Friday, October 29, 2010

The Healthy Answer to Diabetes :: Terry Talks Nutrition

Did you know that by the year 2050, one third of all Americans could have Type 2 diabetes? The real shame of this is that it’s a preventable disease. Sugar and starch cravings and their consumption is one of the major reasons for weight gain, mood swings, most degenerative diseases today, and the rise of Type 2 diabetes. And despite all the studies showing the huge health dangers of refined carbohydrates, we still see empty calorie foods and snacks on the store shelves in abundance—especially at this time of year. I see them advertised in all forms of media, and I especially dislike the commercials targeting children. Because of the rise in obesity and diabetes, our children may actually have a shorter potential life-span than we were blessed with as children! That is just wrong.
People who have Type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for developing 24 different types of cancer, according to a new study. They are four to six times more likely to get these cancers. If that wasn’t bad enough, diabetes has recently been shown to also increase the risk of other diseases as well, including glaucoma, tuberculosis, uric acid stones, heart disease, and stroke.
But do not despair. Whether your blood sugar is just starting to creep up, or you already have type 2 diabetes, there are natural interventions that can make a real difference in your health. In this issue of Terry Talks Nutrition, we are going to look at supplements that have a powerful impact on blood sugar.
The Blood Sugar and Diabetes Connection
Insulin is a hormone that picks up sugars in the blood stream and carries them into cells to burn for energy. Not enough insulin = higher and higher levels of sugar left in the blood, which in turn can trigger a whole cascade of adverse health events, including increasing blood vessel inflammation and plaque (atherosclerosis) deposits.
If cells start to ignore insulin (called “insulin resistance”), they do not respond to insulin’s signals to accept sugar into the cell for energy production. When not enough sugar gets into the cells, the cells are starved for energy and cannot do their job. If starved for too long, they start to die.
Diabetes is classified as Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder that usually manifests in childhood or the teen years. The body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which are damaged significantly. This results in an inability to make insulin, and people with Type 1 diabetes generally must take injectable insulin for the rest of their lives to replace their lost insulin. However, those with Type 1 diabetes can live long, healthy lives by monitoring their blood sugar and keeping a healthy diet. However, only 5 to 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1.
Type 2 diabetes is far more common, and is highly preventable. The basic problem is that the body stops making enough insulin, or the cells start to ignore insulin’s message. Sometimes both can occur.
Type 2 Diabetes on the Rise
I find the rise in cases of Type 2 Diabetes one of the biggest health catastrophes in America. Diabetes is currently the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. And of the 22 million Americans with diabetes, half are unaware they even have the disease until so much damage occurs that they start to have physical complications.
Did you know that children born in the year 2000 and after have a 1 in 3 chance of developing this disease in their lifetime? In 1985, experts reported that about 1 to 2 percent of children with diabetes had Type 2. By 1995, the number stood at about 17 percent having Type 2. More recently, in some areas of the country, 30 to 40 percent of children with diabetes now have Type 2!
Certainly, there is a genetic component to Type 2 diabetes. It tends to run in families, and is more prevalent among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Americans. These groups may struggle more when adopting modern European or American refined carbohydrate foods as opposed to healthy, traditional diets.
But genetics aside, you have to wonder why there is such a huge increase in Type 2 diabetes? The major contributors are diet, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. We just aren’t taking care of ourselves the way we should. Though there may be many contributing factors, doctors agree that Type 2 diabetes is basically a disease of nutrition. With the right interventions, especially in the beginning stages of the disease, great progress can be made in preventing, reversing, or even curing this illness. Three things you can do to have the best chance of curing or preventing Type 2 diabetes are: make smart food choices, get moving, and use the right supplements.
Food Choices – Choose treats that make good sense
The more food you eat, the more insulin you have to produce. But different types of food affect insulin differently. The worst culprits are white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. After that comes a class of foods called simple carbohydrates. These are foods that convert quickly to sugar in the body, and generally have the natural fibers removed. An old adage, and a good one to follow, is “Don’t eat anything white unless it is cauliflower!” Avoid white bread, white rice, white pasta and white potatoes. Even if you don’t give them up entirely, but start experimenting with substitutes like brown rice and whole grains you may not have tried before. Many people do better if they eat gluten-free grains. Since proteins and fats are burned more slowly, they are not as burdensome on insulin production.

