I have written previously to sing the praises of magnesium and now I carry thetorch for potassium. Potassium should be the third most common element in your bodybut often, for several reasons. it is not. Many people are on diuretics for their bloodpressure, heart failure, or edema and, unless they are careful with their electrolytes,their potassium can go dangerously low. You have to be careful because certain bloodpressure pills like ACE inhibitors and ARBs can cause your potassium to go too high.Even certain diuretics can be associated with high potassium . Both high and lowpotassium are dangerous. Luckily your doctor can and should be checking this on aregular basis with your bloodwork.
Potassium is crucial for the normal function of your heart, your nervous systemand muscle function. It is also important in blood pressure management. If yourPotassium or Magnesium are too low that can cause your blood pressure to go up.That’s right…a shortage of either element can be a cause of your hypertension. Theseminerals should be checked in every patient with a blood pressure problem and berepleated before your doctor reaches for the blood pressure pills. The reason thatpotassium is important in blood pressure control is because it has a significant effecton muscle contraction and arterial wall relaxation, but most Americans reportedly gethalf of the recommended daily allowance. A banana a day is not enough potassium tomake a real difference in your health. The average reported intake of potassium fromfood is about half of the 4,700 milligrams (mg) recommended. Research demonstratesthat these low levels of potassium may have a significant impact on blood pressure,especially as it relates to the amount of salt normally found in a Western diet accordingto Dr. Paul Welton, professor of epidemiology at Tulane School of Public Health andTropical Medicine, who did an analysis in 1997 of over 29 trials that demonstrated lowlevels of potassium resulted in higher systolic blood pressure readings. According toDr Welton studies performed since then have found similar results.
“The evidence is very strong and very consistent. A higher potassium intakemay blunt the effects of excess salt on blood pressure. Potassium’s effect isbigger in people who have higher blood pressure, bigger in older people,bigger in people who are consuming a lot of salt and bigger in black people.”
Other recent research found that “women without hypertension who consumed themost potassium (nearly 3,200 mg/day) had a 21 percent reduced risk of stroke. Further, women who consumed the most potassium were 12 percent less likely to die during thestudy period than those who consumed the least”
According to a recent review article by Dr Mercola “Potassium should be thethird most abundant mineral in the human body. Adequate amounts of potassium arealso associated with quicker recovery from exercise and improved muscle strength. Asan electrolyte, potassium helps to regulate the fluid balance in your cells and throughoutyour body. Fluid balance is essential to maintaining life, preventing dehydration at thecellular level and maintaining brain function. Potassium is important in the transmissionof nerve impulses in your brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system.”
There is evidence that low levels of potassium have been linked with high levelsof insulin and glucose, associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. So ,clearly, keeping your potassium at the right level is important. As I said earlier, if youhave any doubts about your potassium level you can easily have your blood checked butyou have to ask for the more sensitive Red Blood Cell Potassium if you want realaccuracy. As Dr Mercola points out “Getting nutrients from your food instead ofsupplements is preferable as your food contains more than a single nutrient and indifferent forms. For instance, potassium found in fruits and vegetables is potassiumcitrate or potassium malate, while supplements are often potassium chloride. Thecitrate and malate forms help produce alkali, which may promote bone health andpreserve lean muscle mass as you age.
So when you are told your blood pressure is too high, rather than reach for yetanother medication, why not look at your magnesium and potassium intake and theirlevels in your blood and work on the basis of your illness than on just trying to medicateit away. The pills will lower your blood pressure but they don’t address the underlyingcause of your high blood pressure and they have many many side effects. Work withyour doctor to focus on the basics…improving your diet, replacing electrolytes, gettingsome exercise etc. If you don’t manage your wellness the medical profession willmanage your illness but we don’t have a great track record of restoring your health.Remember what Thomas Edison said way back in 1903.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care ofthe human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Until then…getwell….stay well.
