Monday, July 29, 2013

Risk of Early Death Directly Increases with Amount of Processed Meat Consumed

A number of past studies have pointed to a negative association between eating processed meats and significantly increased risk of developing cancer or heart disease and a shortened lifespan as well. Unfortunately, these research works have not been large enough to provide sufficient data to distinguish between red meat consumption, other dietary factors, physical activity and pertinent lifestyle practices that can also contribute to heart disease and cancer. Alternative health practitioners have long known that these chronic and often fatal illnesses are the result of lifestyle conditions that can be modified by the individual.

Researchers publishing in Biomed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine have analyzed data generated by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study involving ten countries and 23 centers in Europe covering nearly half a million people. Scientists were able to parse all available information to determine a distinct association between processed meat consumption and developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Processed Meats Increase Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Should be Eliminated Entirely
The research team found that a diet high in processed meat was further linked to other unhealthy choices. Men and women who ate the most processed meat also consumed the fewest fruit and vegetables and were more likely to smoke. Additionally, men who ate a lot of meat also tended to have high alcohol consumption.

After allowing for all confounding factors, the scientists determined that a person's risk of premature death increased proportionally with the amount of processed meat eaten. The study authors concluded “Risks of dying earlier from cancer and cardiovascular disease also increased with the amount of processed meat eaten. Overall, we estimate that 3% of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate less than 20g processed meat per day.”

Totally Eliminate Processed Meats and Substitute Natural Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts and Seeds
In a separate research study conducted at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, scientists determined that people who eat over 40 grams of sausage products or other kinds of processed meat each day increase the risk of mortality by 18 percent for every 50 grams of processed meat consumed. Researchers concluded that carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines form through salting, pickling or smoking, and these might be the cause of the increase in cancer mortality. Processed meats are also rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, which are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers did find some health benefits to eating small amounts of meat due to the high content of nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals including iron. Those choosing to eat meat should ensure that all selections are organically raised and free of all antibiotics and growth hormones. It is also important to ensure that meats are not overheated or char-grilled to avoid excess AGE accumulation. A considerable amount of scientific evidence now exists to confirm that processed meat consumption is unsafe at any level and should be eliminated entirely to lower the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Monday, July 22, 2013

EGCG from Green Tea Blocks the Formation of Plaques to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

As new cases of Alzheimer’s disease are expected to quadruple over the next several decades, Big Pharma researchers are plowing billions of research dollars into finding a synthetic cure for an illness that has its roots deeply seated in poor diet, excess stress and a generally unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for the giant pharmaceutical concerns, drugs have yielded nothing but dismal results as one potential miracle cure after another fail to provide any hope as new cases of the mind-robbing disease continue to mount.

Green Tea Consumption Prevents Protein Tangles that Promote Alzheimer’s Disease Progression
For more than a decade, nutrition scientists have been heralding a small number of natural compounds including resveratrol, curcumin and EGCG from green tea extracts that easily cross the blood-brain barrier to promote brain health and improve cognitive function. Researchers from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explain how extracts from green tea may block the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that have been linked to the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions that prevent the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain.

Improper accumulations of proteins known as metal-associated amyloids are a hallmark sign of many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s dementia. Researchers used green tea extract to control the generation of metal-associated amyloid-beta aggregates associated with Alzheimer's disease. Building on a volume of prior studies suggesting a protective role for regular green tea consumption, the team set out to establish a beneficial relationship between the active compound in green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, also known as EGCG) and the formation of amyloid plaques.

Drink Three to Five Cups of Green or White Tea Daily to Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease
The scientists determined that EGCG prevented the formation of amyloid tangles by preventing protein misfolding, and broke down existing aggregate structures in the proteins that contained metals, specifically copper, iron and zinc. Referring specifically to the bioactive catechin, EGCG, lead study author Dr. Mi Hee Lim concluded A lot of people are very excited about this molecule… we want to modify them for the brain, specifically to interfere with the plaques associated with Alzheimer's”.

