Nutrition Powerpoint Sept 2010 Slides to a talk given 03 Sept 2010 at Mornington.
Nutrients are the chemicals that make up our bodies, repair them and supply the energy to keep it working.
Food production is paid on a per kilo or volume basis. It is not valued on the basis of nutritional content. A study of nutritional tables produced by various government health departments has over the years indicated that many of the foods no longer contain the nutritional value that they had in the past.
"Considered as a group, we found that six out of 13 nutrients showed apparently reliable
declines between 1950 and 1999." (1)(3)
Foods when cooked in various ways also lose their nutrient potency. (2)
Vitamin K2 is not the same as Vitamin K which helps us with blood clotting.
Vitamin K2 is critically important for the growth of bone matrix and for the proper utilisation of calcium in the body. It is responsible for keeping calcium out of our soft tissues and directing it into bone. As such it has an important part in the following diseases. If you are taking a Vitamin D supplement then you need to be ensuring that your Vit K2 Calcium and Magnesium intake levels are adequate. "... what we
understand now is that we need to get enough calcium to support bone health from
food and supplements; we need enough vitamin D to be able to absorb the calcium
we consume; and we need enough vitamin K2 to make sure that the calcium gets
bound to our bones *.
- Osteoporosis & bone density
- Tooth decay
- Arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease and varicose veins
- Arteriosclerosis Hardening or calcification of arteries
- Heart attack & Stroke
- Brain function
- Inappropriate calcification of soft tissues such as heel spurs and kidney disease
- Cellular energy (ATP) production
- Prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and leukemia
- Brain health problems, including dementia
- This list is growing rapidly as research accelerates on this important vitamin (vital amine).
Sources of Vit K2 include:
- Natto (from Asian food markets)
- Pastured butter
- Pastured eggs
- Hard cheese (especially the darker coloured ones)
In an article "New Evidence Confirms the Nutritional
Superiority of Plant-Based Organic Foods
March 2008 by Charles Benbrook, Xin Zhao, Jaime Yáñez, Neal Davies
and Preston Andrews click here to download shows that organically grown foods are NUTRITIONALLY superior to conventionally grown foods.
Vitamin D - Why are we all so deficient in this nutrient?Above all, the medical establishment is to blame for vitamin D deficiency. Rather than teaching parents and children about the importance of vitamin D, they seem to have declared a blackout on most useful information about the nutrient, preferring instead to prescribe toxic pharmaceutical drugs to treat the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Osteoporosis drugs, in particular, are made virtually obsolete by vitamin D alone. That's why you don't see any drug companies talking about vitamin D -- it would destroy osteoporosis drug sales!
The entire "sick care" industry (including Big Pharma) actually depends on widespread nutritional deficiencies in order to create repeat business. Vitamin D deficiency, of course, figures prominently in this equation: It promotes cancer, bone loss, obesity, depression and heart disease. It's no coincidence that these are some of the biggest profit earners for drug companies.
Smokers had levels that were one-third lower than nonsmokers, and over three times as great risk of deficiency. Obese individuals had levels that were 15 percent lower than those classified as overweight. Vitamin C concentrations rose and deficiency declined with increased socioeconomic status. Effects of vitamin C deficiency ranged from anemia, bleeding gums and loosened teeth to changes in mood consistent with latent scurvy.
Thirty-seven percent of men and 47 percent of women over the age of 20 reported having taken at least one vitamin C-containing supplement over the month prior to being queried. Men and women who used supplements had serum vitamin C concentrations that were 57 to 73 percent higher than nonusers. The authors attribute the increase in vitamin C status among older persons partly to supplement use. They note that "Recent data show increased usage since the overall 40 percent usage reported during NHANES III and are likely to explain in part the improved vitamin C status of the US population."
"The vitamin C status of the US population appears to have substantially improved from 1988-1994 to 2003-2004," the authors conclude. "Nevertheless, the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency in various subgroups remains a concern,
Vitamin C and E supplementation associated with reduced five year mortality
An article published online on July 13, 2009 in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported the results of a study conducted by researchers at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center which found that vitamin C and vitamin E supplement users had a lower risk of dying over a five year period than those who did not supplement.
For their analysis, Gaia Pocobelli and colleagues evaluated data from 77,673 participants in the Vitamins and Lifestyle Study of men and women aged 50 to 76. Questionnaires completed between 2000 and 2002 provided information on the participants' supplement use over the previous ten years. Deaths that occurred over the following five years were classified as being due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes.