Try to make sure you have protein with each meal. It is healthy and satisfies hunger, so you aren’t ready to go for a candy bar an hour or two later. If you eat between meals, make it a protein, as this is less taxing on your insulin system. Some choices might be hard boiled eggs or a piece of organic cheese. Low carbohydrate vegetables, like salad greens, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, pickles, and olives are good choices, too. As for fats, they are not the enemy! Olive oil, for instance, is one of the healthiest choices you can make. There are people over a hundred years old in Italy who have drenched their food in olive oil every day. But stay away from too many animal fats (like butter) or, worse yet, something called partially-hydrogenated fats, found in margarine, many baked goods, cookies, and snacks. These chemically altered fats are dangerous to your health. When you eat higher carbohydrate foods like grains, and sweet vegetables and fruits like carrots and tomatoes, try to do so with meals that also contain protein and low-carb vegetables. This will help to balance things out and minimize the stress on the insulin system.

But, one of the worst things you can do is drink sodas (or other beverages with sugar or sweeteners) or snack on high carbohydrate foods like chips, crackers, candy, or cookies between meals. This revs up your insulin system and is very stressful to your body as it tries to manage this constant tweaking of blood sugar. I don’t like artificial sweeteners for a number of reasons, but they are a problem for people with blood sugar issues. First, they keep your craving for sweets active. Second, they trick your body into thinking a lot of sugar is on the way, and can disrupt the insulin system even if they have no calories. And it is not true that artificial sweeteners help people lose weight!

Get Moving
Find something physical you love and do it. If you hate it, you won’t stay at it. It could be walking, bowling, square dancing—even window shopping can be good exercise if you keep moving. If you love TV and movies, then set up your treadmill and walk as you watch. Start slow and don’t expect changes overnight. Find a buddy who will exercise with you and help keep you motivated. When you move around, you burn calories and help balance your blood sugar. If you don’t move, the system falls further and further into disrepair. Because I have been asked about this information so many times, I have outlined a meal plan and an exercise program that is simple and effective. Look for Terry’s Menu for Health and Longevity and Terry’s Exercise Plan on my website at

The Right Supplements
There are natural herbs and minerals that have been clinically studied and proven to lower blood sugars, slow their absorption, and help bring the insulin system back into balance. There are five I like to use in a formula, because each ingredient has strengths that work even better together.
Chromium is an essential mineral that has been shown in clinical studies to improve how the body handles blood sugar and insulin. In a study published in Diabetes: the Journal of the American Diabetic Association, chromium supplementation significantly improved fasting blood sugars and another blood test called hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), an important indicator of insulin system balance. I recommend at least 500 mcg a day.

Vanadium is another mineral to add to your regimen. If your blood levels of vanadium are too low, you’re likely to have more problems with high blood sugars. A dose of 1.5 mg a day can significantly raise blood levels of vanadium to a more optimal range. Besides minerals, there are three botanical ingredients getting a lot of attention: mulberry leaf, purslane, and apple extract.

Mulberry Leaf is More Effective than Glibenclamide
Mulberry leaf extract shows impressive results. Patients with Type 2 diabetes treated with a Mulberry extract significantly improved their glycemic control compared to glibenclamide (a drug) treatment. Comparing the two, fasting blood glucose after treatment with glibenclamide decreased by 8% and after mulberry treatment decreased by 27%. In a different scientific study, mulberry leaf extract was also more effective in controlling fasting blood glucose levels than the oral hypoglycemic drug glibenclamide.

How mulberry leaf works:
Mulberry leaf contains substances that inhibit an enzyme (alpha glucosidase) responsible for breaking down carbohydrates into sugars. That means that the absorption rate of these sugars is reduced and delayed, which lessens the stress on the insulin system. Make sure that the mulberry leaf extract is standardized for alpha glucosidase inhibition for it to be effective. Additional benefits of mulberry leaves in people with diabetes: reduces high blood sugar levels, works as an antioxidant, slows the onset of retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eye common in people with Type 2 diabetes), and curbs the cravings for foods that can worsen diabetic conditions.

Mulberry has been tested for safety, too. In one study, doctors gave Mulberry leaf extract to both healthy people and to people with Type 2 diabetes. Neither group showed any significant adverse effects when following the recommended dosage.

Purslane is an ancient herb discussed in Greek medical scripts, and was even mentioned in the book of Job in the Bible. Some experts call it “The best vegetable you’ve never had,” because it is not well known, but enormously healthy.

