Thursday, June 28, 2012

Statins Increase Diabetes Incidence in Postmenopausal Women by Seventy Percent

The result of a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals finds that statin use in postmenopausal women significantly increases the risk of developing diabetes. In spite of this damning evidence, researchers do not recommend that American Diabetes Association guidelines for primary and secondary prevention should be changed. Statins account for hundreds of billions in pharmaceutical sales each year, and there is scant evidence they do anything to promote cardiovascular or overall health.

In addition to contributing to muscle wasting and metabolic imbalance, this research provides yet another reason to avoid this energy-sapping class of drug. Health-conscious individuals avoid pharmaceuticals at all cost, and there is now compelling research to suggest that everyone should seriously question taking statins to prevent an unnecessary risk of diabetes.

Statins Shown to Dramatically Increase Diabetes Incidence in Postmenopausal Women
Dr. Annie L. Culver and her team from the Rochester Methodist Hospital, Mayo Clinic in Minnesota analyzed data from the national, multiyear Women's Health Initiative (WHI) to garner results for this study. Researchers analyzed data to include 153,840 women without diabetes with an average age of 63 years. Statin use was assessed at enrollment and again in year three. At the outset, 7 percent of the women reported taking a statin medication.

The scientists found 10,242 new cases of diabetes and determined that statin use was positively associated with an increased risk of diabetes. The association remained after adjusting for other potential variables, including age, race or ethnicity and body mass index, and was observed for all types of statins. Dr. Culver noted “The results of this study imply that statin use conveys an increased risk of new-onset DM (diabetes mellitus) in postmenopausal woman.”

Statins Cause Low Cellular Energy Damaging Metabolism That Leads to Type II Diabetes
A deeper analysis of the data found that diabetes incidence increased in this cohort of postmenopausal women by 71%. Amazingly, the result of this study has received no media attention. The scant coverage that has been published fully discounts the additional risk burden and continues to tout the ‘heart-healthy’ benefits of statin use. The real truth is that statins are anti-energy by core means of operation. Any time you reduce the energy function of a cell you reduce the ability of that cell to burn calories as fuel.

Low cellular energy function creates metabolic inefficiency and insulin resistance, with increased fatigue and eventual type 2 diabetes. Statins are a recipe for metabolic disaster, yet millions of unsuspecting women and men continue to blindly swallow these ‘magic pills’ in the belief that they can continue to consume a poor diet and have full immunity against heart disease and a host of other chronic illnesses ascribed to statin use. The evidence is in and it couldn’t be clearer for those individuals with the will to listen and the desire to dramatically lower their risk of becoming diabetic.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Red Grapes Help Prevent Blindness from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive eye condition, leading to the deterioration of the center of the retina, called the macula. It is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. The result of a study published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine finds that eating grapes over a lifetime may slow or help prevent age-related macular degeneration as we age.

Red Grapes Found to Offer Significant Protection against AMD and Blindness
The antioxidant actions of grapes are believed to be responsible for these protective effects, as they are shown to specifically target the eye to provide a protective shield against repeated assaults perpetrated by exposure to the sun and high-intensity light sources. Silvia Finnemann, principal researcher from Fordham University in New York commented, “A lifelong diet enriched in natural antioxidants, such as those in grapes, appears to be directly beneficial for retinal pigment epithelium cells and retinal health and function.”

The study compared the impact of a diet rich in antioxidants on vision in mice prone to developing retinal damage in old age in much the same way as humans do. Mice either received a grape-enriched diet, a diet with added lutein, or a normal diet. Researchers found that the diet enriched with grapes offered dramatic protection, as it was shown to protect against oxidative damage of the retina and prevent blindness. While a diet supplemented with lutein was also effective, grapes were found to offer significantly more protection.

Red Grapes Lower Retinal Oxidative Stress to Improve Eye Health
Dr. Finnemann noted "The protective effect of the grapes in this study was remarkable, offering a benefit for vision at old age even if grapes were consumed only at young age." The result of this study determined that age-related vision loss is a result of cumulative, oxidative damage over time. A diet rich in antioxidants, especially those provided by lifelong consumption of red grapes are directly beneficial to retinal health and function.

