting that juice, with or without fiber had the same effect. Being liquid just doesn’t register in your brain, no matter the fiber content. Did you get that, juicing erases the message to your brain about content of food.

Our brains and physiology are quite complex. Part of a meal is the actual process of “eating” it. Chewing our food makes a difference in how much food we eat. Stretching it out over time makes a difference. The waiting of 15 minutes before the meal may have been part of the impact. We call that part the cephalic phase during which your body starts to get ready to digest and process food. Managing your cephalic phase sounds like heavy science. Or maybe it’s just plain heavy weight gain.

Here’s my take on it. Eating the whole fruit delivers fiber with the sugar and slows the process of absorbing the sugar dramatically. Mechanically grinding up an apple, or any vegetable, is far more efficient than chewing in terms of mechanically disrupting the cell wall and releasing the sugars inside. When you drink it, you get a burst of glucose delivery to your gut. This results in a burst of insulin release. This results in a burst of LDL production to ship fat to your fat cells instead of energy to your brain and muscles. You thought you ate 800 calories for your meal but your body is saving some of it to fat, because of the insulin burst. Hence, you eat more.

Moral of the story: juicing changing the way you get nutrients: the speed, the mechanics of chewing, the rate of glucose rise all are disrupted. You gain weight.
Now, if you are averse to vegetables and you can’t get them any other way……and aren’t overweight. I’ll relent. If your smoothie is just kale and asparagus and yogurt, I’ll concede. But throw in an apple or a banana, and my skepticism goes up. The heart of the matter is that today’s apple is really much more endowed with sugar than nature’s original apple. Malus Sikimensis, the Himalayan apple is the worlds original, and has a very bitter/sour flavor, sort of like a crab apple. We have changed it into a Golden Delicious, with 1% of it’s original phytonutrients and 10 times its sugar. Hmmm.

www.What will work for me. Eat the whole food. Chew. Sit. Wait. Talk. Enjoy. Visit. The calories you drink are the calories you store. Repeat after me. The calories you drink are the calories you store. Plain and simple.

Pop Quiz

  1. Juicing is really healthy for me?                                                                               Answer: Please reread this column
  2. I hate vegetables. If I juice them, I can get some down. Is that ok?                  Answer: if you keep the high glycemic fruits out of it, you are getting some fiber this way, but be careful if you are trying to lose weight.
  3. The calories I drink are…………                                                                                 Answer:                        The calories I store. (smoothies)
  4. The calories I drink are …………….                                                                            Answer: The calories I store (beer).
  5. The hormonal effect of food is more important for weight control than the quality of the food. T or F                                                                                                                  Answer: True. That’s the secret behind this message. Smoothies make glucose be delivered too fast, turning on insulin. Insulin is your storage hormone. The exact same food, delivered slowly and with fiber built in makes for a different metabolic product.

 

 

Upcoming Seminar: The End of Alzheimer’s

Save the Date  Oct 14th, Saturday Morning

“The End of Alzheimer’s”

NO-ONE Should Ever Get This Awful Disease

Yes, that is possible, for you and for your loved ones.

And it is reversible if we catch you early enough.

Dale Bredesen has proven it, and we will explain his methods.  You will learn the details of how you can protect yourself, what life style changes you can make, how you can measure your success, what lab tests you can order and what supplements you should be adding.  We will detail the various pathways by which our brains get injured, resulting in Alzheimer’s.  You will leave knowing at least 10 specific things you can start doing today to keep your brain healthy and vibrant into your 90s.

Dr John Whitcomb and MD Custom Pharmacy are collaborating to bring you this important information.

Saturday Morning:  Oct 14Th 4th.   4 hours and we will feed you lunch.  2 lectures and an hour of questions and answers.  Then, a demonstration luncheon on how you should be eating.

To Register:  Call MD Custom Pharmacy   262-373-1050

Place:  Beautiful Redeemer Church on Townline Road in Sussex (Just south of Townline and Lisbon Road Stop Light.  We will start at 8 am with coffee and greeting.

Price:  $ 35 for the first early registrants.  $ 45 in the last week.  We can only seat a limited number so please call now and save your spot.

Restore Hashimoto’s Thyroid Function with Selenium and Myo-Inositol

Restore AutoImmune Thyroiditis with Selenium and Inositol!