Great Barrington Declaration https://gbdeclaration.org/
Sounds like a somber and weighty peace treaty but the Great Barrington Declaration is nothing of the sort. Rather, the Declaration is an open letter published on October 4th 2020 to world leaders beseeching them to avoid another COVID 19 lockdown. Named after a place in Massachusetts the Declaration is the work of three scientists ….each of whom are experts in this field.
Recurrent lockdowns seem to be sweeping the globe as I write this in early December. Lockdown fatigue is also quite prominent but we are told to appeal to reason and follow the science and listen to the experts. Which science and which experts are you hearing from? Since the mainstream media and our governmental authorities are doing a good job presenting the pro- lockdown side let me present a different point of view. Of course, it’s not just my opinion, it’s the opinion of three very different but very accomplished scientists from some of the absolute top education institutions in America. That’s what makes this so important and so credible. I am not quoting some obscure academician from a nowhere junior college.
The “experts”touted by the media say millions of lives have been saved by the lockdowns. These scientists argue just the opposite. Here are the bios taken directly from the website.
Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.
Dr. Sunetra Gupta , professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya , professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.
A little more about Dr Bhattacharya who recently elaborated on the Declaration in an article written in Imprimis..a publication of Hillsdale college.
Dr Bhattacharya is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, where he received both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in economics. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and director of the Stanford Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging. A co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, his research has been published in economics, statistics, legal, medical, public health, and health policy journals.
So Oxford, Stanford and Harvard. Pretty impressive lineup of scientists with special expertise in this area who have reviewed the data and have concluded that the lockdown has been a global disaster with terrible consequences especially among the poor. Here I quote directly from his remarks “ Those who dare to talk about the tremendous economic harms that have followed from the lockdowns are accused of heartlessness. Economic considerations are nothing compared to saving lives, they are told. So I’m not going to talk about the economic effects—I’m going to talk about the deadly effects on health, beginning with the fact that the U.N. has estimated that 130 million additional people will starve this year as a result of the economic damage resulting from the lockdowns In the last 20 years we’ve lifted one billion people worldwide out of poverty. This year we are reversing that progress to the extent—it bears repeating—that an estimated 130 million more people will starve.”
Here is a copy of the Great Barrington Declaration for your own perusal. I am one of the 36,000 thousand physicians who have signed the Declaration along with 600,000 private citizens and over 12,000 medical and public health scientists. If we have to trust the experts …why not these experts…?
The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.
Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.
Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.
Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.
As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.
The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.
Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.
Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.
On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States.
TIS THE SEASON
Well, the coronavirus continues its wrecking ball ways with our lives both personally and professionally and it’s certainly had a big effect on our holidays. With that in mind I am not going to nag you this season about too much eggnog…too much Netflix bingeing…or too little exercise. I am not going to spend this column on advice for getting through the holidays which are always a stressful period for some people even in the best of times. Maybe having so many events cancelled or prohibited will give those people more time to focus on what’s important or at least to de-stress. What I am going to write about is some Christmas gift suggestions that you might not have thought about. Don’t expect ugly sweaters, exercise videos or a tin of muffins on this list. Obviously, gym memberships and season tickets are off the table right now as well.
First , why not give the gift of information and have it be the gift that keeps on giving. I am talking about getting your friends and loved ones a health newsletter. For years I have given a subscription to my friends and family to Reason the libertainian magazine just to give them a different perspective but at this point in our lives I worry more about their health than their political leanings. Sure, you can go to Cleveland Clinic or Harvard Health Letter but may I suggest you take a little walk on the wild side and try Dr Sherry Rogers newsletter and get a completely different perspective on your health and healthcare from the regular medical establishment. And you can order it digitally so no worries about the mail, etc. It’s available from Prestige Publishing on the net. Dr Rogers looks at your health from a molecular level instead of a body organ level to get to the real heart of illness. If your mitochondria aren’t happy you aren’t happy and your corner doctor really doesn’t know how to evaluate that. Of course , you know that you need to measure insulin resistance and your essential fatty acid Omega 3:6 ratio and your triglyceride/ HDL ratio etc and Dr Rogers covers all this each month.