In a clinical study of people with Type 2 diabetes, purslane extract outperformed the placebo group by 44%, returning blood sugar levels to normal ranges. In an observational study over five weeks, purslane herb extract normalized blood glucose in individuals with elevated levels. It was also safe and well-tolerated.

By stabilizing blood glucose concentrations, purslane may help to control blood glucose related appetite cravings, and help protect the body from the negative effects of high blood sugar levels.
Purslane works in three ways to target diabetes: It helps the cell respond to insulin more favorably; it reduces sugar absorption from the intestine into the blood stream, and it helps move the sugars out of the blood and into the cells where they can be burned for fuel. I prefer a 7:1 extract, which means it takes 7 pounds of purslane to make a pound of purslane extract, as it is a more concentrated and effective form.

The idea that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has a lot of evidence to back it up. The apple is chock full of amazingly healthy nutrients. But there is a very special, uncommon apple that is rarely in cultivation, called the sour green cider apple. Most apples today are bred for taste and sweetness, but these little sour apples have a rare plant compound called phloridzin that has been shown to help lower blood sugars safely by impacting how carbohydrates are absorbed, lessening stress on the insulin system, and helping the body to better metabolize carbohydrates that have been converted to sugars. It can also impact cellular fat storage.
Another ingredient in apple is quercetin, which also influences how sugars are managed in the intestines and works as a wonderful antioxidant. For any apple extract you use, there should be standardization for phloridzin and quercetin for full effectiveness. Always check the label for this.
Because these ingredients in apple extract moderate blood sugar, you don’t get so many blood-sugar related peaks and valleys that make you crave sweets or high carbohydrate foods throughout the day. Some people also use sour green cider apple extract as part of a weight loss diet, and there are studies on this as well. In one scientific study, supplementation with this extract caused a shift in body mass—11% less fat and 5% more lean muscle, compared to the group with no apple extract.

Having more lean muscle is good for many reasons. It’s important for people with Type 2 diabetes because muscle burns more calories at rest than any other tissue in the body, and this helps you keep blood sugar in balance and keep your weight in check. For example, two identical twins, each weighing 150 pounds, with the only difference being the percentage of fat vs. percentage of lean muscle in their bodies, can have vastly different health outcomes. The twin with more lean muscle can eat more calories each day without gaining weight because that twin burns more calories just by being alive.

You Can Control Your Blood Sugar
We’re coming into a difficult season for anyone who is trying to control their blood sugar and watch their weight, but blood sugar issues and Type 2 diabetes don’t improve on their own. You have to take active steps to change how your body interacts with the food you eat. I strongly urge you to consider my recommendations – by changing just 3 things—food choices, how much you move, and the right supplements, you can fight this potentially disabling and life-threatening illness. You have the power to take control and make a difference. Getting your blood sugar under control can add years to your life and give you many healthy

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coconut Oil - The Truth About Saturated Fats by Dr. Mercola

You've no doubt noticed that for about the last 60 years the majority of health care officials and the media have been telling you saturated fats are bad for your health and lead to a host of negative consequences, like elevated cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Meanwhile during this same 60 years the American levels of heart disease, obesity, elevated serum cholesterol and Alzheimer's have skyrocketed compared to our ancestors, and even compared to modern-day primitive societies using saturated fat as a dietary staple.

Did you know that multiple studies on Pacific Island populations who get 30-60% of their total caloric intact from fully saturated coconut oil have all shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease?[1]

Clearly, a lot of confusion and contradictory evidence exists on the subject of saturated fats, even among health care professionals.

But I'm going to tell you something that public health officials and the media aren't telling you.
The fact is, all saturated fats are not created equal.

The operative word here is "created", because some saturated fats occur naturally, while other fats are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through the man-made process called hydrogenation.

Hydrogenation manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened oil that really only benefits processed food shelf life and corporate profits.

The medical and scientific communities are now fairly united in the opinion that hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils should be avoided.

These manipulated saturated fats are also called trans fats, and no doubt you've heard about them lately. Some cities and states have now outlawed their use. There is no controversy anymore regarding the health dangers of these artificially saturated fats.

And guess what?
These are the same damaged trans fats that have been touted as "healthy" and "heart-friendly" for the last 60 years by the vegetable and seed oil interests!