 

References: Eur Rev Med Pha SciInternational Jr of EndocrinologyJr Thyroid Research,

This is quite a remarkable claim. Reversing Hashimoto’s?!! This is like finding the Holy Grail. Hashimoto’s is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in women affecting about 5% of women and 8-15 times as many women as men. There is a robust connection between wheat sensitivity and Hashimoto’s, with celiac disease being documented the most firmly. In the functional medicine world, it goes without saying that Hashimoto’s needs to be managed with the avoidance of gluten. Fasano has been the leading voice in advocating the role of gluten in making leaky gut and subsequent autoimmune disease.
This study took 168 patients with TPO or anti-thyroglobulin antibodies and a TSH between 3-6. That’s quite modest Hashimoto’s. The higher the TPO, the more damaged the thyroid gland is, and the more prolonged course has been already endured. The free T4 and free T3 levels were still “normal”. They were randomized to receive either 83 mg of selenium or 83 ng if selenium and 600 mg of myo-inositol for 6 months. The combination group had a better response and recovered their thyroid function better and felt better to boot. This isn’t the first study to prove this effect, but it is the largest.
Certainly we know the role of selenium, at least to some degree. The enzyme that catalyzes the production of free T3 has to lop off the fourth iodine of T4. It is called de-iodinase. It is based on the selenium atom. If you want to do a deep dive into de-iodinase, the ZRT blog has an excellent summary. Leave it sufficient to understand that there are three forms of de-iodinase which all help conserve iodine, balance thyroid function by maintaining the level of free T3 is a healthful range and responding to stress and starvation. There is less selenium in mid-westAmerican soil, lots in Rocky Mountain soils. Hence, selenium deficiency is common.

Myo-inositol is new player here. It actually looks like glucose, but it is structured differently. It plays a role in changing membrane signaling. It also plays a role in thyroid activation. Several studies demonstrated that myo-Inositol is the precursor of the synthesis of “phosphoinositides”, which are part of the phosphatidylinositol signal transduction pathway across the plasma membrane, via the second messenger 1,4,5-triphosphate that modulates intracellular calcium release. That means it acts as a second messenger regulating the several like insulin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). And if you understood one word of that paragraph, you get an A.

Bottom line, this unique combination of simple supplements appears to work together to target the missing links in the thyroid dysfunction called Hashimoto’s. That might suggest that anyone might be on the edge of dysfunction, and are then tipped over by an extra stressor, gluten. If we catch you early, you can prevent that tipping and never get in trouble.
WWW.What will work for me. Well, selenium is that critical element we all appear to be a bit short of. If you are reading this in Wyoming, you are likely getting enough because your soils have it. If you are in Wisconsin, you probably need to take a supplement. I’m intrigued that Bredesen considers it a critical part of his Alzheimer’s pathway. That makes me in. Selenium is important.

 

Pop Quiz

1. Hashimoto’s is a rare Japanese thyroid problem. T or F
Answer: False. It is common the world over, with up to 5% of women affected

2. Hashimoto’s damages the thyroid gland leading to all the symptoms of low thyroid. T or F Answer: In a nutshell, yes.

3. You can remarkably improve early Hashimoto’s with selenium and a glucose analog called moo-inositol. Answer: That’s this week’s nugget.

4. The physiology of thyroid function is well understood. T or F Answer: are you kidding, we are just on the surface and continue to be amazed at its complexity and nuance.

5. Getting thyroid right, and selenium right, are critical to healthy brains: Answer: Bingo!!!

 

 

Generosity is Good for YOU

Generosity is Good for YOU

References: PsychNETHealth PsychologyCurr Dir Psychol Sci-FiScience,

Alright! We just had a huge hurricane in Texas, and another on the way in the Atlantic. The TV and radio are all calling out for help with money, time, boats, you name it. They need help. They need your generosity. And here is what is cool, you do too!

Giving, at first, feels hard. You worked hard for your dollars. You earned your good salary. But why does every religious tradition in history consider helping people one of their central tenants? Jesus, as one example, talks more about giving away your wealth than any other topic. Jewish tradition is what Jesus was referencing. They are just as generous. It’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Buddhism has “10 Good Deeds“. Hindu’s get to heaven giving alms.

Modern researchers are finally putting some “scientific data” around that. Why is “giving” so important for us to learn to do? What is it about generosity that makes it so compelling, despite the barriers of self interest?