This study showed that adding grapes to the diet prevented blindness in mice by significantly decreasing the build-up of lipofuscin and preventing the oxidative damage to the retina. Red grapes contain the powerful antioxidant, resveratrol that has been demonstrated to provide essential support for optimal brain function and heart health. Consuming several ounces of red grapes each day may provide an important key to prevent eye damage and blindness from AMD.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ideal Vitamin D Blood Levels Lower All-Cause Mortality by Thirty Percent

The importance of vitamin D for human health has been the topic of extensive research over the past decade. Suboptimal levels of the prohormone are known to compromise immunity, cardiovascular health, bone health and normal metabolism. The result of a new meta-analysis study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that adequate circulating vitamin D reduces the risk of all-cause mortality by 29%.

Vitamin D has been shown to provide the blueprint required for healthy DNA replication of cellular structures; low levels of the sunshine vitamin dramatically increase the incidence of many cancer lines as genetic mutations proliferate. Millions of at-risk people can protect themselves by ensuring normal blood saturation levels through a simple blood test and prudent sun exposure or supplementation.

Vitamin D Blood Level Lowers Colorectal Cancer Risk by Forty Percent
Vitamin D deficiency runs rampant in the aging population around the world. Researchers estimate that correcting this deficiency by doubling the typically low vitamin D levels would result in a 20% mortality reduction. A body of evidence shows that senior adults with the lowest level of vitamin D blood saturation more than double their risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Researchers performed a large meta-analysis of eleven vitamin D studies including 59,231 individuals. They compared individuals in the highest quartile with those in the lowest quartile and found the increased risk of early morality from all causes was 29%. As blood levels dropped below 30 ng/mL, the risk for death went up in a linear manner. It is important to note that fifty-percent of U.S. citizens have vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL and forty percent have major deficiency (below 20 ng/mL), problems made worse by lack of sun exposure in the winter.

Maintain Optimal Vitamin D Blood levels with a Simple 25(OH)D Test
In an independent and supporting body of research, scientists from the national cancer Center in Tokyo publishing in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that the highest levels of vitamin D blood saturation lowered the risk of colorectal cancer by forty percent. In a study of 737 people with colon cancer and 703 cancer free individuals, researchers found that those with the highest levels of vitamin D and increased levels of calcium experienced the lowest risk from this common form of cancer.

World-renowned vitamin D expert, Dr. Michael Holick commented “maintaining optimal vitamin D status is important for reducing risk of colorectal cancer independent of the calcium effect.” Nutrition experts recommend maintaining vitamin D levels between 50 and 70 ng/mL as measured by a 25(OH)D blood test. New evidence suggests that calcium provided from natural food sources (590 mg per day) provides a synergistic effect with vitamin D to dramatically lower all-cause mortality "Infolinks 2012".

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Omega-3 Fats are Essential to Prevent Nerve Damage after Traumatic Injury

People that have suffered a traumatic injury face an uphill battle as they attempt to regain their health and fight the risk of depression as a long term consequence of the event. British researchers from Queen Mary at the University of London have published the result of a study in the Journal of Neuroscience that explains how omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in preventing and protecting nerves from injury.

The research focused on peripheral nerve cells which transmit signals between the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Omega-3 fats from food sources including sardines, salmon, walnuts and flaxseeds provide for decreased cell death from injury and may offer significant protection against future damage.

Omega-3 Fats Help Prevent Nerve Damage and Assist the Repair Process
Current research indicates that our nerves do have a limited capacity to regenerate, but recovery is severely limited depending on the extent of the injury. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the body's normal growth and development and have been well researched for their health benefits, largely focused on brain and heart health. The body is unable to manufacture its own Omega-3 fat supply, so it is necessary to obtain sufficient intake from foods such as oily fish, nuts and seeds or through supplementation.

Researchers studied the effect of Omega-3 fats on isolated mice nerve cells, known to parallel human nerve responses. They simulated nerve damage caused from an accident or injury by either stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen. Both types of damage can kill a significant portion of nerve cells, but enrichment with omega-3 fatty acids in cells gave them significant protection and decreased cell death.

