Archive for April, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes and Pregnancy

Posted on April 28, 2008. Filed under: Type 2 Diabetes | Tags: , , , , |

I just came across 2 great articles that discussed the obesity/type 2 diabetes epidemic in the younger generation.

I quote from:
“Diabetes can be a dangerous complication during pregnancy, endangering the mother and also raising the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects, said Jean M. Lawrence, lead author of the study published in the May issue of the journal Diabetes Care. ”

“The rise in diabetes in pregnant women is “a big problem” because it’s probably a nationwide trend occurring hand-in-hand with obesity, which also carries other risk factors for birth complications, said Dr. Raul Artal, chairman of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at St. Louis University’s School of Medicine in Missouri. ”

Another quote from:
“It’s important to recognize with the increase in overweight and obesity, more women than ever will be entering their reproductive years with diabetes,” said study author Jean Lawrence, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, in Bellflower, Calif. And, she added, “having diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage early in pregnancy and the risk of stillbirth later in pregnancy. It also increases the chances of having a baby with birth defects, and it may result in larger babies and more difficult deliveries.”

“We saw an increase in type 2 diabetes. That’s due to the increase in overweight and obesity. Also, type 2 is being diagnosed at younger ages,” said Lawrence, who suggested that women do whatever they can to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by eating a healthful diet, maintaining a proper weight and being active. She said there’s no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes. “

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Type 2 Diabetes Cause?/Treatment

Posted on April 28, 2008. Filed under: Type 2 Diabetes | Tags: , , , |

Diet and Lifestyle – the root of our health epidemic
I have come across many articles that attribute diet and lifestyle to the rapidly rising type 2 diabetes epedemic in out country. Let’s face it, as our overwieght and obesity epidemic rises, so do the other heath issues such as type 2 diabetes. Could there be a connection??

Wrong Foods in Excess Amounts:
The body was designed to eat real food in a moderate amount. We eat to sustain life and to enable our body to perform its physiological and metabolic functions and to repair itself. When we eat too much and of the wrong types of foods – processed, refined, staturated fats, trans fats, sugary – we damage our organs so they do not respond as they should.

High Blood Sugar Levels and Insulin
Everything we eat is converted into glucose. When we eat too much and when we eat sugary and processed foods, we are flooding our arteries with excess sugar. The body responds by secreting insulin to metabolize the glucose. Now this is normal, healthy and necessary, but over use or abuse can damage the pancreas and insulin receptor cells so that they do not perform normally.

The Connection Between Fat and Glucose Levels
Taken directly from an article in Life Extension Magazine –
Excess weight increases the body’s demand on insulin, putting pressure on pancreatic beta cells to produce more of the hormone, until basically the supply can’t meet the demand and the body becomes insensitive to insulin. Studies have also shown that obesity increases levels of free fatty acids in the body, which may impede the body’s insulin metabolic clearance. Obesity has also been related to hormonal abnormalities, namely elevated cortisol and estrogens and waning androgens, both of which act to regulate fat when operating at proper levels.Excess weight increases the body’s demand on insulin, putting pressure on pancreatic beta cells to produce more of the hormone, until basically the supply can’t meet the demand and the body becomes insensitive to insulin. Studies have also shown that obesity increases levels of free fatty acids in the body, which may impede the body’s insulin metabolic clearance. Obesity has also been related to hormonal abnormalities, namely elevated cortisol and estrogens and waning androgens, both of which act to regulate fat when operating at proper levels.

The good news is, from what i have read, is that we can prevent, control and reverse type 2 diabetes with a change in diet, weight loss and exercise!



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Carbohydrates Are Your Friend

Posted on April 26, 2008. Filed under: Carbohydrates | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

There’s a lot of hype about carbohydrates. The problem is, that most of our food has become processed and refine and therefore, void of any nutrients or fiber. Consequently, food is rapidly metabolized into glucose which raises the the blood glucose and insulin levels. Ultimaltely making us hungry again. Also, the additives and preservative in the processed food damages our cells and slows down our metabolism.

Carbohydrates are a necessary energy source and good carbs provide the essential nutrients and fiber to keep us healthy.

The below is taken from Chapter 4 of  Dr Mark Hyman’s Book, Ultra Metabolism (these are his words, not mine)

 I agree with him and since he has more credentials than I do, I will document my thoughts using his words

Your body needs carbs, just like it needs fats and proteins. Without the right carbs from whole plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, you won’t get all the vitamins, minerals and fiber needed to run your metabolism at top speed. This makes healthy weight loss very difficult.