Next, if you really love someone get them a heart scan. Heart disease is the number one killer in America and often strikes without warning. Most people just don’t think about their health until something goes wrong. Your family member or friend’s heart and health are too important for that. Get them a Calcium Score. Not a stress test…that type of heart test will only be abnormal when it’s the end of the line. Get them a Cardiac Calcium Score. This is a 120 dollar scan done right here in town and measures the calcium in a patient’s heart arteries. Many studies have shown a very good correlation between the amount of calcium in your arteries with the likelihood of having a heart attack or sudden death in the future. NASA uses it but the vast majority of local cardiologists prefer the old fashioned but high tech stress test even though the calcium score can show you about possible heart trouble building up years and years before things get to stenting or bypass. I say make this a gift because typically insurance will not cover this test yet even though it’s been around for 20 years. Watch the documentary “Widowmaker” for free on YouTube and decide for yourself.
If you want to keep your gift giving local, why not give the gift of Optimism by setting your friend or loved one up with Tim Smith’s Smile Therapy. This is an internet service that starts each day with an uplifting quote, sentiment or story. How you start your day determines your day and who doesn’t need a little positivity first thing in the morning. It’s another gift that keeps on giving. Mr Smith is a local guy and a positive force in the Universe so check out his website for yourself or someone you care about. .
Let’s finish off high tech and personal. Why not get something for yourself. Why not treat yourself to the possibility you can change something in yourself. I have had multiple patients tell me that they changed something about themselves..some habit or activity ..using the Noom app on their phone. There are a variety of apps to help you change yourself whether it’s to stop smoking or to lose weight. You use that phone for many questionable or unimportant things..why not harness its potential to really make a positive impact on your health. You never know until you try so what’s stopping you from trying ? Until next column and next year….Get Well and Stay Well..
TO SUPPLEMENT OR NOT TO SUPPLEMENT THAT IS THE QUESTION
Let’s talk collagen it’s the major structural protein in numerous tissues of the body including your tendons or ligaments, the blood vessels, the muscles, the gut tissues and your skin and cartilage. According to Rhonda Patrick found my fitness. They are the most abundant proteins in the body compromising about 30% of the total protein Mass unfortunately aging reduces protein synthesis and one protein synthesis that’s reduced in aging is collagen so as you get older you don’t make collagen as frequently or as copiously as when you’re younger.
Now you’re familiar with the double helix that’s DNA but collagen has a triple helix that is composed of about 1400 amino acids. There have been 28 distinct collagen proteins identified and they differ in their interactions with other proteins and location within the body. For instance , collagen type 1 and type 3 in the connective tissues, the tendons, the corneas, the bones, the skin and blood vessels Collagen type 2 is found primarily in cartilage cells. Collagen types 1, 2, and 3 are the most abundant collagen types in the body and are made up primarily of glycine, proline and hydroxyproline; these are individual amino acids that are linked together to form these collagen complexes. The sequence of the amino acids and the relative amounts determine whether it’s type 1 2 or 3 etc.
Why am I taking you down this little science highway? Because college is important and there’s something you can do about the fact that it slows down as you age.Collagen type 1 2 and 3 are typically hydrolyzed and used as oral supplements which have shown promise in improving skin health ,decreasing joint pain and improving hypertension no less. When you take natural collagen and heat it up you denature it and you get shorter peptide chains and it forms gelatin Again, it’s the same amino acids; glycine Proline and hydroxyproline. The one amino acid that seems to be absent is the essential amino acid tryptophan so you can’t use collagen as a general protein supplement even though it contains amino acids. You can get this hydrolyzed collagen from chickens, marine animals, pigs and cows. The one concern regarding sourcing your collagen is that if you get it from non bovine sources you do not have to worry about the possibility of mad cow disease People think that bone broth is a good source of collagen but the key components of amino acids, that are, glycine , proline and hydroxyproline were found in lower concentrations in bone broth compared to typical collagen supplements. So , I don’t think bone broth is necessarily a great collagen source but I do think it’s nutritious. Now, once you are taking your collagen how is it absorbed ? Well, hydrolyzed collagen, the kind you get when you buy it in the store probably is even better absorbed because it’s shorter chains then undenatured collagen straight from the source be it marine or mammal.