Here is the science of it. In 2013, a study of retired representing a statistical sample of America was conducted. They had to be over 50 and multiple variables were recorded over 4 years of observation. Those who volunteered more than 200 hours in the 12 months prior to the study being started showed they developed less high blood pressure (40% less). That’s about the same effect as taking a pill. They also had high scores on “well being”. This is pretty remarkable. But that’s not all.

Another study looked at elderly folks given $ 40 and told they had to dispose of it in one day. Half were to spend it on themselves. The other half had to give it away. Guess what happened! Those who had to give it away dropped their blood pressure as much as folks taking a pill to lower pressure. This reinforces other research that shows that “Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion.” There is plenty of other research showing that the closer you are involved, the stronger the emotional tie. Up front and personal matters.

I get it. Every religion says it’s good because the geniuses of history expressed their insight into human nature as rules for us to follow for daily living. It’s good for you. Plain and simple. Thank goodness there are folks around who need our help. That applies to the poorest of the poor.

WWW.What will work for me. One of my strongest childhood memories from Bisrampur church in India was the “Muthi Dhan” offering where the local farmers would bring in a “fistful of rice” to share with those more needy. These were folks living on $ 3-5 a day for their whole family. They would qualify in just about anyone’s lexicon as being poor, and needing help. But their own happiness depends on giving too. I’m intending to go to my current congregation and give a meaningfully big check towards hurricane relief. I would ask you do do that same, for your sake.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Something about the way we got wired as humans gets into a good spot when we share what is important and precious to us with others? T or F
    Answer: Call it your faith, your duty, your community, but yes, isn’t that true.
  2. We can measure medical consequences of being generous. What is it?               Answer: Blood pressure lowering as much as with a pill
  3. Is this why brain health experts say to keep a healthy brain, you need to be connected? Answer: You decide. Of course!
  4. I’m too poor to give. T or F                                                                             Answer: Research shows the “poor”tend to be more generous, proportionately.
  5. Most money is given by the poor? T or F                                               Answer: actually false. 70-80% of total dollars comes from “wealthy”, but they are giving a lower percentage of their income. So, don’t trash the rich. Praise them for their generosity. It’s really important for them to be connected too.  I suspect that the mind set of “accumulating wealth” becomes a habit, then an addiction, making giving all the harder, and all the more important.  It appears it’s a habit not broken easily, hence the religious admonitions.

 

 

 

The Trouble with Iron Part III Diabetes

The Trouble with Iron Part III Diabetes

References: Cell MetabolismJ of Diabetes Research,

You were trained to think of iron as absolutely necessary to help fatigue. “Build up your blood!” and other such phrases are deep in our subconscious. We see blood and know it is the red of iron. Iron is critical for life, because it’s the key to carrying oxygen to the tissue so that we can make energy. No doubt, iron is important. But carrying oxygen is no mean feat, as it is such a reactive chemical, it needs the strong chemical bond of iron in heme to transport it. What happens when you get too much iron?

Two conditions of too much iron are thalassemia and hemochromatosis. Guess what happens to those folks? Hemochromatosis is also known as bronze diabetes. They fill up the islet cells of their pancreas with iron, and their insulin producing capacity fails. This can be reversed with removal of the iron.

And what happens to normal folks? Well, here again we find that the tendency to being diabetic goes along with the tendency to be iron overloaded. And the devil is in the details. It’s not just the total load of iron that causes damage. It’s not just the accumulation of iron in the islets of your pancreas. It’s the whole ecosystem effect of iron. Iron plays a role in every tissue that mediates energy metabolism, particularly the fat cell. There is a whole host of signaling that occurs when iron is present with intracellular and extracellular messaging. The nuance of it is still not anywhere close to being understood, but you can get a sense for its complexity by the review in Cell Metabolism.
And what have we done, with all of our good intentions, in America. We have devised guidelines for iron supplementation that serve young, pregnant women, well. We add iron to all our grains. It is the fortification you see on the label of every kind of flour product. When you eat most breakfast cereals, particularly the ones that claim to have you supplemented with great vitamins and minerals, you will find 18 mg of iron added to each serving. But it will also be in the flour of your bagel, your hotdog bun, your Danish, your french toast. And it interferes with your metabolism of carbs, immediately. On the spot.