American Journal of Epidemiology, doi:10.1093/aje/kwp167
Calorie restriction has significantly extended the life span of many animal species such as yeast, roundworms and rodents, but whether it could do the same for Primates, a group that includes monkeys and humans, had long been an unanswered question. In a report published in the July 10, 2009 issue of Science, Professor Richard Weindruch and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital reveal that calorie restriction is indeed successful at improving survival and delaying disease in rhesus macaques, whose average life span is 27 years. "We have been able to show that caloric restriction can slow the aging process in a primate species," Dr Weindruch announced.
The study divided 76 macaques aged 7 to 14 to receive diets that allowed them to consume as much food as they wanted, or diets which contained 30 percent fewer calories than the unrestricted diets. Thirty of the animals began the diets in 1989 and 46 in 1994.
As of this year, 80 percent of the animals given restricted diets are alive, compared to half of the unrestricted animals. Cancer and cardiovascular disease incidence is over 50 percent lower in the calorie restricted animals, and impaired glucose regulation has not been observed. "So far, we've seen the complete prevention of diabetes," Dr Weindruch stated. Continue Reading
March 25, 2009 — Inadequate vitamin D may represent an underrecognized source of nociperception and impaired neuromuscular functioning, say researchers.
"Physicians who care for patients with chronic, diffuse pain that seems musculoskeletal — and involves many areas of tenderness to palpation — should strongly consider checking vitamin-D level," Michael Turner, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a news release issued Friday.
"For example," he added, "many patients who have been labeled with fibromyalgia are, in fact, suffering from symptomatic vitamin-D inadequacy. Vigilance is especially required when risk factors are present, such as obesity, darker pigmented skin, or limited exposure to sunlight."
Dr. Turner was lead investigator of a study published in the journal Pain Medicine in November 2008. The work suggests a correlation between inadequate vitamin-D levels and the amount of narcotic medication taken by chronic pain patients.
Required Nearly Twice As Much Pain Medication
The researchers found that patients who had inadequate vitamin-D levels and required narcotic pain medication were taking much higher doses — nearly twice as much — as those with adequate levels. These patients also reported worse physical function and worse overall health perception.
Dr. Turner told Medscape Neurology & Neurosurgery his group was surprised by the finding. "We didn't anticipate that the difference would be so high."
The investigators retrospectively studied 267 patients admitted to the Mayo Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center. They compared serum 25-hydroxyvitamin-D levels at the time of admission with other parameters such as the amount and duration of narcotic pain medication used, self-reported levels of pain, emotional distress, physical functioning, health perception, and demographic information such as sex, age, diagnosis, and body-mass index.
Patients with vitamin-D levels below 20 ng/mL were considered to have inadequate amounts. The prevalence of low vitamin D was 26% (95% CI, 20.6% – 31.1%).
Among patients using opioids, the mean morphine-equivalent dose for the inadequate vitamin-D group was 133.5 mg/day compared with 70.0 mg/day for the adequate group (P = .001). The mean duration of opioid use for the inadequate and adequate groups was 71.1 months and 43.8 months, respectively (P = .023).
The researchers also observed a link between increasing body-mass index and decreasing levels of vitamin D.
Inadequate Vitamin D May Create or Sustain Pain
The preliminary results suggest that inadequate vitamin D may play a role in creating or sustaining chronic pain. During an interview, Dr. Turner suggested that patients with inadequate vitamin D may benefit from cholecalciferol 50,000 international units dosed according to the level of deficiency.
But he urged caution for patients with calcium- or phosphate-processing disorders. "Increasing vitamin-D levels could be problematic in patients with kidney failure or stones or primary hyperparathyroidism or sarcoidosis. This doesn't preclude increasing levels, but it might warrant discussion with an endocrinologist," he said.
For patients with adequate vitamin D looking to maintain levels, he recommends10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure with no sunscreen on the trunk and arms and legs 3 times a week.
Sun Exposure or Diet and Supplements?
It is a recommendation often made by proponents of vitamin D but hotly contested by the American Academy of Dermatology. The academy recommends that vitamin D be obtained from a healthy diet and supplements and not from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
"Unprotected UV exposure to the sun or indoor tanning devices is a known risk factor for the development of skin cancer," dermatologists write in the academy's position statement.