Any weight that you do lose on a low-carb diet eventually backfires when you come off from the diet. You will lose very little, but since you’ve slowed down your metabolism, you will gain back everything you’ve lost, plus a lot more.

As  explained in a previous lesson, this is because every time you take in too few calories, your body goes into starvation mode to conserve your stores of energy (fat). So you start losing a little bit of fat and muscle-but when you gain the weight back (and a little more), you gain it all back as fat.

The result is that each time you diet, the percentage of fat in your body goes up, and the percentage of muscle in your body goes down. The key is to eat the “right” carbs. The “right” carbs are carbs that come from real food.

Here are some examples of good carbs:

– fresh fruits
– fresh vegetables
– beans
– nuts
– seeds
– whole grains

Feel free to pile your plate up with whole grains. They’re loaded with fiber, which cleans out your colon, keeps your stomach full for a long time, and helps you blood sugar stay level. This evens out your mood throughout the day and gives you a nice, steady supply of energy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are more of the “right” carbs. They not only contain fiber, but they’re full of enzymes and antioxidants to keep you healthy, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce inflammation. All of this will help you lose weight.

A final example of good carbs: beans. Beans are just as full of fiber as whole grains are, but they’re also full of protein, which your body needs, for example, to build and repair muscle.

Here a simple rule: if you are eating carbs that came directly from nature, then they are okay. But if the carbs you are eating have been processed in any way, they are likely to make you gain weight. So stay away from those.

UltraMetabolism can give you an even more detailed list of foods full of healthy carbs, as well as carbs to stay away from (such as most breads, crackers, canned vegetables, etc.)

By eating the right carbs, you won’t have to worry about counting calories. You will have natural portion size
control and appetite control. Eating the right carbs gives you another advantage, too. When you load your diet up with “good” carbs, you also end up loading up on antioxidants, without even trying.

Antioxidants are very important to your health for several reasons,  and many of the good carbs are rich in antioxidants. These are the molecules that prevent your body from rusting
on the inside. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and selenium are all powerful antioxidants. You can find these and many other antioxidants in the same foods that help you lose weight without you having to count calories.

The problem is that most people aren’t on a natural, whole-foods diet. They eat foods that have been processed so much that there are no antioxidants left in them. This leaves people eating this food with no defense against internal rusting. The result is that they become unhealthy and gain weight.

 For more information see


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Trans Fat Makes You Fat

Posted on April 19, 2008. Filed under: Trans Fat Dangers | Tags: , , , |

In his book, UltraMetabolism, by Dr Mark Hyman he says:

Highly processed and nutrient-devoid ingredients “pretend” to be food and can interfere with your metabolism, according to Hyman. Trans fats — often lurking in cookies, crackers, margarine, and fast food — are well known for raising total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowering HDL (“good”) cholesterol. They also thwart dieters’ best efforts by binding to cell receptors that regulate metabolism.

 “They slow metabolism and fat burning, and reduce insulin sensitivity, so you’re more likely to gain weight,” Hyman says. Although the government did well by requiring food manufacturers to list trans-fat amounts on labels, buyers beware: Companies can label their products “zero trans fats” if a product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving. But even trace amounts of trans fats hinder metabolism, so to steer clear, Hyman recommends scouring ingredient lists for “shortening” or any type of “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oil.

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7 Steps to Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Posted on April 19, 2008. Filed under: Weight Control | Tags: , , , , , , , |

This information is based on a book UltraMetabolism by Dr Mark Hyman. These are his words below.

The below is from an article by Dr Hyman’s, which is found on 

Control Your Appetite

Step 1: Compose the Perfect Meals
• Include good fat in your diet. Try eating plenty of omega 3 fatty acids (wild fish, nuts, flax seeds)
• Eat a low glycemic load diet – which is easily accomplished by eating whole, unprocessed real, unrefined foods in meals that contain a mix of the good fats, the good carbs, and good protein (whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds)
• Eat a high fiber diet (ease up to 50 grams) and try konjac root or glucomannan capsules or powder just before meals to reduce sugar, insulin, cholesterol and weight.
• Avoid refined sugars and refined carbohydrates
• Eliminate high fructose corn syrup by carefully reading food labels
• Avoid artificial sweeteners
• Be conscious of your food intake and portion size, but don’t count calories

Step 2: Eat Early and Eat Frequently
• Eat breakfast every day (ideally whole, high-fiber foods)
• Include adequate protein for breakfast
• Eat regularly every day – 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
• Finish eating 2-3 hours before you go to bed

Step 3: Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid
• Enjoy whole foods with plenty of good fats, a low glycemic load, and a high phytonutrient content
• Avoid garbage foods and processed carbs

Step 4: Herbal Remedies
• There are some herbs that can help you including ginseng, green tea, fenugreek, and cinnamon.

