Curcumin, Krill Oil and the risk of diabetes

Metabolic Syndrome is a recently identified and increasingly common health condition. It is characterized by an increase in abdominal fat. Blood tests show elevated triglycerides as well as cholesterol and often borderline high blood sugar.

Metabolic Syndrome is associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease and other diseases of aging.

It has been my standard practice over the past several years to recommend a moderately low-carbohydrate diet for people with this condition. Certain supplements, to help normalize blood sugar, increase detoxification, and other products based on individual circumstances can also be of use.

Following these simple steps, my patients often notice rapid and significant improvements and blood tests quickly normalize. Recent studies show that two simple and readily available supplements can further enhance the process of reversing Metabolic Syndrome. Read More »

Essential minerals: supercharge your (or your child’s) diet with homemade beef bone stock

When it comes to maintaining or regaining health, nothing plays as important a role as proper mineral balance in the body. Although we no longer hear much about it

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, leading experts in the field of nutritional medicine sounded the alarm as early as the 1930’s and 40’s: modern agricultural practices were depleting the soil, generating widespread mineral deficiencies and imbalances. This in turn left us vulnerable to weakened immunity, digestive and nervous system disorders, and more. When combined with the dramatic spread of environmental chemicals and other toxins over the past half century, the recipe for disaster is complete.

Those sounding the alarm were the likes of Henry Bieler, MD, and Max Gerson, MD. Dr. Bieler wrote the book “Food is Your Best Medicine.” He believed in drug-free medicine and was well-known at the time for being the personal physician to Greta Garbo and other stars. He was also known because his patients had a habit of living well into their nineties. Dr. Gerson authored “A Cancer Therapy.” He used food, vegetable juices, and little else to successfully treat diseases ranging from migraines to diabetes and even cancer.

Mineral supplements can help correct deficiency in some instances; however, many essential minerals are poorly absorbed from supplements. In addition, manmade supplements that are not properly balanced can aggravate any existing imbalance. The bottom line is that only natural unprocessed foods contain minerals in optimal ratios and, in fact, the body is ideally suited to absorb minerals from food rather than supplements.
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Trans fat-free margarine found to cause diabetes

If there is one thing I learned a long time ago it is to beware of products advertised as being free of one ingredient or the other. Every time such a product comes out the first question I ask is: what did they use as a replacement? It may take years to find out, but invariably we discover that the replacement was worse than what it replaced!

It was this way with fat-free foods that turned out to be loaded with sugar, sugar-free drinks laced with harmful aspartame, and cholesterol-free margarines containing trans-fats later found to cause heart disease and, quite possibly, cancer.
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Could You or Your Child Be Gluten-Sensitive?

Gluten is a protein found in commonly eaten grains, including wheat, rye, barley and oats (however, the gluten in oats is different and can be tolerated by some gluten-sensitive individuals).

Gluten sensitivity has been found to cause celiac disease, a severe developmental disorder. The association between gluten and celiac disease was discovered by pure coincidence during World War II when some children with the disorder “miraculously” recovered when deprived of wheat, only to relapse when wheat was reintroduced in their diet.
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Metformin, heart disease and diet

Metformin (Glucophage) is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for type II or “adult-onset” diabetes, the type of diabetes that does not usually require insulin.

A previously known – although rare – risk associated with this medication is acidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by a build-up of lactic acid in blood.

A recent study (Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2001;11:108-116) found that Metformin also raises blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that has been found to cause heart disease. Homocysteine builds up in blood when certain B vitamins are deficient and it is believed that Metformin raises homocysteine levels by blocking the absorption of vitamin B12 and folic acid, two essential nutrients.

In recent years, Metformin has also been prescribed to individuals who are considered at high risk for developing diabetes in the hope of preventing or delaying its onset. A study this year (N Engl J Med 2002;346:393-403) looked at more than 3,000 individuals, all of whom were in this high-risk category and divided them in three groups: one received Metformin, the second a placebo, and the third followed very basic diet and exercise guidelines but received no medication or placebo.

The study concluded that, although Metformin reduced the onset of diabetes by roughly 30% over the placebo group, the basic lifestyle and diet changes recommended in the study were twice as effective, reducing diabetes onset by almost 60%.

Although certain people are more susceptible to this illness because of family history, Type II diabetes is clearly caused by diet and lifestyle. I believe it can be prevented, and often reversed, when these issues are addressed and related nutritional deficiencies are corrected. Herbal products such as cinnamon, a common kitchen spice, have also been shown to help normalize blood sugar and can be helpful while the underlying causes are addressed. Research on cinnamon and diabetes can be found in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Aug. 2001;20(4):327-336), although there are no large scale studies due to lack of funding.

Diabetes rates are soaring, especially among younger Americans

Type II diabetes is also known as ìadult onsetî diabetes, occurring mostly among older individuals. A recent study published in the September 2000 issue of Diabetes Care reveals that the overall rate of this form of diabetes increased 33% from 1990 to 1998. Among young adults the rate increased nearly 70% over the same period.

This dramatic increase is a direct consequence of our preference for a high-sugar, high-refined carbohydrate diet. Type II diabetes can be a life threatening condition, leading to cardiovascular and kidney disease, among other complications. It can, however, be effectively controlled and often reversed with diet changes and by replenishing deficient minerals and other nutrients.