Dr. Turner and his team conclude: "Prospective trials utilizing a repeated-measures design are warranted to assess the effects of vitamin-D repletion on pain outcomes and physiological measures of neuromuscular functioning among patients with chronic pain and comorbid vitamin-D inadequacy."
The researchers have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Pain Med. 2008;9:979-984. Abstract
Low Vitamin D Levels Independent Predictor of Fatal Stroke
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Chronic Pain in Women
Low Vitamin-D Levels in Adolescents Predict CVD Risk Factors
Vitamin D Deficiency Common in Patients With Chronic Migraine
Vitamin D Linked to Genetic, Environmental Risk for MS
In an article scheduled for publication in the Journal of Geriatric Psychology and Neurology, researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Michigan report an association between low levels of vitamin D and an increased risk of cognitive impairment in older men and women. Cognitive impairment has been shown to enhance the risk of developing dementia, a major cause of disability among older individuals.
The current study included 708 men and 1,058 women aged 65 and older who participated in the Health Survey for England 2000. Neurocognitive testing revealed cognitive impairment in 212 subjects. The risk of impairment was found to increase with declining levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Participants whose vitamin D levels were among the lowest 25 percent of participants at 8-30 nanomoles per liter experienced an adjusted risk of cognitive impairment that was 2.28 times greater than that of men and women whose vitamin D levels were in the top quarter at 66 to 170 nanomoles per liter.
“We provide new evidence to suggest that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is related to cognitive impairment in the elderly population and a potential diagnostic aid for screening or differential diagnosis,” the authors write. “This is important because serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D may play an important role in the expression of neurotrophic factors, the stimulation of adult neurogenesis, calcium homeostasis, and detoxification. Furthermore, the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and cognitive impairment underlines the importance of micronutrients in the elderly.”
"This is the first large-scale study to identify a relationship between vitamin D and cognitive impairment in later life,” noted study coauthor Iain A. Lang, PhD, of Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England. “Dementia is a growing problem for health services everywhere, and people who have cognitive impairment are at higher risk of going on to develop dementia. That means identifying ways in which we can reduce levels of dementia is a key challenge for health services."
"For those of us who live in countries where there are dark winters without much sunlight, like the UK, getting enough Vitamin D can be a real problem – particularly for older people, who absorb less vitamin D from sunlight.,” Dr Lang observed. “One way to address this might be to provide older adults with vitamin D supplements. This has been proposed in the past as a way of improving bone health in older people, but our results suggest it might also have other benefits. We need to investigate whether vitamin D supplementation is a cost-effective and low-risk way of reducing older people's risks of developing cognitive impairment and dementia."
Vitamin D is a Key Player in Your Overall Health
For a FREE 1 hour lecture by Dr Mercola click here You will find it most interesting and informative.
It’s a tragedy that
dermatologists and sunscreen manufacturers have done such a thorough job
of scaring people out of the sun. Their widely dispersed message to
avoid the sun as much as possible, combined with an overall cultural
trend of spending more time indoors during work and leisure time, has
greatly contributed to the widespread vitamin D deficiency that’s seen
There are only 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D has been shown to influence over 2,000 of them. That is one of the primary reasons it influences so many diseases (as seen in the table below).
|Cancer||Hypertension|| Heart disease
|Autism||Obesity|| Rheumatoid arthritis
| Diabetes 1 and 2
|| Multiple Sclerosis
|| Crohn's disease
|Eczema||Insomnia|| Hearing loss
| Muscle pain
||Cavities|| Periodontal disease
| Athletic performance
|| Macular degeneration
| Pre eclampsia
|Asthma|| Cystic fibrosis
|Depression|| Alzheimer's disease
For a FREE 1 hour lecture by Dr Mercola click here You will find it most interesting and informative.
Superscripts for the above writers
4 Department of Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367 5 Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20852 6 American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, DC 20049
Recommendations for intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy form the underpinning of dietary guidance for health promotion. We examined the association of a summary index of food consumption behaviors compatible with the spirit of prevailing dietary guidance and mortality. We used data from the NIH-American Association of Retired Persons cohort (n = 350,886), aged 50–71 y and disease free at baseline in 1995–1996, to examine the association of a dietary behavior score (DBS) with mortality after 10.5 y of follow-up (deaths, n = 29,838). The DBS included 6 equally weighted components derived from responses to questions on usual dietary behaviors related to consumption of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meat and poultry, and discretionary fat. The covariate-adjusted association of DBS and mortality from all causes, cancer, and coronary heart disease was examined using Cox proportional hazards regression methods. Compared with those in the lowest one-fifth of DBS, the multivariate-adjusted relative risk of mortality in the highest one-fifth of the DBS was 0.75 (95% CI, 0.70–0.80) in women and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.75–0.83) in men (P-trend < 0.0001). The inverse association of DBS and mortality was significant in both genders in nearly all categories of covariates. Similar trends were observed for DBS associations with mortality from cancer and heart disease. Nearly 12% of the covariate-adjusted population risk of mortality was attributable to nonconformity with dietary recommendations. Adoption of recommended dietary behaviors was associated with lower mortality in both men and women independent of other lifestyle risk factors.