Nutrition experts note that green tea contains thirty to forty percent of water-extractable polyphenols while highly oxidized black tea contains between three and ten percent. White tea has undergone less oxidation than green tea and provides the most potent dose of EGCG catechins. A wealth of scientific evidence supports drinking three to five cups of green or white tea every day to support cardiovascular health and prevent protein aggregates in the brain that significantly increase Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Leafy Greens Alter Gene Expression to Boost Native Immune Response to Fight Disease

Our native immune system is truly amazing in its complexity and ability to continually adapt to an ever changing environment of potential pathogens that could easily colonize and highjack our health if not detected and eradicated quickly. Many people, especially as they age, have a compromised immune response due to negative lifestyle factors including smoking, exposure to environmental and household toxins, stress and especially diet. Up to eighty percent of our initial immune response takes place in our digestive system, and the body uses cues from what we eat to activate essential actions to potential invaders.

Leafy Greens and Crucifers Help Express Digestive Genes that Boost our Innate Immune Response
Consuming a largely processed food diet that is void of nutrients and flavonoids dulls our immune system and dramatically increases the risk of infection, inflammation and chronic disease. A research team from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's Molecular Immunology Division in Australia have published the result of their work in the journal Nature Immunology that demonstrates how eating your greens may be even more important than previously thought, with the discovery that an immune cell population essential for intestinal health could be controlled by leafy greens in your diet.

A special type of immune cell known as an innate lymphoid cell (ILC) is found throughout the digestive tract and can help protect the body from invading pathogens and also provides a balance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the intestine. Additionally ILC’s play an important role in controlling food allergies, inflammatory diseases and obesity, and may even prevent the development of bowel cancers. The team discovered that a gene (T-bet) is responsible for producing these critical immune cells and is expressed by signals fed from the foods we eat.

Eat Five to Nine Daily Servings of Leafy Green Vegetables to Fight Chronic Illness
Lead study author, Dr. Gabrielle Belz noted “In this study, we discovered that T-bet is the key gene that instructs precursor cells to develop into ILCs, which it does in response to signals in the food we eat and to bacteria in the gut.” The researchers found that proteins in leafy green cruciferous vegetables interact with surface cell receptors that switch on T-bet to initiate the innate immune response in the digestive tract. Further, the team determined that ILC’s produce a hormone (interleukin-22) that protects the body from invading bacteria and help maintain a healthy environment in the intestine by balancing bacteria levels, and may also help to resolve cancerous digestive lesions.

Dr. Belz concluded “Our research shows that, without the gene T-bet, the body is more susceptible to bacterial infections that enter through the digestive system. This suggests that boosting ILCs in the gut may aid in the treatment of these bacterial infections.” This research helps to explain why a natural food diet consisting of at least five to nine daily servings of vegetables and fruits is essential to promote optimal health and keep our vital immune systems running at peak efficiency to protect our well-being and longevity.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Omega-3 Supplements Help Shield Against Skin Cancer

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, walnuts, seeds and supplements have been shown to effectively protect against many forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and dementia, as the long-chain fats are preferentially channeled to form cell wall membranes that fight systemic inflammation and boost the body’s immune response. The typical diet is dangerously deficient in omega-3 fats, as they become rapidly degraded through food processing and are grossly imbalanced with omega-6 fats to create a metabolic environment that has been shown to promote disease.

Omega-3 Fat Supplementation Improves Innate Immune Response to Help Prevent Skin Cancer
New evidence has recently been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by a research team from The University of Manchester in the UK that demonstrates how taking omega-3 fish oils could help to protect against skin cancer. A study team has just carried out the first clinical trial to examine the impact of the fish oils on the skin immunity of human volunteers.