But the truth finally came out. Trans fat was rebuked, debunked, and revealed as the true enemy to good health that it has always been, regardless of what the seed- and vegetable oil shills told the American public for the last half century.

Unfortunately, this rightful vilification of hydrogenated saturated fats has created a lot of confusion regarding naturally occurring saturated fats, including coconut oil.

If one form of saturated fat is bad for you, the argument goes, then all saturated fat must be bad.
Right? Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Truth about Coconut Oil
The truth about coconut oil is obvious to anyone who has studied the health of those who live in traditional tropical cultures, where coconut has been a nutritious diet staple for thousands of years.

Back in the 1930's, a dentist named Dr. Weston Price traveled throughout the South Pacific, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet, and that heart disease was virtually non-existent.

Similarly, in 1981, researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,[2] demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health.
In fact, no evidence exists that the naturally occurring high saturated fat intake had any kind of harmful effect in these populations!

That's not what you expected, is it? Based on 60 years of negative public policy towards naturally occurring saturated fats, you would expect these cultures to be rife with clogged arteries, obesity and heart disease.

It may be surprising for you to realize that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil actually has some amazing health benefits, such as:
Promoting your heart health[3]
Promoting weight loss, when needed[4]
Supporting your immune system health[5]
Supporting a healthy metabolism[6]
Providing you with an immediate energy source[7]
Keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking
Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland[8]

But how is this possible?
Does coconut oil have some secret ingredients not found in other saturated fats?
The answer is a resounding "yes".

Coconut Oil's Secret Ingredient
50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. If you're a frequent reader of my newsletter you already know that I consider lauric acid a "miracle" ingredient because of its unique health promoting properties.

Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.[9]

Monolaurin is a monoglyceride which can actually destroy lipid coated viruses such as:
HIV, herpes
Influenza virus
Various pathogenic bacteria
Protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth!

Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, has also been added to the list of coconut's antimicrobial components.

This is one of the key reasons you should consider consuming coconut oil, because there aren't many sources of monolaurin in our diet. But the health benefits of coconut oil don't stop there.

The Benefits of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids
Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs.

By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs.

Let me tell you why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs found in coconut oil[10] :
LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down -- they require special enzymes for digestion.
LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, liver and your entire digestive system.
LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
LCFAs can be deposited within your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.

In contrast to LFCAs, the MCFAs found in coconut oil have many health benefits, including the following beneficial qualities:
MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system.
MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
MCFAs actually help stimulate your body's metabolism, leading to weight loss.
Coconut Oil Helps Fight Diabetes
Your body sends medium-chain fatty acids directly to your liver to use as energy. This makes coconut oil a powerful source of instant energy to your body, a function usually served in the diet by simple carbohydrates.

But although coconut oil and simple carbohydrates share the ability to deliver quick energy to your body, they differ in one crucial respect.

Coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. You read that correctly, Coconut oil acts on your body like a carbohydrate, without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption!

Diabetics and those with pre-diabetes conditions (an exploding health epidemic in America), should immediately realize the benefit of a fast acting energy source that doesn't produce an insulin spike in your body. In fact, coconut oil added to the diets of diabetics and pre-diabetics has actually been shown to help stabilize weight gain, which can dramatically decrease your likelihood of getting adult onset type-2 Diabetes.[11]

Cococut Oil, the Friend to Athletes and Dieters
If you live in the United States, you have an almost 70 percent chance of being overweight.
And, by now, I'm sure you're well aware that obesity affects your quality of life and is linked to many health concerns.

One of the best benefits of coconut oil lies in its ability to help stimulate your metabolism.
Back in the 1940s, farmers found out about this effect by accident when they tried using inexpensive coconut oil to fatten their livestock.

It didn't work!
Instead, coconut oil made the animals lean, active and hungry.
However, many animal and human research studies have demonstrated that replacing LCFAs with MCFAs results in both decreased body weight and reduced fat deposition.
In fact, the ability of MCFAs to be easily digested, to help stimulate the metabolism and be turned into energy has entered the sports arena. Several studies have now shown that MCFAs can enhance physical or athletic performance.[12]

Additionally, research has demonstrated that, due to its metabolic effect, coconut oil increases the activity of the thyroid. And you've probably heard that a sluggish thyroid is one reason why some people are unable to lose weight, no matter what they do.

Besides weight loss, there are other advantages to boosting your metabolic rate. Your healing process accelerates. Cell regeneration increases to replace old cells, and your immune system functions better overall.