This raises a fascinating conjecture. Is it the iron added to carbs that makes them so problematic for weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes? Hmmm. There is enough evidence around iron to make it a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. That also explains a few conundrums that the pure carbohydrate hypothesis doesn’t solve. For example, why is red meat so insulogenic? You eat a large bloody red steak, dripping with heme, and you get a huge spike in insulin. And it may not be just the red meat per se, because we see a stronger effect with processed meats. The evidence seems to lean towards more complicated and nuanced reasons, like the amount of AGE’s and ALEs. (If you knew what those were before you read this: you are a star. AGE’s are Advanced Glycation End Products – made by roasting meat with sugared sauces and ALEs are Advanced Lipo-oxidation Products, that occur with food preparation of meats with protein and high fat content.) However it occurs, iron is in the middle of it.
Here are some tests this hypothesis. First, one must look for high ferritin in folks who have high cholesterol, moderate blood glucose and elevated insulin: all the people we thought were overindulging in carbs. So far, I’m three for three. The last one had a ferritin over 600. Another test…..why can’t women lost weight after menopause? Answer: They stop losing iron with menses after menopause, accumulate iron and have their insulin go up. That makes them gain weight. Hmmm. Ever seen that happen? They go carb free and eat more meat, and don’t lose weight. Hmmm. I’m about 400 for 400 on that one.

WWW: What Will Work for Me. I’ve paid a lot of attention to this topic in my own life. Right now I’m reading labels and finding secret iron everywhere. At the picnic last night, I avoided the hamburger offering and had two olive oil salads instead. I had just read that the iron in spinach is tightly bound by oxalates. And what about Vitamin C? It increases iron absorption 400%. Complex, isn’t it?

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Too much iron in you can cause you to become insulin resistant, thereby leading to diabetes risk and obesity? T or F                                                                              Answer: Bingo. True
  2. The mechanism for this cause is well known. T or F                            Answer: Well, it’s well known now but the mechanism is still murky. Too complex. The phenomenon has been observed. And ferritin is deposited into insulin cells in the pancreas, but the cellular mechanism is much more nuanced, probably because iron is so tightly regulated and bound.
  3. You should know your iron level and it should be?                              Answer:  Ferritin of 40 or so.
  4. If your ferritin is too high, you can reduce it by?                                   Answer: giving blood to the Red Cross. Come on in and we will phlebotomize for you if the Blood Donor Center won’t or can’t do it.  (Leaches.  Blood letting.  Hand to hand combat.)
  5. This iron topic is a whole new way of interpreting the problem with carbohydrates, because………..?                                                                                           Answer: we added iron to virtually all carbs in Western societies. It may be the iron, and not the carbs.  This is conjecture for now, but it sure fits.

The Trouble with Iron – Part II – Your Brain on Iron

The Trouble with Iron – Part II Iron and Your Brain

References: The MindSpan DietNeuromolecular Medicine, Nature CommunicationsJournal Biol ChemUCLA Newsroom,

Ok you got it. You know the “AP” rule, antagonistic pleiotropy, from last week: what’s good for you at one age isn’t so good later. Young women need lots of iron to have babies. Young men need iron for their brains to develop. Young. As we get older, that changes and becomes “ANTAGONISTIC”.

What’s the trouble with iron? First of all, epidemiology. Men accumulate iron faster than women, and get Alzheimer’s younger than women. Women who have hysterectomies start accumulating iron sooner, and get dementia sooner.

Then there is pathology. All major brain diseases (Parkinson’sALSAlzheimer’s) are shown to accumulate iron in their region of damage. Iron is very reactive. With oxygen it’s a deadly combo. On our cars, we call it rust. In our brains, it wreaks havoc.
There are many mechanisms now being understood wherein iron is a problem in the brain. In essence, beta amyloid accumulates as a net effect of excess iron. And chelating that iron, in animal models, reduces the damage.

What do we see in human populations who have very little Alzheimer’s disease and who live to be 100 with healthy brains? First, they eat foods low in iron and live in parts of the world where there aren’t “fortified” grains (added iron). Their average serum ferritin is 20. In America, we call that deficient. More and more research is showing that ferritin in spinal fluid and blood predicts risk for AD. This is the perfect example of Estep’s “AP” rule. The iron we needed in youth to make babies isn’t so good for us as we age. Those, whose scales are tipped to eating more iron by intention or serendipity, are at greater risk.