I had read previously that the collagen that you ingest doesn’t necessarily go into the joints but the ingestion of the collagen prompts the body to produce its own cartilage which is deposited in the joints. However , according to Rhonda Patrick (foundmy fitness.com) at least in rats the oral consumption of hydrolyzed collagen is deposited directly into the skin and joints. Rhonda Patrick points out that by the time a person reaches 80 years old collagen production in the skin has decreased by 70% compared to young adults. Of the skins total collagen, type 1 collagen comprises about 80% with type 2 comprising 15%. Topical collagen as used in cosmetics really doesn’t have a direct effect on collagen stimulation or production in the skin it does hydrate the skin and makes wrinkles less prominent. The topical preparation is not being incorporated into the actual skin but the ingestion of oral hydrolyzed collagen has shown positive effects on improving skin aging and is incorporated into the dermis itself.
As outlined again in foundmyfitness.com, oral intake of hydrolyzed collagen elicited the reversal in the natural decline of skin’s elasticity in aging women There are other critical components as well including Chondroitin sulfate which is an important structural component of cartilage while hyaluronic acid is a structural component of cartilage, connective, epithelial, and neural tissue.
What about collagen supplements in osteoarthritis? Several studies have shown that both placebo and commercial supplements report significant decrease in pain compared to baseline but there is a big difference between the collagen product 35% reduction and 15% reduction with placebo. So placebo helped but clearly collagen supplements worked twice as well as placebo with no serious adverse events reported in this trial.
Furthermore, hydrolyzed collagen may be helpful to bone health. Randomized controlled studies found that hydrolyzed collagen increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Interestingly enough, hydrolyzed collagen has been shown to have a beneficial effect even in rheumatoid arthritis and I’m not talkin 1% or 2% Improvement I’m talking 30% – 50% Improvement in either morning stiffness, swollen joint count , 50 foot walking time etc.
Hydrolyzed collagen has also been studied in athletic joint pain and again both placebo and collagen diminish pain but as before collagen diminishes it by 40% and placebo by 28% so it’s not overwhelming but there’s a positive benefit with no obvious side effects.
Now for the most interesting part, hydrolyzed collagen may be effective at reducing blood pressure and improving metabolic function of people with type 2 diabetes. Multiple studies have found that hydrolyzed collagen primarily from marine sources (bones and skin if you must know ) exhibits antihypertensive activity. There are no big human studies proving that collagen lowers blood pressure yet.. Marine hydrolyzed collagen has also been shown to improve glucose sensitivity and insulin resistance in rodent studies. Most of us aren’t rats but still it’s supportive evidence and in humans hydrolyzed collagen powder induced a notable decrease in hemoglobin A1c including the fact that those receiving hydrolyzed collagen had a 20% decrease in fasting blood glucose after 3 months.
What’s the right dose? Well that’s a good question. Different studies have used 50 mL of liquid supplement containing 1000 mg. Some studies use 300mg twice a day or a gram twice a day to studies that used 5 grams twice-a-day etcetera so draw your own conclusions as to the appropriate and righteous dose for you. If you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, athletic pain, changes in your skin etcetera why not take a month or two of this supplement and see for yourself if you feel better. Many people do and the dangers seem quite limited. For references go to found my fitness.com… type in collagen and you’ll see that everything I’ve written here is well-documented and footnoted etcetera.
I write today to once again save your life or at least try to. You can’t see or feel or taste the Coronavirus which will directly affect a few people tremendously and most of us not at all. However, there is something else you are constantly exposed to that you can’t see, feel, or taste that is ruinous to your health and that is glyphosate.