Effect of vitamin and trace-element supplementation on immune
responses and infection in elderly subjects.
Chandra RK. (Memorial University of Newfoundland.)
Ageing is associated with impaired immune responses and increased infection-related morbidity. This study assessed the effect of physiological amounts of vitamins and trace elements on immunocompetence and occurrence of infection-related illness. 96 independently living, healthy elderly individuals were randomly assigned to receive nutrient supplementation or placebo. Nutrient status and immunological variables were assessed at baseline and at 12 months, and the frequency of illness due to infection was ascertained. Subjects in the supplement group had higher numbers of certain T-cell subsets and natural killer cells, enhanced proliferation response to mitogen, increased interleukin-2 production, and higher antibody response and natural killer cell activity. These subjects were less likely than those in the placebo group to have illness due to infections (mean [SD] 23  vs 48  days per year, p = 0.002). Supplementation with a modest physiological amount of micronutrients improves immunity and decreases the risk of infection in old age.
VIT-C TISSUE SATURATION AND HOW TO ACHIEVE IT
with a minimum of discomfort
Vitamin C (Vit C) is often recommended when colds and Flu's are present. Much has been
written in the media as to its effectiveness or otherwise.
Often studies are done using the RDA doses (recommended daily allowance) or otherwise
known as the "ridiculous daily allowances". why "ridiculous".
Because the dose to theoretically keep scurvy away, the recommended dose is 50 mg per
person per day. This doesn't take into account body size. It seems to say that a child of 20kg
body weight would have the same requirement as an adult of 100kg. Clearly this would not be
The use of Vit C for alleviation of infections is different to alleviating scurvy. As such it requires s
Tea Can Keep Your Mind Young
A four-year study has found that tea slows down brain-cell degeneration, and thereby keeps
your mind sharp into old age.
Catechins, a natural compound in tea, protect brain cells from damaging protein build-up over
the years, maintaining your brain's cognitive capability.
In addition, the caffeine in tea, unlike that in coffee, contains the natural protein theanine, which
counters the normal side effects of caffeine such as raised blood pressure, headaches and
Researchers studied the tea-drinking habits of over 2,500 Chinese aged 55 and older and gave
them memory tests.
While two-thirds of the tea-drinkers maintained their memory test scores two years later, 35
percent of non-tea-drinkers had a decline in their memory test scores, which indicates cognitive
It’s not just your brain that stands to benefit from high-quality tea. For centuries, catechins like
those in tea have been known to:
* Neutralize the effects to your body of harmful fats and oils
* Inhibit bacteria and viruses such as HIV, hepatitis, and herpes
* Improve digestion
* Protect against oxidation in your brain and liver
* Help promote healthy gums
Drinking tea has been linked to:
* Improved mental alertness
* Lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
* Reduced blood pressure
* Lower risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers
* Protection again type 2 diabetes
* Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
Tea may also improve exercise performance, increase fat oxidation and prevent obesity, as it’s
known to have a regulatory effect on fat metabolism.
* Asia One April 15, 2008
* American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2008; 88(1): 224-231
* Mercola.com newsletter July 29, 2008 - Issue 1140
Green Tea Protects Against Heart Disease
green teaA few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease, Greek researchers
found. Green tea improves both blood flow and the ability of arteries to relax.
When volunteers were given green tea, they experienced almost immediate benefits.
Other studies have shown that black tea also has benefits for cardiovascular health. However,
green tea might be even better because it had higher quantities of beneficial compounds called
flavonoids, some of which are lost in the oxidation process that black tea undergoes.
Flavonoids are also found in cocoa, tomatoes and grapes as well as lots of spices like tumeric,
curry and chillis.