Coconut Oil on Your Skin
Besides the mounting medical and scientific evidence that coconut oil has powerful positive health benefits when eaten, it has also been used for decades by professional massage therapists to knead away tight stressed muscles.

However, you don't have to be a professional massage therapist to gain the skin and tissue support benefits of coconut oil. Just use coconut oil as you would any lotion.
Coconut oil is actually ideal for skin care. It helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals, and can help improve the appearance of skin with its anti-aging benefits.
In fact, physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D. considers coconut oil an antioxidant[13] , due to its stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation. Plus, he believes it reduces our need for the antioxidant protection of vitamin E.

Like Dr. Peat, many experts believe coconut oil may help restore more youthful-looking skin. When coconut oil is absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.

Coconut Oil and Your Heart
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. And heart disease is often a silent killer. The first sign of cardiovascular disease is commonly a heart attack, and sadly, over one third of heart attacks are fatal.

And despite the propaganda, the truth is this: it is UNSATURATED fats that are primarily involved in heart disease, not the naturally occurring saturated fats, as you have been led to believe.[14]

Plus, the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable and seed oils encourage the formation of blood clots by increasing platelet stickiness. Coconut oil helps to promote normal platelet function.

Coconut Oil in Your Kitchen
I only use two oils in my food preparation.
The first, extra-virgin olive oil, is a better monounsaturated fat that works great as a salad dressing.

However, it should not be used for cooking. Due to its chemical structure, heat makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.

And polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to use in cooking. These omega-6 oils are highly susceptible to heat damage because of their double bonds.

I strongly urge you to throw out those omega-6 vegetable oils in your cabinets.

Reason # 1: Most people believe that frying creates trans-fat. That is not the major problem, in my opinion. Although some are created, they are relatively minor. There are FAR more toxic chemicals produced by frying omega-6 oils thantrans-fat.

Frying destroys the antioxidants in oil and as a result oxidizes the oil. This causes cross-linking, cyclization, double-bond shifts, fragmentation and polymerization of oils that cause far more damage than trans-fat.

Reason # 2: Most of the vegetable oils are GMO. This would include over 90 percent of the soy, corn and canola oils.

Reason # 3: Vegetable oils contribute to the overabundance of damaged omega-6 fats in your diet, which creates an imbalance in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. As you know from my extensive writing on this subject, I believe that excessive consumption of damaged omega-6 fats contributes to many health concerns.

They are all highly processed and consumed in amounts that are about 100 times more than our ancestors did a century ago. This causes them to distort the sensitive omega-6/omega-3 ratio which controls many delicate biochemical pathways which results in accelerating many chronic degenerative diseases.

There is only one oil that is stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage, while it also helps you promote heart health and even supports weight loss and thyroid function -- coconut oil.
So, whenever you need an oil to cook with, use coconut oil instead of butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, margarine, or any other type of oil called for in recipes. Even though I don't fully recommend frying foods, if you must fry, by all means use coconut oil -- it's your smartest choice.

Coconut Oil Safety
The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are considered so nutritious that they are used in baby formulas, in hospitals to feed the critically ill, those on tube feeding, and those with digestive problems. Coconut oil has even been used successfully by doctors in treating aluminum poisoning.[15]

Coconut oil is exceptionally helpful for pregnant women, nursing moms, the elderly, those concerned about digestive health, athletes (even weekend warriors), and those of you who just want to enhance your overall health.

[1] Kaunitz H, Dayrit CS. Coconut oil consumption and coronary heart disease. Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine, 1992;30:165-171.
Prior IA, Davidson F, Salmond CE, Czochanska Z. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau Island studies, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981;34:1552-1561.
[2] Prior IA, Davidson F, Salmond CE, Czochanska Z. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau Island studies, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981;34:1552-1561.
[3] Dr. Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. Source: Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century, part 2.
[4] Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity, Lipids, 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. Epub 2009 May 13.
[5] Dr. Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. Source: Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century.
[6] Baba, N 1982. Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with diet containing medium-chain triglycerides, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 35:379.
[7] Bruce Fife, ND. Coconut Oil and Medium-Chain Triglycerides.
[8] Raymond Peat Newsletter, Coconut Oil, reprinted at