What I’m talking about is the active ingredient in Roundup which started out as a pipe cleaner and then graduated to herbicide but if I understand it correctly is also patented as an antibiotic. None of these things can be good for the bugs in your gut. Not only is glyphosate toxic to the bugs in your gut but it’s also toxic to the lining of your gut itself. This drug blows holes in the gut lining and therefore creates inflammation. Inflammation equals immune system overactivation equals chronic illness.
Most of us have less than 2 square meters of skin surface but the lining of our guts, if stretched out, would equal the surface area of two tennis courts. The lining of our gut is very thin, one or two cells only, and chemicals like glyphosate directly attack the tight junctions which maintain gut integrity. If that weren’t enough this drug, separate from what it does to the microbiome and to the gut lining itself, is also directly toxic to the mitochondria in almost every cell of your body. Glyphosate also affects your health on a cellular basis since it, in part, resembles the amino acid glycine and gets incorporated into proteins, cell membranes, Etc. Glycosade has been implicated in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Glyphosate has been found, according to the European Working Groups website and many others, to be in breakfast cereals, pasta, flour-based products, oat based products, oat-based products, and even in most of the red wines that have been tested. Every American has almost certainly measurable levels of glyphosate in our bodies. A study published in Ecowatch in 2016 showed that 93% of Americans tested had glyphosate in their urine. If it’s measured in the urine that means you’ve ingested it and it’s gone through your body to reach your kidneys so it’s affected both the bugs in your gut and your own cells.
Let me put it to you a little more bluntly; this is food poisoning. You are being poisoned slowly but surely. Of course the Bayer Corporation is going to say these are microscopic levels and is considered safe by the government but it’s having its adverse effects on microscopic bacteria so it’s all relative. The more processed food you eat the more glycosade you’re being exposed to. Remember, I’m talking about the stuff you’re already eating pizza and Cheerios all of which is almost certainly contaminated with this chemical which is sprayed on crops all around the globe to the tune of 6 billion pounds a year. Roundup is commonly used in conjunction with genetically modified food stock to maximize food production. You maximize food production by poisoning all the other plants / weeds. More recently and very widespread is also aggressively used to ripen the crop for harvest.
Map out, as I have, a picture of the United States of America with cancer rates per state. Now superimpose a map showing the greatest amount of glycosade contamination and you will see when you superimpose these two maps that they line up in the scary fashion. This does not prove cause Amity obviously but I don’t think you could ignore this obvious data.
Okay, so we can agree that the biome in your stomach is important. You’re nothing more than a fellow traveler to them. Of the DNA and RNA we could recover from your body, human DNA is only 4% of that so there’s a lot of genetic material inside you that can affect your health. What happens to the bugs in your gut is important. You want a tropical rainforest not a desert. You want all kinds of creatures great and small living in perfect harmony not intestinal armageddon.The international Agency for research on cancer part of the World Health Organization announced on March 20, 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
The most recent issue of Consumer Reports also addressed the question of pesticides and concluded that many fruits and vegetables have dangerous amounts of pesticides. They did not specifically address glyphosate because that is found more in the grains, the wheats, the Oats etc.
So, if this dangerous chemical whose long-term effects have only begun to be appreciated is found in almost everything we’re eating, what’s the course of action? How do you preserve your health against this singular act of food poisoning? You have to buy local. You have to know the people who are growing your food and you have to ask them directly what they’re spraying on it. You can’t wash these chemicals off. They are not inactivated by pressure cooking . You have to minimize the processed foods and you’ve got to read the labels. Change your diet like your life depends on it because in point of fact it does. Until next month, get well and stay well.