There is a misconception that it takes pot upon pot of green tea to add up to any significant
benefits. In reality, much of the research on green tea has been based on about three cups
daily, including the study linked above. A cup of green tea will give you anywhere from 20-35 mg
of EGCG, so three in a day will supply you with 60-105 mg. There are some studies that have
used much higher doses than this -- upwards of 1,500 mg a day -- but as of now there’s now
clear-cut evidence of exactly how much is best.
My advice? If you enjoy green tea, add a few cups to your day. And as always, listen to your
body. If green tea doesn’t appeal to you, it’s probably not the best thing for your body.
* Reuters July 2, 2008
* European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation June 2008,
* Mercola .com newsletter July 24, 2008 - Issue 1137
Foods for health
The bright red hue of beets is about more than just visual appeal. The betacyanins that give the
root vegetable its color may also combat the growth of cancer cells. Recent laboratory tests
have also proven than the beets help to regulate blood sugar levels, making them a perfect pick
for people who are in the early stages of diabetes.
Tip: If you make a trip to the grocer for beets, buy them fresh and eat them raw. Beets that have
been cooked are still good for the body, but they lose a portion of their beneficial properties
Cabbage is sometimes a dreaded sight, but the people of China have eaten the cruciferous
vegetable on a daily basis for centuries. All types of cabbage -- from the ornamental Napa
cabbage to kimchee (Korean pickled cabbage) -- have great health benefits.
The greatest attribute of cabbage is that it is packed with vitamins, but not with calories. A great
way to incorporate the eastern classic into the western diet is to toss shredded bits of it into a
Blueberries are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world. Just a handful of
blueberries each day over time can help you reduce your cholesterol, build new cells and have
more energy. You might be surprised to know that a new berry is in the spotlight this year -- the
goji berry. The Tibetan favorite that is just beginning to circle the globe has the highest level of
antioxidants of any fruit out there. The downside -- they are hard to locate and once they are
found they may have a high price tag pinned to them.
4. Swiss chard
The Mediterranean green, with an earthy flavor is an iron-rich vegetable with a wealth of
nutrients including the ever-important, ample supply of lutein. Lutein is a plant chemical that
helps restore deteriorating vision by helping to protect the retinas.
If you're thinking Swiss chard is new to your menu, you may have eaten it without knowing as it
is a staple at Greek restaurants.
In Mexico, purslane is considered to be an herb, but really it's a weed. It has the highest omega-
3 fat content of any plant around. Omega-3 fatty acids -- the healthy fats -- are usually found in
Recent studies have also shown that there is a substantial amount of melatonin found in
purslane. Unfortunately, like the goji berries, purslane is sometimes hard to find in the American
Co Q 10
The powerful nutrient I'm talking about is Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. You can't live without
CoQ10 because all of your major organs need it to function normally. Here are a few ways it
* Protects and strengthens the heart, protects the brain, and revitalizes the immune system.
More than 100 studies at major universities and hospitals link CoQ10 deficiency with heart
disease. In a landmark study, researchers measured the levels of CoQ10 in heart tissue
biopsies. And they found low levels of CoQ10 in 50 to 75 percent of patients with various
types of heart disease. Additional studies show taking CoQ10 revitalizes heart function and
can dramatically relieve heart disease symptoms.
* Helps the body neutralize free radicals in cells. Free radical damage contributes to a range
of diseases and medical problems, including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, arthritis,
and other age-related problems. CoQ10 appears to protect the cells by cleaning up these
free radicals before they can cause damage. This makes CoQ10 a powerful antioxidant.
* Prevents migraines. A Swiss study on migraine patients reveals that CoQ10 cuts migraine
frequency and duration in half.
CoQ10 routinely performs heart-healing miracles. The list goes on and on. But you won't hear
about them from a conventional doctor. Though patients are now educating their specialists about this important substance with the help of internet derived information.
* What Drug Companies Don't Tell You About CoQ10 *
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs slash the levels of CoQ10 in the body. In fact, studies found
that statin drugs lower CoQ10 levels by as much as 40 percent.
Drug companies know about this dangerous side effect. Yet they have done nothing to educate
physicians and patients about it. Unfortunately, most doctors don't know enough about the link
between statin drugs and CoQ10 to recommend supplements to their patients. Some
misinformed doctors even discourage the use of CoQ10 and other nutritional supplements
Whether or not you're currently taking blood pressure or heart meds, have your CoQ10 tested.