The question arises, how do I get rid of excess iron? Rule #1: when in a deep hole, the first thing you do is stop digging. Stop eating iron rich foods. That included fortified wheat products. Cereals like Total contain 18 mg of iron per serving. Don’t. Steak. Don’t. Find flour that is not fortified. Find bread that is not fortified. Consider taking supplements that deplete iron. Wheat grass juice is uniquely good. Go to the Blood Center and give a pint. Often. Let them have double red cells. Get your serum ferritin to 20. AKA: KNOW YOUR FERRITIN.

www.What Will Work for Me. I’m changing my meat eating. I’m looking for unenriched flour. I just measured my ferritin and I’m over 100. Hmmm. I just might give some blood away. I threw out our red colored ibuprofen (iron coating).

 

Pop Quiz

 

  1. Iron is good for your brain. True or false                                    Answer: Ha, Trick question. It appears to be important for you when you are young, but too much is a deadly toxin as you get old. That is the AP Rule: Antagonistic Pleiotropy.

 

  1. We have added iron to many of our foods on the belief that it is good for us. T or F        Answer: True.

 

  1. People around the world who have the best functioning brains, the longest, have much lower blood iron in the form of ferritin than we have thought was safe. T or F                  Answer: Yup. Average ferritin of 20

 

  1. Beta amyloid in the brain might be accumulating as a side effect of our brain’s attempt to get rid of extra iron. T or F                                                        Answer: Again. Yup

 

  1. Getting rid of excess iron might be the only way to reduce our risk for the dangers of iron. The easiest way to do that is……?                                 Answer: Donate blood.

 

 

 

The Trouble with Iron

The Trouble with Iron

References: The Mindspan DietEndocrine Society MeetingHow Much Iron in My CerealJr of Nutrition,

Ready to blow your mind with a whole new set of ideas? Want to live a lot longer and have your brain survive with you? Want to have an organizing principle that explains much of the trouble with modern nutrition, that is a complete curve ball from anything you have ever heard before? Here goes. Please read the next couple of weeks of The News with great attention to the details in this column.
Dr Person Estep is not am MD, he’s the smart kind, a PhD at Harvard Medical School, in Genetics and Health Science. HIs research is into those populations of people whose brain survives into their later years, and why. I’ve just devoured his book, and if you want to preserve your brain, you should too. This is a must read.
Let me start with a few core principles and ideas that he presents. First, the concept of MIND SPAN. I want my brain to survive longer than my body. My LIFE span makes me nervous, if it’s longer than my brain span. That’s Alzheimer’s (AD). Get that? Of course your do. We all do, and right now 50% of are getting it if we have the “good fortune” of living to 85. That’s idea #1.
Concept #2 for us to all know is the idea of Antagonistic Pleitropy. (Wow, if you get this, you can skip medical school.) It’s actually a simple idea. What it means is that your bodies needs change as you age. What was good for you once, becomes bad for you later. Biology works by natural selection, and reproduction is the driving force. If you can’t pass on your genes, they can’t change. So, natural selection works only until you stop reproducing. Nature is not interested in you once the pressure of natural selection is over. Get it? What is good for you before passing on your genes, may be bad for you later. Women have to give iron to their babies. The human body needs iron for it’s blood making. And through most of human history, our guts were filled with tiny worms that made us lose iron. In this mix, men have to make sperm. Trillions of them. But sperm doesn’t involve the losing of iron. Making babies does. Lots of iron. The human species has resulted in a model that generally, in both genders, accumulates iron easily. That’s good for women, while they are making babies. And its good for all of us when we keep losing iron from intestinal parasites. What happens to us after we stop reproducing? Well, nature has no way of repairing or changing that tendency to accumulate iron after our reproductive years. What happens if we keep accumulating iron? What happens when we get good plumbing and sanitation and stop getting pin worm? Our iron leak stops.
What happens, if we decide that our society is across the board iron deficient and we add iron to all of our grains? (Look at your breakfast cereal and see how much iron you are getting. Look at your “fortified bread” and see how much iron you are getting. Consider that the USDA says that we need 18 mg of iron a day, and good science shows that actually you probably need much less, like 4 mg a day, once you hit 50. What’s happened is that in America, we have added abundant iron to our diet, to our baby formula, to our grains, our breakfast cerealsour rice, to our whole food chain. And that may be a big problem.
What if I told you that accumulating ferritin in your pancreas pushes you into diabetes? What if I told you that amyloid plaque in your brain may be a side effect of a desperate attempt to get that toxic iron out of your brain. We’ll get to that in the coming weeks.
For now, think about these two core ideas and please, look at your “fortified” flour on your shelf and read the labels for your source of iron. Think about how red meat provides you lots of iron. And next week, we’ll have more details.