Step 5: Supplements
• Taking certain supplements can help you further optimize your appetite control mechanisms. These include: alpha lipoic acid, GLA, arginine, and PGX
Step 6: Testing
• Check your insulin and glucose tolerance test and your cholesterol including the HDL and triglycerides.

Subdue Stress

Step 1: Identify and Reduce the Causes of Stress
• Reduce as many of the psychological and social stressors as possible and take an honest look at which you can eliminate from your life and others than you can reduce. Many of our stressors we choose our self in one-way or another.
• Reduce as many physical stressors as possible including poor diet, exposure to allergens, toxins and more.
• Balance your blood sugar (see Key # 1, Control Your Appetite) by reducing refined sugars, high GL carbohydrates, trans and saturated fats, and increasing whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables in your diet.
• Get regular aerobic exercise daily to burn off stress hormones. (This can be just a 20- 30 minute walk, although 30 minutes 5 x a week is better.)
• Get enough sleep – (at least 7-9 hours per night) to avoid increased hunger and reduce stress hormones.
• Practice the rhythm method: wake and sleep at the same time every day and eat at regular times during the day. This helps keep your stress hormones in balance.
• Expose yourself to bright sunlight or a full spectrum light for 20 minutes every morning to rebalance your circadian rhythm, which is very important in keeping the stress hormones in balance.

Step 2: Practice Active Relaxation
• Practice the relaxation response every day – do something even if for 5 minutes such as the exercises in this chapter for breathing and guided imagery. You might also try yoga, deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation (see resources for tapes and suggestions).
• Try saunas or steam baths.

Step 3: Foods to Enjoy and Foods to Avoid
• Foods like wild fish, fiber, dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and flax seeds can all help you overcome chronic physical stressors.
• Other foods like sugar in any form, refined flours and nutrient poor processed foods should be avoided.

Step 4: Herbal Remedies
• Try adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, licorice, rhodiola or Siberian ginseng.

Step 5: Adding Supplements
• Consider adding stress modulating supplements like the B vitamin complex vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc to your basic supplement regimen.

Step 6: Measure Your Stress Response
• Confirm problems with your stress response by dong further testing with the adrenal stress index, urinary cortisol test, and IGF-1.

Cool Inflammation

Step 1: Eliminate the Factors that Cause Inflammation
• Research and eliminate factors that play a role in inflammation. These may be specific foods you are eating, a sedentary lifestyle, toxic molds in you house, or allergens of which you are unaware.

Step 2: Talk to Your Genes
• Eating good fats, antioxidants, and foods that are high in phytonutrients send your genes the right information and help counteract inflammation.
• Exercise also plays a major factor in inflammation. Refer to chapter 13 for what constitutes an appropriate amount of exercise.
• Use stress management and deeply relaxing to reduce inflammation

Step 3: Eat Foods that Reduce Inflammation and Avoid Foods that Cause It
• Your diet is one of the most important factors in helping you control inflammation. Eat foods that keep inflammation down such as fish, fruits and vegetables (and, of course, dark chocolate) and avoid foods that turn up inflammation such as sugar and trans and saturated fats.

Step 4: Herbal Remedies
• Try herbs that cool off the fires like quercitin, ginger, ginseng, green tea, and capsaicin (cayenne pepper), turmeric, and cocoa.

Step 5: Adding Supplements
• Expanding your basic supplement regimen can be helpful. Try adding probiotics, bromelain, and other enzymes to help you reduce inflammation.

Step 6: Testing for Inflammation and its Causes
• Test for inflammation by checking your CRP level and using the other testing information given in this chapter.

Oxidative Stress

Step 1: Eliminate the Factors that Cause Oxidation
• Many dietary, environmental, and lifestyle factors lead to oxidation. You need to remove these to heal from its effects.
• Getting enough exercise, avoiding overeating, being moderate with alcohol, reducing your exposure to petrochemicals, and eliminating toxic fungal mold are all ways for you to reverse the process of oxidation.

Step 2: Eat Foods that Reduce Rust and Avoid Foods that Cause It
• Antioxidants are the key part of the solution to this process.
• The big problem is that we eat a nutrient poor diet full of empty calories that is simply not nearly rich enough in antioxidants.
• Eating a variety of plant foods with a high phytonutrient index is one way to increase your antioxidant intake and reverse the rusting that is going on in your body.
• The deep dark color of the food you eat is the best indicator if the food is rich in antioxidants.
• If your plate is full of colorful fruits and vegetables, you’re doing fine.
• Many different foods help you reduce the rust in your body. Make sure that you are eating the right foods and avoiding those that cause your body to rust.