Replenishing your body's stores of this vital nutrient may be all you ever need to prevent or
reverse heart disease. You'll also experience many other far-reaching benefits.
CoQ10 & Fatigue
Japanese researchers Mizuno and collegues have put CoQ10 to the tough test of 240 minutes
of continuous cycling.
17 Helathy volunteers aged 27 to 47 were evaluated for this challenge with a range of tests
including standard blood chemistry, blood counts, and an EEG. For the week leading up to the
fatigue inducing task, the researchers gave participants either a placebo, 100mg of CoQ10 or
300mg of CoQ10.
On the day of the test, Teh subjects rated their fatigue levels, completed the 4 hour cycling
task, and rated their fatigue levels again and once again after a 3 hour rest.
The test day was repeated at 4 weekly intervals with the same subjects..
After 1 week Te CoQ10 groups were marginally better than the placebo group. But with
exertion, the CoQ10 group were much less fatigued, the 300mg group fairing better than the
100mg group. This was especially true after a maximum exertion of a sprint at the 30 minute and
the 210 minute mark were introduced.
Previous studies on fatigue using 75 and 100mg of CoQ10 were not conclusive. The results
could be expl;ained not only in terms of the dosages used but also the bioavailability of the
forms of CoQ10 being used.
Based on these findings, CoQ10 supplements with proven absorbtion at the correct dose are
the only choice for efficacy.
Source: Metagenics Aug/Sept 08 update quoting Mizuno K et al "Antifatigue effects of
coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue"; Nutrition 2008; 24(4:293-9)
The list of the humble cocoa bean remarkable health-promoting powers just keeps growing as
we learn more about it. Research has shown how its active ingredients can reduce the risk for a
host of serious illnesses, including:
High blood pressure
Prostate and lung cancer
Cirrhosis of the liver
Now you can add another benefit to the list: it reverses one of diabetes most dangerous effects.
A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that cocoa
significantly improves blood flow in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.1 Blood flow problems
are some of the most serious health hazards that diabetics face. Left unchecked, their
circulation can get so bad that their extremities have to be amputated and even cause heart
Researchers divided diabetics into two groups. The first consumed about 1000 mg of cocoa per
day in three doses for a month, the second only 25 mg.
By the end of the month, the higher-cocoa group circulation improved from severely impaired to
normal, while the low-cocoa group blood flow remained unchanged.
Cocoa power to improve blood flow lies in its ability to kick production of nitric oxide (NO) into
high gear. Pharmaceutical and other drugs work the same way for male performance. NO
causes the linings of your blood vessels to relax and open up, improving circulation, lowering
blood pressure, and helping your body to deliver oxygen and other nutrients in the blood more
Another reason cocoa so good for you has to do with a class of chemicals called flavonoids.
They're abundant in fruits and vegetables as well as coffee, tea, beer, and red wine. But cocoa
has among the highest concentration. 2
Flavonoids are actually poisonous anti-microbials. Plants make them to guard against attack
from microbes and insects. They also give fruits and vegetables their color, making lemons
yellow and some apples red.
For years we thought they were potent antioxidants. But the latest research shows that not true.
3 They're actually poorly absorbed because your body treats them like toxins and tries to get rid
of them. This response activates the genes that make something called Phase II enzymes. Your
body also ramps up production of uric acid.
Together these compounds modify your body response to allergens, disable cancer cells and
cancer-causing agents, and eliminate other dangerous substances in addition to flushing the
flavonoids out of your system.
As far back as the 1600s, people began to notice cocoa medicinal properties. They not only
enjoyed its flavor they used it to treat angina and heart pain. It turns out they were onto
More good news: you don't need a lot of flavonoids to get the benefit. Five to nine servings of
fruits and vegetable a day will do the trick.
As for cocoa, don't reach for regular commercial brands. They're usually packed with bad fat
and artificial sugar that cancel out the health benefit. Dark chocolate bars, with 70-80 percent
cocoa, are the best sources of flavonoids (go for organic brands if you can; you can find them
in most health food stores). They can be a little bitter but have a rich chocolate taste and
contain healthy fat.
I recommend enjoying about 2 to 3 ounces about 3 times a week.
Al Sears, MD
1 Balzer et al. Sustained Benefits in Vascular Function Through Flavanol-Containing Cocoa in
Medicated Diabetic Patients: A Double-Masked, Randomized, Controlled Trial. Journal of the
American College of Cardiology. 2008. 51:2141-2149.