An Interview With Dr. Raymond Peat, A Renowned Nutritional Counselor Offers His Thoughts About Thyroid Disease,
[9] Isaacs CE, Litov RE, Marie P, Thormar H. Addition of lipases to infant formulas produces antiviral and antibacterial activity, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 1992;3:304-308.
Isaacs CE, Schneidman K. Enveloped Viruses in Human and Bovine Milk are Inactivated by Added Fatty Acids(FAs) and Monoglycerides(MGs), FASEB Journal, 1991;5: Abstract 5325, p.A1288.
Mitsuto Matsumoto, Takeru Kobayashi, Akio Takenaka and Hisao Itabashi. Defaunation Effects of Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Their Derivatives on Goat Rumen Protozoa, The Journal of General Applied Microbiology, Vol. 37, No. 5 (1991) pp.439-445.
Dr. Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. Source: Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century.
Hristov AN, Vander Pol M, Agle M, Zaman S, Schneider C, Ndegwa P, Vaddella VK, Johnson K, Shingfield KJ, Karnati SK. Effect of lauric acid and coconut oil on ruminal fermentation, digestion, ammonia losses from manure, and milk fatty acid composition in lactating cows, J Dairy Sci., 2009 Nov;92(11):5561-82.
[10] St-Onge MP, Jones PJ. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue, International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders, 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71.
[11] Geliebter, A 1980. Overfeeding with a diet of medium-chain triglycerides impedes accumulation of body fat, Clinical Nutrition, 28:595.
[12] Fushiki, T and Matsumoto, K Swimming endurance capacity of mice is increased by consumption of medium-chain triglycerides, Journal of Nutrition, 1995;125:531.
[13] Raymond Peat Newsletter - Unsaturated Vegetable Oils Toxic, 1996 edition, p.2-4. Daneil R. Doerge, Hebron C Chang "Inactivation of thyroid peroxidase by soy isoflavones in vitro and in vivo", Journal of Chromotography B, September 2002; 777(1,2);25:269-79.
Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats, Skin Pharmacol Physiol, 2010;23(6):290-7. Epub 2010 Jun 3.
Marina AM, Man YB, Nazimah SA, Amin I. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil, Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2009;60 Suppl 2:114-23. Epub 2008 Dec 27.
[14] Barry Groves, PhD. Second Opinions: Exposing Dietary Misinformation: The Cholesterol Myth, parts 1 and 2.

Robert H Knopp and Barbara M Retzlaff, Saturated fat prevents coronary artery disease? An American paradox, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 5, 1102-1103, November 2004.
Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB, Herrington DM. Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women, Am J Clin Nutr, 2004;80:1175-84.
[15] K. G. Nevin and T. Rajamohan, "Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation", Clinical Biochemistry, September 2004; 37(9): 830-835.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fighting Heartburn and GERD Naturally – and Safely! :: Terry Talks Nutrition

Almost everyone has experienced heartburn. Usually, the first thing a person does to stop the pain is reach for a couple of antacids. It’s almost a trained response; we’ve all seen the commercials on TV telling us why stomach acid is the culprit behind acid reflux, and the best thing to do is eliminate it as quickly as possible.

Actually, that’s about the worst thing you could do.

We need stomach acid. Without it, we risk broken bones, food poisoning, infections, and even pneumonia, in addition to not being able to digest food properly. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer with the pain and worse, esophageal damage, of heartburn. There are extremely effective natural ingredients that can stop the burn and soothe the digestive system without interfering with stomach acid. In this week’s Terry Talks Nutrition, we’re going to talk about botanical solutions to the growing heartburn problem.

What causes the fire?

While it isn’t immediately life-threatening, the pain from heartburn can be so severe that sometimes people mistake it for a heart attack. The “burn” is caused by stomach acids overflowing from the stomach into the esophagus. This is usually because of a one-way valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This valve allows food to enter the stomach from the esophagus, but keeps the stomach contents from coming back up into the esophagus. When the LES opens at the wrong time, or doesn’t close properly, the acidic digestive juices in the stomach splash onto the unprotected lining of the esophagus, causing the characteristic “burn” of heartburn.

Of course, heartburn is one thing, but gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is another, more serious condition. When stomach acid repeatedly washes up into the delicate structures of the esophagus it causes real damage over time, destroying the mucosal lining – possibly leading to ulcers. Even worse, chronic irritation of the lower end of the esophagus may lead to a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which in turn can lead to cancer. In fact, it has been estimated that people with Barrett’s esophagus have 40 times the risk of esophageal cancer as those without this problem. Therefore, it is important to eliminate chronic heartburn for more reasons than merely reducing occasional discomfort.