EPA and DHA Fats Lower Sciatic Nerve Injury Damage and Prevent Muscle Wasting
The study also examined sciatic nerve damage in the mice. They found that a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped mice to recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully, and that their muscles were less likely to waste following nerve damage. The team leader, Dr. Adina Michael-Titus, Professor of Neuroscience concluded “Our previous research has shown that these fatty acids could have beneficial effects in a number of neurological conditions. This new study suggests that they could also have a role in treating peripheral nerve injuries.”

The findings from this research should come as no surprise to integrative health followers. The Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are essential building blocks to all cellular structures in the body and are particularly dominant in the brain and nervous system. A healthy supply of Omega-3 fatty acids allows for natural cell repair and the effective chemical and electrical communications that are important to optimal nerve function. Consuming fatty fish three to four times a week or supplementing with molecularly distilled fish oil (1 to 2.4 grams total EPA/DHA) supports the nervous system and regeneration process after injury.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Processed Meats Boost Pancreatic Cancer Risk by Nearly One-Quarter

Researchers publishing in the British Journal of Cancer have determined that processed meat consumption increases the risk of developing one of the most deadly forms of pancreatic cancer by nineteen percent in men and women. In addition, the same study found that a diet high in red meat can lead to increased risk of the disease in men. Eating the equivalent of one sausage or two strips of bacon each day was found to jump the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in this prospective meta-analysis study, compared to those who consumed no meat.

A diet of just over four ounces of red meat eaten daily increased the risk of pancreatic cancer in men by close to thirty percent. Health-minded individuals wishing to limit their risk for developing pancreatic cancer will want to eliminate processed meats and severely limit red meat consumption.

Research Shows That Processed Meats and Smoking Dramatically Increase Pancreatic Cancer Risk
The lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer in western cultures is 1 in 79 for women and 1 in 77 for men, compared to smoking which increases the risk by 74%. Any habit that increases the risk of developing this form of the disease that defies early diagnosis and carries a dismal five-year survival rate less than five percent is unacceptable.

British researchers conducted a meta-analysis of eleven significant studies involving more than 6,000 individuals with pancreatic cancer. The scientist’s compiled details on the consumption of processed and red meats for the study subjects across all studies considered, and then analyzed to determine the impact on disease genesis and prognosis. The study leader, Professor Susanna Larsson noted “Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates. So as well as diagnosing it early, it’s important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease.”

Deadly Carcinogenic Amines Form When Meats are Cooked at High Temperatures
Researchers found that process meats contain a high level of nitrites and N-nitroso compounds used to preserve the meat and provide flavor. The positive association between processed meat consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer increases as the compounds pass from the bloodstream to the pancreas where they are known to be carcinogenic. In a similar fashion, humans are exposed to N-nitroso compounds via cigarette smoking, an established risk factor for pancreatic cancer. The study suggests that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is greatly increased with a diet of processed meats and smoking.

Interestingly, the study did not find that eating red meat increased pancreatic cancer risk in women. The authors believe this is because women eat less red meat than men, and there is a tolerance level exceeded by men and not women. Similar studies have shown that heterocyclic amines form when red meat is cooked using high-temperature methods such as pan frying or grilling directly over an open flame, dramatically increasing pancreatic cancer risk.

Health-minded individuals are well advised to avoid all processed meats (sausage, bacon and luncheon meats). The study researchers concluded “The jury is still out as to whether meat is a definite risk factor for pancreatic cancer and more large studies are needed to confirm this. But this new analysis suggests processed meat may be playing a role.”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

High Fiber, Lo-Carb Diet Lowers Risk of Inflammatory Diseases

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have published the result of a study showing that a diet rich in slowly digested carbohydrates, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes and other high-fiber foods, significantly reduces markers of inflammation associated with the onset of chronic disease. The work, reported in The Journal of Nutrition, explains that a diet rich in high-fiber foods significantly improves insulin signaling and resistance that promote life-shortening diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, stroke and dementia.

