Health & Wellness


Heavy metal toxicity can ruin your health

To a greater or lesser degree, most of us are contaminated with heavy metals today - some seriously, some without ever knowing it. It is a subject that just doesn't cross our everyday minds and physicians are often not alert to the possibility of metal exposure such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. In fact, the chronic accumulation of toxic contaminants that may not achieve classic 'acute toxicity' thresholds levels receives little attention at all, although it may nevertheless contribute to important adverse health effects. 1

On the other hand, acute toxicity - which is most often the consequence of occupational exposure - does tend to be recognized, properly diagnosed, and then treated. Acute toxicities arise from sudden exposures to substantial quantities of some metals, and typically these toxins affect multiple organ systems; commonly the GI tract, cardiovascular system, the brain and nervous system, the endocrine system, kidneys, hair, and nails.

Comment: Additional information about useful methods for detoxing from heavy metals:
There's no doubt about it, mercury is the most alarming, disease-causing source of environmental toxicity that I see daily in my practice. Many of patients have toxic levels of mercury - and they're not alone. I personally suffered from mercury toxicity and chronic fatigue syndrome - which I cured myself from, in part by getting rid of the mercury in my body. So I know about this first hand.
Also check out the forum discussion DMSA for heavy metal detox.


Virgin Coconut Oil: More effective than drugs in combating stress and depression

A new study conducted in Malaysia looked at the effects of consuming high-antioxidant virgin coconut oil on mental health.

Published in the journal Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine and believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers evaluated the anti-stress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in mice with stress-induced injuries. The title of the study is "Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo."

The researchers performed several stress tests on groups of mice. Control groups included untreated mice and mice not subjected to stress, and virgin coconut oil was compared to a commonly prescribed psychiatric drug, Diazepam.

Comment: Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat Is Good For You
  • It may be surprising for you to learn that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for you and provides a number of profound health benefits, such as:
    • Improving your heart health.(3)
    • Boosting your thyroid. (4)
    • Increasing your metabolism.
    • Promoting a lean body and weight loss if needed.
    • Supporting your immune system. (5)
    Coconut oil even benefits your skin when applied topically and has been found to have anti-aging, regenerative effects.

Cupcake Pink

Sugar, not salt, plays major role in high blood pressure and heart disease

© Natural Society
Added sugars in processed foods are likely to have a greater role in high blood pressure and heart disease and stroke, than added salt, say doctors in an analysis of the published evidence in the online journal Open Heart.

Dietary guidelines should emphasize the role played by added sugars, particularly fructose, in the fight to curb the prevalence of cardiovascular, they insist.

Comment: Salt is essential for optimal health: Sugar is not:


Fat-Burning Runners: Study shows benefits of keto-adaptation in athletes' performance

© Desconocido
Like the Bob Dylan song, there is a "change is coming on" in sports physiology and it is the ultrarunning community showing the way. A small but growing group of ultrarunners have been actively pursuing the fat-adapted approach with success, including some of the elite athletes, most notably Zach Bitter, Jon Olsen and Nikki Kimball.

Fat-adaptation involves sharp carbohydrate restriction in conjunction with a complementing increase in fat consumption (with many of those fats being saturated fats) to induce the physiological shift necessary for the body to "switch" to burning "fat as fuel" at much higher rates. In conjunction with the dietary shift specific training, both in low and high intensity is programmed into the training blocks to push the fat burning envelope into higher intensity levels. Observationally, athletes following this approach have been able to complete ultramarathon distances on a fraction of the caloric intake normally necessary, many athletes report completing 100 Mile runs on 1300-2000 calories. Unfortunately, there is scant science to support the plausibility of such a dramatic drop in consumption. That is, until now.

Last year Dr. Jeff Volek RD/PhD, his graduate students and colleagues commenced data collection for the FASTER Study (FASTER=Fat-Adapted-Substrate oxidation in-Trained-Elite-Runners) to look at the physiological differences between elite male ultra-marathon runners with one cohort following a conventional high carbohydrate diet and the other following a low carb/fat-adapted strategy. While the publications won't be emerging into the Journals until later in 2015 some of the basic metabolic data has been presented by Dr. Volek at various nutrition and sports physiology conferences which I can share. As you can see from the chart, these two cohorts, High Carb Conventional Diet & Low Carb Fat-Adapted Diet, were very well matched.