By analyzing the effect of omega-3 fats on 79 healthy participants, researchers found that taking a regular dose of fish oils boosted skin immunity to the sun by lowering sunlight-induced suppression of the immune system, known as immunosuppression, affecting the body's ability to fight skin cancer and infection. Lead study author, Dr. Lesley Rhodes noted “This study adds to the evidence that omega-3 is a potential nutrient to protect against skin cancer… they suggest that a continuous low level of chemoprevention from taking omega-3 could reduce the risk of skin cancer over an individual's lifetime.”

Supplement daily with a High Quality Fish Oil Product to Lower Skin Cancer Risk
Volunteers for the trial took a daily four gram dose of omega-3, equivalent to about one and a half portions of oily fish, and were then exposed to the either 8, 15 or 30 minutes of summer midday sun using a special light machine. The supplemented group was then compared to a second group taking a placebo. Researchers found that immunosuppression was fifty percent lower in people who took the supplement and were exposed to 8 and 15 minutes of sun compared with people who did not take the supplement.

The team concluded “Skin cancer has been one of the fastest growing types of cancer, and numbers will likely continue to increase. It is always exciting to see research that generates such promising results, and we look forward to seeing future developments in this area.” In light of the multiple functions and diverse type of disease processes that are prevented by omega-3 fat supplementation, nutrition experts recommend daily intake of 1,200 to 2,400 mg (combined DHA and EPA omega-3 fats) to promote optimal health and longevity.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reduced Magnesium Levels Predict Heart Disease Risk and Increase Mortality by Fifty Percent

Magnesium is a ubiquitous mineral that has been found in abundance in the human diet for countless generations. Over the past half century, this essential nutrient has been systematically weaned from the vast majority of leafy greens and vegetables due to poor soil conditions and the rapid rise in consumption of processed foods where any required nutrients have been removed in favor of added sugars, fats, artificial flavors and coloring.

Magnesium is required for proper electrical signaling within the heart muscle and helps stabilize a normal rhythm. Deficiency of the mineral has also been shown to increase arterial stiffness, increasing blood pressure and work load of the muscle, directly impacting cardiovascular health and mortality. Researchers from Japan, publishing the result of a study in the journal, Atherosclerosis have found that increased intakes of magnesium in the diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality by fifty percent.

Low Magnesium Intake Creates an Imbalance with Calcium Leading to Arterial Stiffness
Prior research works have determined that low magnesium levels are the best predictor of heart disease, contrary to the traditional belief that cholesterol or saturated fats play the biggest role. In a cohort of studies spanning the past forty years, scientists have found that low magnesium levels are linked with all known cardiovascular risk factors including high blood pressure, arterial plaque build-up, calcification of soft tissues, excess cholesterol levels and hardening of the arteries.

Researchers determined that decades of elevated calcium intake have not been balanced with increasing magnesium intake and consequently in the US, dietary calcium-to-magnesium ratios are increasing. Many people have been led to believe that they need to take copious amounts of supplemental calcium to maintain bone health, when in reality they are developing a homeostatic imbalance of the two minerals and dramatically increasing their risk of arterial stiffness, early cardiovascular disease and death.

Monitor Daily Magnesium Consumption and Supplement as Necessary to Improve Cardiovascular Health
Dr. Carloyn Dean, Medical Advisor of the Nutritional Magnesium Association concluded “…heart disease is still the number one killer in America in spite of over two decades of statin use. The fact that low levels of magnesium are associated with all the risk factors and symptoms of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart arrhythmia, angina and heart attack can no longer be ignored; the evidence is much too compelling.” The authors note that nuts and legumes are an excellent natural source of magnesium, yet many people avoid them due to the misconception that they are unhealthy due to the high fat content.

Daily requirements for magnesium are 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men, yet many people take in less than half of these minimum amounts leading to a significant deficiency over time. Health-conscious individuals will optimize their diet, or supplement with a blended magnesium formulation to assure a daily intake of 400 to 500 mg. Additionally, it may be necessary to limit or eliminate calcium supplementation to maintain proper calcium to magnesium balance and dramatically lower the risk of heart disease and early death.