2 Lee et al. Cocoa Has More Phenolic Phytochemicals and a Higher Antioxidant Capacity than
Teas and Red Wine. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2003. 51:7292-7295.
3 Lotito SB, Frei B. Consumption of flavonoid-rich foods and increased plasma antioxidant
capacity in humans: cause, consequence, or epiphenomenon? 2006. Free Radical Biology
Pomegranate Ranked Healthiest Fruit Juice
Fruit juice Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have ranked 10
beverages according to their antioxidant levels.
Currently, claims of superior antioxidant activity on beverages can be misleading, as the testing
is usually based on a limited spectrum of antioxidant activities.
To get to the bottom of which beverages are best, they used four tests of antioxidant potency, a
test of antioxidant functionality, and an evaluation of the total polyphenol content of polyphenol-
rich beverages in the marketplace. Here is how the rankings turned out:
1. Pomegranate juice
2. Red wine
3. Concord grape juice
4. Blueberry juice
5. Black cherry juice
6. Açaí juice
7. Cranberry juice
8. Orange juice
10. Apple juice
A Closer Look at Antioxidant-Rich Juices
Pomegranate is the healthiest of them all, because it contains the most of every type of
antioxidant. It may protect against some cancers, such as prostate cancer. It might also modify
heart disease risk factors.
Concord Grape Juice
Concord grape juice is a source of very potent antioxidants. There‘s some research indicating it
may be good for your heart and help reduce blood pressure.
Blueberry juice contains lots of antioxidants and fiber, and is very high in vitamin C. There‘s
some indication that blueberries may have a beneficial effect on age-related cognitive abilities.
Black Cherry Juice
Not only is it high in antioxidants, but there is evidence that black cherry juice can diminish
exercise-induced muscle injuries.
It‘s also high in antioxidants and vitamin C. There is evidence that it can decrease the incidence
of urinary tract infections.
Sources: * Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 2008; 56(4): 1415-1422
Xinhua News Agency
LOS ANGELES, Nov 23, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Chronic vitamin D deficiency may be a culprit in heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome, a new study showed.
The lack of sunshine during winter may diminish vitamin D levels in the body and harm cardiovascular health, according to the study conducted by researchers at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University in Chicago.
The body needs sunshine to produce vitamin D, but that process is slowed in the winter due to less daylight and spending more time indoors, said the study.
The researchers reviewed a number of studies that linked vitamin D deficiency to heart disease. The studies said rates of severe heart disease or death may be 30 percent to 50 percent higher in sun-deprived heart disease patients.
Diet alone isn't sufficient to manage vitamin D levels, said the study.
Treatment options, such as vitamin D2 or D3, may decrease the risk of severe heart disease or death. The preferred range in the body is 30-60 ng/mL of 25 (OH) vitamin D, the study suggested.
"Most physicians do not routinely test for vitamin D deficiency. However, most experts would agree that adults at risk for heart disease and others who experience fatigue, joint pain, or depression should have their vitamin D levels measured," said study author Sue Penckofer.
The study was published in the November issue of the journal Circulation.
Source: Life Extension Organisation News http://www.lef.org/news/LefDailyNews.htm?NewsID=7605&Section=VITAMINS&source=DHB_081126&key=Body+ContinueReading
Can you find a fountain of youth at the supermarket? Are the secrets to a long life hidden there among the toaster pastries and potato chips?
Not exactly, but supermarket shelves do contain numerous foods associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and other afflictions of aging. You just have to know where to look.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are best, but canned goods offer convenience and good nutritional value.
The processing of tomatoes actually increases the bioavailability of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps neutralize highly reactive and damaging free radicals in the body. Lycopene in tomato paste is four times more available than it is in fresh tomatoes.
Canned beans are a useful alternative for those who don't have the time or inclination to soak raw beans. The soluble fiber found in beans makes you feel full for longer and may help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol. Black beans, kidney beans and lima beans are good choices.
"You should drain and rinse them to get rid of the extra sodium," says Shelley Rael, a registered dietitian with the University of New Mexico Employee Health Promotion program.
The canned goods aisle is a good place to get a head start on meeting the American Heart Association's recommendation of two servings per week of fish. Canned varieties like tuna, sardines, salmon and mackerel are among the best sources of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce risk factors associated with cancer and heart disease and are important for brain health.
"Buy the fish packed in water, not oil," advises Rael. "The fish oil is in the fish, not the stuff it's packed in."