WWW.What will work for me. My mind is being totally turned upside down. I can’t wait to tell you the rest. This is a whole new way of exploring the metabolic problems we face with aging. But for now, stop taking any iron in your diet. STOP. Trust me. Stop. Stop your vitamin pill with iron. Stop your fortified cereal. Get skeptical about red meat. I’ll prove it to you. Or else buy the book. Next week.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. The human body accumulates iron easily, too easily. When is that good, and when is it bad?                                                                        Answer: It’s good if you are a young female, having lots of babies and with lots of intestinal parasites – like humans were until 100 years ago when we cleaned up our toilets, our guts and stopped having so many babies. It’s bad when you are male, have a clean gut, live longer than 35 years.
  2. What is this effect called?                                     Answer: Antagonistic Pleiotropy. (Go straight to your third year in medical school.) What’s good for you at one age or circumstance, becomes bad for you later.
  3. We decided, as a society, that every one should have how many milligrams of iron a day?                                                                             Answer: 18
  4. How many milligrams do mature adults, past the age of child bearing need? Answer: Probably around 4.   Certainly no more than 8.
  5. Should I worry about the red color of my ibuprofen pill?                              Answer: Yes, that is actually oxidized iron. Buy another brand. The ibuprofen is good for your brain. The Iron is not.

Nine Risks for Cognitive Decline

Nine Risks for Cognitive Decline

References: The Lancet, July 2017BBC News

This week, in London, the Alzheimer’s Association International Congress, just met. One of their presentations was a publication in the Lancet detailing the current best evidence of risk factors for developing cognitive decline. The over arching principle is that the brain does show changes with time that eventually lead to withdrawal and loss of cognitive function. It shows up as short term memory loss, but starts with other risks. Prevention should be focused on building a “cognitive reserve” earlier in life. If there is to be an inevitable downward slope, change the grade of the slope.
Your brain is constantly tasked with decided what to keep and what to throw away. It is not a hoarder. It repeatedly questions what memories to discard, what are important, and which are less important. The stop sign you passed on the way to work may not be all that important to remember. It gets tossed. Where you put your keys is important, only in the short term, but can be forgotten. Your spouses birthday, now, that is important. Your brain has to sort those out. Routine and repetition can lead to letting go.

In order to do all that sorting, your brain needs data. It needs to be exercised, flexed, challenged, used. Knowing that, the list presented at the meeting makes sense. They estimated that approximately one third of dementia was amenable to prevention by early intervention. That starts with mid life hearing loss. This is the first paper that I have seen with a meta- analysis of multiple high quality studies of hearing loss as a risk for cognitive decline. It accounted for 9% of the risk. Following that was lack of a completed high school eduction (8% risk), smoking (5% risk), failure to seek early treatment for depression, (4%), physical inactivity, 3%, social isolation (2%), high blood pressure (2%), obesity (1%), Type II diabetes (1%). These all add up to the 35% percent of modifiable risk factors.
Continuing life long learning keeps your brain working with new data. Doing something “hard” every day, keeps your brain solving problems. Staying socially engaged with humans keeps all your filters of human interaction functioning. These factors appear to be important, and make sense. They flatten the slope of decline.
What is quite new in this examination is the consideration that diabetes accounts for only 1% of risk, obesity 1%, smoking 5% and physical inactivity 3%. These are far lower than prior estimates and suggest that there was no attempt or discussion about reduction and change of lifestyle risk factors. That is likely because the prior model of weight loss is all about low fat, which doesn’t work. Hence, no one has been able to succeed with weight loss, diabetes reversal, high blood pressure reversal etc. With the proper use of low carb for weight loss, modifiable risks for cognitive decline will appear to be more meaningful and effective.
WWW.what will work for me. I’m paying attention to the hearing loss concern. This is the first study that shows it to be so high on the list. It’s never been so high in any prior study. I’m going to find a time to get myself checked. I haven’t seen any other study like this, so this could be a statistical blip, but it sure catches my eye. Pay attention.