Monitoring the glycemic-load of different foods lowers the risk of blood glucose spikes and also increases a hormone that helps regulate the metabolism of fat and sugar. Health minded individuals will want to ensure they eat between thirty and fifty grams of fiber from a variety of food sources each day to control systemic inflammation and lower disease risk.

Low Glycemic Diet Lowers Inflammatory Blood Marker by Nearly a Quarter
The random controlled study involved eighty healthy men and women selected from the Seattle, WA area. Half were considered to be of normal weight, and the other half were overweight or obese as measured on a standardized BMI scale. Researchers found that among overweight and obese study participants, a low-glycemic-load diet reduced a biomarker of inflammation called C-reactive protein by about 22 percent.

Other studies in the past have suggested a correlation between dietary carbohydrate and sugar consumption as measured by the glycemic index of foods and systemic inflammation. This research is important because the C-reactive protein is associated with an increased risk for many cancers as well as cardiovascular disease.

Lowering Blood Glucose Levels Increases Adiponectin to Guard Against Cancer and Diabetes
Dr. Marian Neuhouser, a member of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center noted “Lowering inflammatory factors is important for reducing a broad range of health risks. Showing that a low-glycemic-load diet can improve health is important for the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese.”

Neuhouser and her team also found that increasing low glycemic load foods in the participants diet by just five percent resulted in increased blood levels of a protein hormone called adiponectin. The hormone is known to protect against a number of different cancer lines as well as metabolic disorders such as type-2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and hardening of the arteries.

Many health-minded people know the importance of avoiding processed carbohydrates and sugar-laden foods while increasing dietary fiber. Dr. Neuhouser concluded “Whenever possible, choose carbohydrates that are less likely to cause rapid spikes in blood glucose… these types of low-glycemic-load carbs include whole grains; legumes such as kidney beans, soy beans, pinto beans and lentils as well as fruits such as apples, oranges, grapefruit and pears.” This study provides another chapter to the growing body of research that demonstrates the importance of dietary choices to prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes and most chronic illnesses.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 Improve Memory and Cognition as we Age

Researchers from the Australian National University have shown that essential B vitamins combat stress that results in a loss of memory and normal thought patterns that cause abnormal brain aging. Publishing in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that long-term supplementation of daily folic acid and vitamin B-12 promotes improvement in cognitive functioning after a period of two years, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance.

B vitamins are crucial for nerve transmission and are needed in higher amounts as your stress level increases. Health-minded adults will want to ensure that they obtain an optimal daily dose of these important vitamins from diet or supplemental sources.

Folic Acid and Vitamin B-12 Fight Brain Stress and Inflammation in the Elderly
The study leader, Dr. Janine Walker and her team conducted a two year intervention among elderly participants confined in a community-dwelling environment. All participants exhibited symptoms of depression and were under moderate stress due to environmental and lifestyle conditions. The study was designed to determine if nutritional intervention could prevent cognitive decline under randomized and controlled conditions.

Researchers supplemented one group of study volunteers with an oral dosage of 400 micrograms of folic acid and 100 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily. This group was compared against a control set of participants that received a placebo. The results were measured at twelve and twenty-four month intervals using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status Standardized Test and the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (to determine processing speed). An Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly was administered at two years to provide a final analysis of cognitive function.

B Vitamin Duo Synergistically Improves Memory Performance in Aging Adults
The study authors found that the group receiving the supplemental B-vitamins experienced significantly better memory function when compared to the control subjects. The research team determined that stress results in inflammation to neuron structures in the brain and inhibits electrical and chemical transmissions between nerves that are required to form new memories and maintain a healthy degree of cognitive function. The body uses B-vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B-12 to fight brain inflammation and ensure proper brain communications.

After the two year study period, Dr. Walker concluded “Long-term supplementation of daily oral 400 mcg folic acid and 100 mcg vitamin B-12 promotes improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 months, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance.” The entire family of B-vitamins has been shown to lower the impact of brain stress and inflammation. Health-conscious adults will want to combine a daily supply of B-vitamins with the Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to dramatically lower the risk of memory loss and cognitive decline.