The insoluble fiber in whole grain bread is important for colon health and helps to regulate blood sugar levels, which is important in avoiding diabetes.
Whole grains also have antioxidants. Beware of deceptive labeling that promises "whole wheat flour" or "made with whole grains."
"Make sure 'whole grain' is listed as the first ingredient," says Rael.
The active bacterial cultures in yogurt are thought to improve the balance of microorganisms in the intestinal tract and enhance the immune system. In addition, yogurt offers a good source of calcium to help ward off osteoporosis.
Besides providing the most complete source of protein, eggs contain choline, which may help protect against age-related memory loss.
Eggs also are great sources of the carotenoids a class of plant pigments with antioxidant properties. A 2007 National Eye Institute study found that two carotenoids in eggs -- lutein and zeaxanthin -- protect against macular degeneration, a condition that leads to blindness.
Eggs from chicken that have been fed flax seeds contain essential omega-3 fatty acids.
and cooking oils
Bypass the salad dressings high in saturated fat and make your own with olive oil and cider vinegar.
Olive oil, the prime component of the Mediterranean diet, is a good source of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. The extra virgin variety has higher levels of antioxidants.
Cider vinegar has been used since ancient times for a variety of ailments, and recent research suggests it could help lower blood glucose levels and cholesterol.
Once reserved for health food stores, bulk items are increasingly common in supermarket chains and a good place to get raw nuts and legumes.
Raw nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, the healthy fats associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids and almonds are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Peanuts, which are actually legumes, provide a good source of monounsaturated fat and resveratrol, the much-touted antioxidant thought to protect against atherosclerosis. One ounce of peanuts contains as much resveratrol as six cups of red grapes.
The frozen food section is where many well-planned diets hit the rocks. But near the ice cream, pies and cakes, you'll find an abundance of frozen fruits, including blueberries, an antioxidant powerhouse.
Dark chocolate, or chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa, is a good antioxidant that has been shown to lower blood pressure and trigger the release of dopamine, a mood booster. Watch the portion size, as dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat.
Milk chocolate and chocolate syrup don't offer the same benefits, as the manufacturing process removes most of the flavonoids.
Dried fruit offers the health benefits of fruit in convenient, snack-sized packages. Try dried cranberries, a relatively recent arrival to supermarket shelves that has loads of antioxidants.
Stay away from cereal with cartoon characters on the boxes and consider oatmeal instead.
Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating a diet rich in oats significantly lowers both blood pressure and cholesterol.
While it's hard to go wrong with vegetables, some pack more nutritional power than others.
"Generally, the more color the vegetable has, the more nutrients it has," says Rael.
With lutein and other nutrients, spinach makes a more nutritious salad base than iceberg lettuce.
Cabbage is another good choice for salads. A study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that men who consumed three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli per week had a 44 percent lower prostate cancer risk.
Aromatic veggies like garlic and onions are rich in sulfurcontaining compounds that may help lower blood pressure, protect against cancer and prevent atherosclerosis.
Sweet potatoes and carrots are excellent sources of beta carotene, the antioxidant and vitamin A precursor.
Fruits offer a variety of nutrients, from the fiber of apples to the potassium of bananas.
Avocados have the highest omega-3 content of all fruits.
Kiwis, grapefruits, watermelons and apricots are great sources of vitamins and antioxidants.
Coffee beans contain antioxidants and caffeine, which has been linked to a lower risk of colon cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.
Green and black tea contain about 25 percent flavonoids, another class of plant pigments with antioxidant properties.
Though more research is needed, green tea has shown promise at helping to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, while black tea has shown potential for reducing the risk of stroke.
Just remember that the caffeine in coffee and many teas has negative health effects, including anxiety, upset stomach and irregular heartbeat.
Have a plan
Eating healthfully not only means stocking up on healthful foods, but also keeping the junk food out of the shopping cart.
Rael, who teaches classes in grocery shopping and meal planning, says shoppers can accomplish this by devising a plan of attack before they set foot in the supermarket.
"You should make a list and stick to it, whether you have a meal plan for a week or a few days," she recommends. "Familiarize yourself with the layout of your local store, and only go down the aisles you need to go down."
And one more thing: Don't go to the supermarket when you're hungry.
"Have a snack before you go food shopping," urges Rael. "If you go to the store hungry, everything looks good, from the Fruit Loops to the ice cream."
Accessed: 1 Jan 2009
updated Sept 2013