Comment: Indeed, it's better to be a fat-burner. This information on runners is fascinating but there are also many other reasons why you should be on a ketogenic diet. It's a neuroprotective diet that is extremely beneficial for the well-being of your cells' mitochondria. It will boost both your immune system and your thinking capacity and you don't ever have to feel that intense craving hunger again because of steady blood sugar levels. Check out these articles to find out more:

Alarm Clock

Antibiotic resistant superbugs may claim millions of lives and cost trillions by 2050

There is no question that antibiotics have lent a helping hand in treating various ailments, but now this modern medicine is fueling an issue that was perhaps never considered before. Since their introduction, antibiotics have slowly been fueling the development of superbugs - bacteria that are completely resistant to our conventional treatments. In fact, a recently released report says that superbugs could claim 10 million lives each year as well as $100 trillion by 2050.

Economist and head of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, Jim O'Neill says that the trend of growing infections resistant to drugs, which are already killing hundreds of thousands of people across the globe every year, is set to get worse unless we do something now.

Comment: While the headline about antibiotic resistant superbugs may sound a bit dramatic, the reality of this growing issue is quite concerning:


Labeling GMO food is a no-brainer

© The Bodleian Library, Oxford, Public Domain
Bring up genetically engineered foods, and most people focus on the obvious but most vexing questions: are they safe to eat? Or how might they make me sick? Such questions and the inability of current science to provide clear answers, have triggered a polarizing debate about labeling of a scale unprecedented in the history of food labeling. The result has been a slew of proposed state laws, international trade disputes, all mostly centering around the potential risks to human health.

But lost in the din of this raucous debate are many other, much less controversial reasons for GMO labeling that have long been the basis for labeling many other foods FDA mandated over the years, that came without international consumer campaigns and did not trigger multi-million-dollar anti-labeling lobbying efforts. In fact, many such requirements have more to do with protecting consumers from being misled about the quality and nature of food products than with preventing foodborne illness.

Comment: Read more about the The GMO labeling conundrum:


The real cause of heart disease - parasympathetic nervous system deficiency

In a previous article in this journal ("What Causes Heart Attacks," Fall 2007), I presented the case that the spectrum of heart disease, which includes angina, unstable angina, and myocardial infarction (heart attack), is better understood from the perspective of events happening in the myocardium (heart) as opposed to events happening in the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply the heart).

As we all know, the conventional view holds that the central event of heart disease occurs in the arteries, with the buildup of blockage called plaque.

In this follow-up article I will go into more detail about the conventional theory and why it is largely misleading; then I will describe the precise and well documented events that do lead to MIs (myocardial infarctions or heart attacks).

This understanding is crucial since during the last fifty years, the pursuit of the coronary artery theory has cost this nation billions of dollars in unnecessary surgical costs, billions in medications that cause as much harm as allow for any positive benefits, and, most seriously, has led many to adopt a low-fat diet, which only worsens the problem.

Newer twists on this theory only serve to further obscure the real cause. In contrast, by understanding the real patho-physiological events behind the evolution of MIs, we will be led to a proper nourishing traditional style of eating, the use of the safe and inexpensive heart tonic called g-strophanthin.

Most importantly, we will be forced to look at how heart disease is a true manifestation of the stresses of modern civilized life on the core of the human being.

To overcome the epidemic of heart disease, we literally need a new medical paradigm, a new economic system, a new ecological consciousness; in short, a new way of life. The coronary theory misses all of this, just as it misinterprets the actual pathological events.

Comment: Apart from the methods described in this article to increase parasympathetic activity, there is another one, a breathing and meditation program, that is able to reduce stress and increase vagal tone:

Face life with Éiriú Eolas, a stress relief program


Trading sleep for work is hazardous to your health

© redOrbit
Did you try to catch up on sleep this weekend? You're not alone. More than one third of American adults report getting less than 7 hours of sleep on weekdays, and many of them try to sleep extra-long on weekends to make up for it.