Until recently I thought the biggest risk to your health was insulin resistance. Now I know better. I can fix your insulin resistance in a day or two .. What is much harder to correct is your vegetable fat poisoning. That’s right …the seed oils like canola, corn oil , sunflower oil etc that line your kitchen cabinets are slowly poisoning you. What’s even more maddening is that these oils are recommended by both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
Their reasoning is that these are healthy oils because they lower cholesterol. What they completely ignore is that these man-made oils are unnatural and do devastating damage to every cell in your body. This is not idle speculation, this is an obvious proven fact. Check out the references below and you will never be the same. Run, do not walk ,to your kitchen and toss these oils in the hazardous waste bin where they belong.
In 1890 5% of our fat calories came from animal fat ; butter, tallow and lard. By 198686% of added fat came from vegetable oils This is a complete and Incredibly dramatic reversal of our fat sources. This created a dietary change never-before-seen in the history of man because these oils had never existed in the past and WE won’t exist in the future if we keep using them. These seed oils are made in big refineries and look identical to motor oil. They don’t belong in your body. It’s been calculated that the average american consumes 80 g of these oils a day, over 700 calories.
The great Weston Price foundation looked at diets of people all over the world. Some diets had very very high carbs. Some diets had very very high fats. Neither of these diets produced significant amounts of heart disease, cancer, dementia, blindness etc. The introduction of excess sugars, refined flour ,and the seed oils has been ruinous to every country where they have been introduced. These oils are pro atherogenic, inflammatory, pro-oxidative, and demonstrably toxic. The danger of these oils is they contain excessive amounts of Omega 6 oils.. linoleic acid chief among them. You need tiny amounts of Linoleic acid in your diet in order to make Cardiolipin which is an essential component of the inner matrix of the mitochondria. Excessive linoleic acid completely distorts these membranes making the cells leaky therefore inefficient therefore you have mitochondrial dysfunction which is at the heart of most diseases. These oils are also nutrient deficient and rats fed these oils suffer from the consequences of no vitamin A and vitamin K. Additionally animals fed the exact same amount of calories gained dramatically more weight when the canola oil/linoleic acid was used instead of other fats. So even eating the exact same amount of calories these animals became dramatically obese and there is a direct correlation between obesity and American and increasing consumption of these vegetable oils. It’s only data in rats but the evidence is conclusive that high levels of linoleic acid are directly related to heart failure and diabetes and, as previously mentioned, obesity. If you want to lose weight get off all of these oils . It will take quite some time to flush them out of your system. It may take up to two years so you have to start immediately.
Of course once you heat these oils up as they do in every commercial application like every fast food place and every restaurant in America you produce breakdown products which are also toxic and carcinogenic. That’s right, the repeated use of these oils creates chemicals that are known carcinogens and are found in every fast food restaurant and for that matter every restaurant in America.
If you take nothing else from this article you must immediately go to your cupboards and get rid of all of those vegetable oils. Get rid of all those commercially prepared salad dressings. Much healthier are olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. Any other oil is a poison to you. Understand that every time you go out to eat you are being poisoned by these oils. I have recently taken to just getting my salads with a bunch of lemon slices which I squeeze over them. It’s not a bad dressing and I know that I’m getting healthy vegetables and not sabotaging the meal with the salad dressing. I am not sabotaging the meal I am sabotaging my health by using these other oils.This is an easy fix; read the label , if it says any canola oil sunflower oil safflower oil etc. it is poison to you.
Don’t be afraid of butter. Butter is your best friend. Butter is natural, the seed oils are not. We are nowhere near as healthy as prior generations and the only explanation I can understand is that our lifestyles are worse and that means our diets are worse. Of course we get much last activities than prior generations and that doesnt help but we consume the most seed oils of all time, these unnatural omega-6’s and we have the greatest disease burden of all time in terms of Alzheimer’s and heart disease and cancer. Like it or not these oils all fundamentally create underperforming cells at the molecular and cellular level. If you don’t give your body the correct building blocks and force it to choose inferior materials for the very essence of your cellular being you’re going to get what we have today. You’re a hot mess and it starts with these oils. Get the sugar under control. Do the oil change; that is, increase your consumption of fish, fish oils, nuts etc. and end your consumption of the processed oils. You must get your omega 3 level up and your omega-6 level down. To save your life get rid of all of the vegetable oils you’ve got in that cupboard today. Watch any of the superb lectures by Dr. Chris Knobbe ….. it’s only data in rats but the evidence is conclusive that high levels of linoleic acid/ Omega 6 are directly related to heart failure and diabetes and as, previously mentioned, obesity. if you want to lose weight ,if you want to lose the fatigue, if you want to improve your health overall…get off all of these oils It will take quite some time to flush them out of your system. It may take up to two years so the sooner you start the better.