Pop Quiz

  1. The current article suggests that as much as 35% of dementia can be prevented. T or F                                              Answer: That’s there data from statistical analysis. I think the number can be much high.
  2. Mid life hearing loss can be postponed until you are on Medicare. T or F                Answer: False. It leads to social isolation.
  3. Cognitive decline is a natural process. T or F                                     Answer: Sadly true if you live long enough. Age is the strongest risk factor. What is not discussed here but is quite intriguing is that dementia may be the result of a protective or natural process going awry.
  4. Hearing loss may be far more important a risk factor than we care to acknowledge. T or F Answer: Yup
  5. The combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity are all one parcel of common problems best reversed with a low fat American Heart Diet. T or F Answer: It’s true they are all one parcel, it’s false that the AHA diet will help you.

 

Don’t Eat Mac and Cheese

The Poison in your Mac and Cheese

References: KleanUpKraft.org, New York Times, CNN,

It was all over CNN, BBC, New York Times this week. “What Chemicals are in your Mac and Cheese?” Mac and Cheese. My kids were raised on it. It’s one of America’s iconic foods. The pinnacle of American comfort food. Here’s the rub. Ten years ago, we banned phthalates because they were found to be “endocrine disruptors” in children and exposure resulted in behavioral and neurodevelopmental issues. All the big retailers withdrew their children’s toys that had phthalates. Kids chewing on their rubber ducky were getting phthalates that soaked out of them.

Phthalates make kids toys soft and pliable. But phthalates are plastic chemicals that have a lot of beneficial applications. Your electrical wiring in your house is coated with phthalate plastics. Your vinyl flooring is resilient and pliable because of phthalates. And now we find in in your kids food. How did it get there? It’s not added to the food, it leaches out of the plastic tubing that is pliable and long lasting because it is made with phthalates. In manufacturing Mac and Cheese, there is plastic tubing that is made with phthalates. Voila. There you have it. The packaged Mac and Cheese had four times the level of regular cheeses, even the processed stuff in slices that comes between two layers of plastic.

What did this study show? Of thirty brands of Mac and Cheese, 29 had at least one phthalate, and some had six. The most common one, DHEP, is the one most commonly found and is the one most widely restricted. Kraft Foods made 9 of the 30 samples tested. There are 2 million packages of it sold every day in America. Hmm. So your kids are still getting it.

Your first response may be, “Give me a break. You can’t get that much out of the tubing from making the stuff.” Wrong, wrong. You get parts per billion. That doesn’t sound like much but it’s as much as four times the level of your own hormones. Therein lies the rub. Phalalates have been particularly linked to the suppression of testosterone.

The good news is that once you stop eating or ingesting them, they flush out pretty quickly.

www.What will work for me. It’s so easy to make your own mac and cheese. Just get some nice sharp cheddar and gorgonzola and make your own. Just don’t squirt it through plastic tubing. In the meantime, I’m not even buying Mac and Cheese any more when I stop at the grocery for food pantry donations. It you want to change the system, let your purchasing habits drive the market. If you want to change your testosterone, don’t buy packaged mac and cheese.

 

Pop Quiz

  1.  Processed foods that come in boxes are made in large, industrial sized factories, where high pressure, high heat manufacturing methods leach phthalates out of plastic tubing, enough to have detectable phthalates in the food being made. T or F Answer: If you followed all that, you got it.
  2. The concentration of phthalates in processed food is not meaningful. T or F Answer: It’s in parts per billion, some four times what your own active hormones are.
  3. Phthalates are known to suppress estrogen. T or F                       Answer: well yes, but the real damage appears to be to testosterone, needed by both men and women.
  4. If I buy organic Mac and Cheese, I can get away from phthalate contamination? T or F                                                            Answer: Nice try. False.
  5. Our kids are particularly susceptible to phthalates, which is why we banned them from kiddie toys. Makes sense to ban it from their food.                          Answer: Not if your food lobby pays your members of Congress enough to keep quiet. But we should. (Pay attention to the language – “We are going to reduce regulations that are job killing.” Might be code for not paying attention to food contamination.)