Step 3: Herbal Remedies
• Specific herbal remedies can help you reverse the effects of oxidation. Remember to include herbs like gingko, ginger, green tea, milk thistle, rosemary, and turmeric as spices in the foods you cook or in supplement form.

Step 4: Adding Supplements
• Adding proanthocyanidins to your supplement regimen can help reduce your oxidative stress.
• In addition consider the other keys and the supplements necessary to heal from them. Remember the body is a web, one thing affects another. When you are stressed, inflamed, or toxic you are liable to be rusting to. Make sure you consider these elements in your path to healing as well.

Step 5: Testing for Oxidation in Your Body
• Test your body for the degree of rusting and pinpoint the causes by taking a variety of tests including urinary 8 hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine, lipid peroxides (TBARS) in urine or serum, and Assessment of Iron Overload

Boost Your Mitochondria

Step 1: Eliminate the Factors that Damage Your Mitochondria
• Seek out and eliminate hidden factors that may be damaging your mitochondria. These could include poor nutrition, oxidative stress, inflammation, or environmental toxins. Seek out these causes and eliminate them.

Step 2: Intelligent Exercise
• The main way to tune up and increase the power of your metabolic engine is exercise.
• Interval training is a critically important part of your exercise program. It offers you a way to exercise less and burn more calories.
• You can also increase the amount of mitochondria you have by building up your muscle mass through strength training.

Step 3: Eat Foods that Turn Up Your Metabolic Metabolism and Avoid Foods that Turn It Down
• You also need to eat a whole foods diet to limit the damage that is done to your mitochondria.

Step 4: Add Supplements
• Dr. Bruce Ames has done a great deal of research pointing out that you can give yourself a metabolic tune-up by taking the right supplements.
• The most effective mitochondrial-supporting supplements are: n-acetylcysteine (NAC) acetyl-l-carnitine, lipoic acid, creatine, coenzyme Q10, and NADH.

Step 5: Testing Your Mitochondria
• To refine your understanding of the damage done to your mitochondria you can take two tests: a cardio-metabolic stress test and urinary organic acids.

Fix Your Thyroid

Step 1: Eliminate the Causes of Thyroid Problems
• Eliminating the causes of thyroid disorder like gluten intolerance, food allergies, built up toxins like mercury, pesticides, and other petrochemicals is a critical step in balancing your thyroid function.

Step 2: Exercise and Take Saunas
• Another critical step is coping with stress using relaxation exercises, taking saunas for detoxification purposes, and establishing a regular exercise routine.

Step 3: Eat Foods that Offer Your Thyroid Nutritional Support and Stay Away From Those that Don’t
• You should also switch to a whole foods diet if you want to obtain the nutritional support you need for your thyroid.

Step 4: Add Supplements
• Getting the right nutritional support and adding the right supplements to your regimen is another important step to take in balancing your thyroid.

Step 5: Doing the Right Thyroid Tests
• Make sure you get the full panel of thyroid tests needed to discover what is really going on including TSH, free T4, free T3 and TPO antibodies.

Step 6: Choosing the Right Thyroid Replacement
• Each person is an individual and finding the right treatment is essential. It usually involves a combination of T4 and T3 and I have found Armour thyroid to be the best for most people. Some people however do well with just T4 or need some other special combination. Remember this is the era of personalized medicine where one size does NOT fit all.

Love Your Liver

Step 1: Minimize Your Exposure to Toxins
• There are a number of easy and practical ways that you can minimize your exposure to toxins. Try eating organic foods, filtering your water, cleaning your air-conditioning and heating systems, and avoiding environmental petrochemicals.

Step 2: Sweat It Out and Sweat It Off
• Another important and helpful factor are saunas. These mobilize the toxins in your body and help you expel them as you lose weight.

Step 3: Eat Foods that Help You Detoxify and Avoid Foods that Make Your Toxic
• Eating a whole foods diet is a major step toward detoxification. Try eating plenty of colorful vegetables especially the broccoli family and watercress.

Step 4: Try Herbal Remedies
• Some herbs help with detoxification. You should try milk thistle and green tea.

Step 5: Add Supplements
• There are a number of supplements that have been shown to improve detoxification. Add vitamin C, amino acids, alpha lipoic acids, and bioflavinoids to your standard supplement regimen.

Step 6: Testing Your Detox System and Looking for Toxins
• Sometimes identify genes or problems with your down detoxification system is very helpful. Looking for mercury is also an important part of the detective work for hidden toxins.

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