This isn't a particularly healthy way to live -- insufficient sleep is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a host of other physical ailments. Drowsy driving causes around 80,000 automobile accidents every year, 1,000 of which are typically fatal.

The simple reason for shortchanging sleep on the weekdays? Work. A team of researchers examined nearly 125,000 responses to the American Time Use Survey to calculate two things: first, how much sleep we're getting, and second, what we're doing instead of sleeping.

Comment: See also:

A new study suggests Lack of Sleep Causes Slower Cognitive Abilities

No sleep means no new brain cells


Walking: The incredible benefits of humankind's most basic form of exercise

Four reasons walking has become America's 'untrendiest trend.' Hint: It's not just health.

Walking is going places.

Humans' most common pastime - forsaken for decades as too slow and too much effort - is now recognized as a health breakthrough, an economic catalyst and a route to happiness.

Real Simple magazine (circulation: 2 million) declared "walking America's untrendiest trend" in its February 2014 cover story. A month later Builder magazine (a construction trade journal) announced on its cover, "Walkability. Why we care...and why you should too." The reason? Simple: "Increasingly, the market is demanding places where homeowners can hoof it."

The New Yorker weighed in last September quoting the new book A Philosophy of Walking, which asserts that walking "makes it possible to recover the pure sensation of being, to rediscover the simple joy of existing."

Comment: Feeling stressed?! Take a walk:
  • Just Walking Three Times a Week Slashes Death Rate Risk by 60 Percent
  • Improve your mood by changing the way you walk
  • Scientists Shed New Light on Walking
  • The slow death of the art of purposeless walking
    Walking is a luxury in the West. Very few people, particularly in cities, are obliged to do much of it at all. Cars, bicycles, buses, trams, and trains all beckon.

    Instead, walking for any distance is usually a planned leisure activity. Or a health aid. Something to help people lose weight. Or keep their fitness. But there's something else people get from choosing to walk. A place to think.

    Wordsworth was a walker. His work is inextricably bound up with tramping in the Lake District. Drinking in the stark beauty. Getting lost in his thoughts.

    Charles Dickens was a walker. He could easily rack up 20 miles, often at night. You can almost smell London's atmosphere in his prose. Virginia Woolf walked for inspiration. She walked out from her home at Rodmell in the South Downs. She wandered through London's parks.

    Henry David Thoreau, who was both author and naturalist, walked and walked and walked. But even he couldn't match the feat of someone like Constantin Brancusi, the sculptor who walked much of the way between his home village in Romania and Paris. Or indeed Patrick Leigh Fermor, whose walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul at the age of 18 inspired several volumes of travel writing. George Orwell, Thomas De Quincey, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bruce Chatwin, WG Sebald and Vladimir Nabokov are just some of the others who have written about it.


High carb diet associated with lower good cholesterol, obviously

HDL is commonly referred to as "good cholesterol," as clearly higher levels of this carrier protein are associated with a reduced risk for accumulation of atherosclerosis within the walls of arteries, especially the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

While so much attention is focused on total cholesterol, as well as LDL, which unfortunately has been given the name "bad cholesterol," it seems clear that it is fair to explore what can be done to raise HDL since it is so important for vascular health.

As it turns out, diet does in fact playing important role in determining a person's HDL level. In a study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Canadian researchers evaluated the diets of 619 Canadians of either Aboriginal, South Asian, Chinese, or European descent who had no previously diagnosed medical conditions.

The researchers were particularly interested in the amount of carbohydrate intake in comparison to HDL, and what they found was really quite profound. In comparing those who diets were highest in carbohydrate consumption with those who favored a lower carbohydrate diet, those who ate the least amount of carbohydrates had an HDL that was, on average, 11% higher.

Comment: For more information on how to navigate your cholesterol panel, check out LDL is your friend and I have high cholesterol, and I don't care.