 

 

Luteinizing Hormone and the Development of Alzheimer’s

Lutienizing Hormone and the Development of Alzheimer’s

References: Horm Behavior 2015PNASNeurobiolog AgingScience Daily,

Luteinizing hormone rises sharply with menopause. It is the hormonethat stimulates egg production and ovulation in women, and sperm/testosterone production in men. The ovaries no longer respond to the effect of FSH and LH, and their rise marks the definitive marker of menopause. Hormone levels fall. Hot flashes, hair loss, lousy sleep, etc all ensue. Misery. Sorting out the confusion is no mean feat, particularly because there remains widespread confusion over the elevation of breast cancer risk with post menopausal hormone replacement. This confusion stems primarily from not recognizing the adverse affects of non-human estrogen compared to the beneficial effects of bio-identical human estrogen.

There is a legitimate question in there. Is it lack of estrogen that is dangerous, or the rise in the hormones that encourage the secretion of estrogen, namely luteinizing hormone. What effect does long term LH have on the female brain? That’s the question raised here. How is the lack of Estrogen and Progesterone played out? Is it the lack of Estrogen that is the issue, or the damaging effect of too much LH?
That’s what this week’s article is about, the possible role of LH in causing Alzheimer’s. The authors carefully review the animal literature that demonstrates the damaging effect of high levels of HCG on rodent brains. HCG is very similar to LH, differing by only in the beta subunit, and is shown to have the same experimental effects on brains, namely an increase in amyloid beta proteins, neurofibrillatory tangles, and decreased problem solving ability. With menopause, LH rises sharply. With surgical menopause, it happens faster still. Epidemiological studies do link higher levels of LH in elderly women to more Alzheimer’s.

What does it take to suppress LH? You can do it with balanced hormones, which includes testosterone. Estrogen alone doesn’t do it.   It takes estrogen, testosterone and progesterone to fully suppress LH. Progesterone can be shown to do it within 90 minutes of administration, but it’s through an Estrogen dependent receptor.

Now, it’s not total Estrogen that appears to have a protective effect but rather free estrogen. That’s the nuance. There have been conflicting reports about estrogen not being protective for Alzheimer’s, at least when simple total levels are measured. But when Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is measured, one gets a reflection of actual free (biologically active) estrogen levels. SHBG binds 99% of estrogen, so its level strongly reflects free estrogen (the remaining 1%). Measuring total Estrogen will not give a sufficiently detailed picture of the actual hormonal milieux of the aging female brain. High SHBG has been correlated with Alzheimer’s. We do know that the use ofbirth control pills raises SHBG in women FOREVER, even after short periods of use. And we know that birth control pills alter women’s brain, changing the nature of women’s memory: emotional impact is improved, memory of details are lost. There are multiple studies showing that cognitive decline is reduced with birth control pills, which seems to suggest they are protective. What has not been done yet is a study looking at the risk of Alzheimer’s disease after using the pill in young adulthood.

So this is a real rat’s nest of conflicting issues. The bottom line appears to be that LH may be the mediating factor in cognitive decline, but that occurs in the absence of adequate normal hormonal levels. If those levels are replaced, perhaps the measurement of LH should be a consideration for proper full replacement therapy, as that is the actual causative agent for damage. The lower, the better. And for men, with low testosterone, is the use of Clomid, an LH agonist, safe? We have no information. As long as it is raising T, it probably is, but this remains an issue to watch closely.

www.What will work for me. This appears to be an issue we have to understand. There is emerging consensus that human estrogen is good for the human female brain, and testosterone for the human male brain. Is the role of that utility come from suppressing LH. Something to be closely monitored. Stay tuned.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Luteinizing hormone can be shown to make the pathology of Alzheimer’s occur in rat.    T or F                                                                                                                         Answer: Probably true. Most of the rat research has been dose using HCG which is very close to LH, with very similar actions but a much longer half life.
  2. LH levels drop with menopause. T or F                                                    Answer. False, false, false. It’s the high levels of menopause that are the whole problem, and thereafter, Alzheimer’s begins to show up.
  3. This would suggest that women who go through menopause earlier, have the onset of dementia earlier. T or f                                                                                Answer: True
  4. The confusion over risks for hormone replacement therapy are mostly from the confusion over bio-identical hormones versus artificial. T or F                              Answer: repeatedly, true.
  5. Do you want to know you LH levels?                                                         Answer: I think I do.