This information is not new. Again, I urge you to challenge your doctor about this. This is an essential part of your health; knowing your Omega 3 6 ratio. It should be a 1:4 ratio and most of you are way past that! The higher the ratio the worse your cellular health.
So, I have given you immediate action to take. I have given you suggestions to bring to your health care provider. I have given you references to pursue further research. What’s stopping you now.?!
I am always on the lookout for new and better ways to assess the health of patients. Your doctor is measuring your cholesterol, your weight, your blood sugar and your blood pressure and checking for anemia etc…Important measures to be sure but available for decades and not at all inclusive. What your doctor should be measuring is your insulin resistance, your triglyceride / Hdl ratio and your Omega 3 : Omega 6 ratio because these are all markers of your metabolic health and are as important or more important than the traditional labs and they are usually covered by your insurance. As I have written about in the past your blood sugar will be normal for years even if you have metabolic syndrome (which more than half of the American population has) and only by measuring insulin and insulin resistance can you properly assess your metabolic flexibility and status of your pancreas. The triglyceride / Hdl ratio is another independent marker of your nutritional health and I think it’s a far more important measure than your total cholesterol or your ldl cholesterol which is often erroneously referred to as your “bad” cholesterol. The higher your ratio the worse your diet is. This is being measured already by your healthcare provider but they are focused on the cholesterol which is nowhere near as important as this ratio. This ratio is a marker for insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome while cholesterol is not. Finally the Omega 3 : 6 ratio is a marker for brain, heart and cellular health. Again, the lower the ratio the better. If you are 1 : 4 that’s very good and suggests you are getting enough anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s and are avoiding the deadly excess of Omega 6 found in processed food and the seed oils.
There is a new way to measure overall health, biological and cellular health and it’s called the phase angle. Ok, it’s been around for years but it’s new to me. Your gym is using some form of the same technology. The principle revolves around straight physics and how your different body tissues..bone, fat, muscle etc react to gentle electrical currents. The science is called bioelectrical impedance and the same set of measurements will check your visceral body fat, your lean muscle mass, the intracellular and extracellular water content etc. I think measuring these is an excellent idea for anyone to do to get some objective measures of their health. The phase angle measurement is even more important because it reflects your overall cellular heath and therefore your overall health. Multiple papers have been published that link your phase angle to frailty, and nutritional status and aging. Phase angles are different for men and women and are generally higher early in life, and in people who are healthier overall. You can get your phase angle measured and then make changes to your diet and exercise and get remeasured to assess your success. We know your chronological age..the phase angle can give us a sense of your biological age. So you could be 50 years of age but have a phase angle that suggests your body is testing more like 40 or more like 60. You cant just compare numbers between people like you can with all the other measures above because it is affected by age and sex but your number can be used as a reference for your overall health. I just bought a machine and will start testing my patients so we can see how they are doing on an ongoing basis…I expect based on the literature that improvements in their weight, their insulin resistance, their Omega oil ratio etc that they will get a higher ( better ) score. I will use this info to reinforce their progress. Knowledge is power after all. Speaking of which, as always, I would not have you trust whatever you read here…do your own research and I suggest starting with the following references. Just enter them on the search bar and the study should pop up.