People with GERD may have other symptoms as well, including chronic coughing, wheezing and regurgitation of food. And unfortunately, the billion dollars a year that Americans spend for antacid products to treat their heartburn and GERD not only won’t help – they are making the problem worse!

Stomach acid is not the enemy.

While many manufacturers promote and sell products that reduce stomach acid as a way to treat heartburn, these products are not the solution. Although they may – temporarily – stop the pain of heartburn, interfering with the body’s production of stomach acid does not help the underlying processes that lead to heartburn in the first place. And reducing stomach acid causes a whole new set of problems instead.

Normally, when the contents of the stomach are properly acidified, the pyloric valve at the lower end of the stomach opens, allowing stomach contents to move into the duodenum, the first section of the intestines, where digestion continues and absorption of nutrients begins.

However, if stomach acid levels are low, it takes a lot longer for the stomach’s contents to ferment, and that causes gas that presses against the esophageal valve. Over time, the valve weakens and the acidified contents of the stomach spill back into the esophagus, causing the pain of heartburn, and over time, the potential complications of GERD.

Reducing stomach acid is not the answer.

The reason why antacids and drugs that reduce acid production appear to work is because, as they neutralize stomach acids, the pyloric valve opens too quickly and allows the not fully-processed stomach contents into the duodenum. Because the stomach empties faster, there is less chance of the contents escaping back up into the esophagus. Plus, anything that does back up is less acidic, and less irritating to the esophagus.

So why is this bad? There are some important reasons:
Proteins that were supposed to be broken down in the stomach are now in the intestines, and could actually act as an allergen. This may contribute greatly to leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel.

Protein not being broken down properly means that calcium and iron aren’t being absorbed properly either. In fact, use of acid inhibiting drugs has been associated with a 25% increased risk of bone fracture.

Harmful bacteria that could have been destroyed by stomach acids now have a “free pass” into the intestines, where they could do much more harm. Particularly dangerous bacteria called Clostridium difficile have been found to cause infections much more often in people who use acid blocking drugs.

Neutralizing stomach acids with antacids (Rolaids, Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, etc) causes a rebound effect in which the body in turn OVER produces acid to compensate for the lack of acid in the stomach where it is needed.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that if you go into a hospital and are prescribed Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole) or Prevacid (lansoprazole)—all drugs that greatly reduce acid production--you have a 30% increased risk for contracting pneumonia during your stay. [Shoshana J. Herzig, Michael D. Howell, Long H. Ngo, Edward R.

Marcantonio. Acid-Suppressive Medication Use and the Risk for Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia. JAMA. 2009 May. 301(20):2120-2128.]

Fortunately, there are ingredients that help relieve and prevent heartburn naturally, without interfering with normal, healthy stomach acidity!

Natural ingredients work with your body—not against it!

Additional things to remember about heartburn and GERD

Of course, if you have problems with recurring heartburn or suspect that you have GERD, there are other lifestyle choices you must consider. If you smoke, stop. The benefits will far exceed stopping your heartburn, and you’ll be healthier and feel better overall. Avoid those deep-fried foods that can upset the stomach and cause inflammation throughout the body. And, consider eating smaller, more frequent whole food meals to avoid filling up all at once.

Pregnant women often complain of heartburn as the increasing size of the baby places unusual pressure on the stomach and its contents. After the child is born, this issue usually completely resolves. Pregnant women may not need any further intervention for their heartburn than eating smaller meals and elevating the head of the bed with some wood blocks to help prevent reflux. If heartburn persists, please check with your health care practitioner to decide if using this natural intervention is right for you.

Obesity, especially apple-shaped patterns of obesity, contributes greatly to heartburn and GERD, as the additional fat places undue pressure on the stomach. Losing even 5 or 10 pounds can improve heartburn and GERD risk.

You don’t have to suffer

Heartburn and GERD are not only painful; they can be dangerous as the esophagus becomes damaged by excessive acid exposure. However, turning off the acid can do more harm than good. By avoiding acid-stopping OTC and prescription drugs, being smart about your diet and habits, and using high-quality natural ingredients, you’ll give your body a chance to heal itself naturally. It’s a solution that simply makes good sense—for the long run.

For more information on how to cope with acid naturally call our office!