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This is not expensive technology. Ask your doctor about it or have you already caused a commotion by asking for the other tests listed above? Heaven forbid you should ask about the Cardiac Calcium Score and find out about your degree of heart disease years before standard stress testing would reveal it. I’m going to have my phase angle measured next week and if it doesn’t say I have the body of a 30 year old I am going to throw it out !
Depending on the process, costs of testing etc I am thinking about offering to do this test to any one who makes a contribution to one of my favorite charities….Hope for the Bereaved, Helping Hounds, Father Chaplains Guardian Angel Society and Clearpath for Vets. I don’t need the business but you need the testing so stay tuned.
Until next month….get well and stay well. J T BARRY MD
I bring you something different altogether for you this month from my usual dietary diatribes and Covid 19 speculations. I have been seeing more and more articles come up about the use of molecular hydrogen to improve your health and thought I would give you an early heads up. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It makes up ⅔ of the oceans . For that matter 55% of the atoms in your body are hydrogen.
New interest in hydrogen came out of Japan in 2007 where a mitochondrial researcher was looking for ways to minimize the build up of the toxic compounds generated by energy production. This researcher found that by using molecular hydrogen he got SELECTIVE reduction in the free radicals. From there an explosion of interest has occurred and of course is readily available on the internet.
Mitochondria are the power generators for almost all of the cells in your body. They produce energy but also produce as a by product reactive hydrogen species. These are oxidants and you can look anywhere and see the interest in antioxidants has grown exponentially. Hydrogen can directly work with the ROS (reactive hydrogen species) as well as independently activate autophagy, the body’s clean- house mechanism. Hydrogen chemically acts to diminish inflammation as well. If you do the research there is an alphabet soup of pathways that are activated by hydrogen.
Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is so small that it can penetrate into every cell in your body. It can penetrate through glass, plastic and many substances so it has no difficulty going through even your bulk. It’s inert and it’s safe.
Interestingly enough you produce your own hydrogen or at least the bugs in your gut do….daily. A diet high in fiber feeds the bugs that produce the hydrogen but you can ingest extra hydrogen for extra benefit.
After drinking a glass of hydrogen water it can circulate through the body in about 10 minutes. It is excreted through the lungs in about an hour but its effects on DNA repair and downstream benefits last a day. Various studies have been done and continue to be done to be regarding hydrogen benefits. It’s available in a gas form as an inhaled agent and hydrogen baths and hydrogen water. You can dissolve about 1.5 parts per million into water. Practically speaking there are three commercially available ways to make hydrogen water. You can buy a water alkalizing machine that also hydrogenates, you can buy a hydrogen generating “stick” you put into a container of water or you can buy elemental magnesium tabs that generate hydrogen when you put them in water. Until recently you really had no way of knowing if there was actual hydrogen in the water but test strips and solutions have become available.
Hydrogen water therapy is being used and explored to treat Parkinson’s disease as well as brain ischemia, that is , stroke and heart ischemia ,that is, .heart attacks. Most of this research is being conducted outside of the confines of the United States but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inferior.
I am going to try the tablets and see if I feel differently or if any of my labs improve. If you see me, ask about my experience and I will gladly update you. Below are some references for you from a wide variety of sources. Migraines? Chronic Fatigue? Since there are no real dangers of molecular hydrogen at these concentrations you really have little to lose. Until next month …get well and stay well.
Hopefully, things will be approaching some semblance of normalcy soon. Many of you have skipped doctors visits of all sorts or tried the telemedicine visit. Oh , don’t go feeling sorry for us healthcare professionals. I’m not writing this column to drum up business. As long as you insist on eating at McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King etc etc etc healthcare is never going to be wanting for business. As long as you continue to follow the current published dietary guidelines I will be busy for the foreseeable future. So will all the surgeons and other doctors. So when you do, in fact, go back and have an in-person visit let me walk you through what you should really be focused on.
Of course you should talk about your overall health and that has to involve some conversation about your national status. You can look at this in three broad categories of intake ; proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Protein is very easy to measure both total protein and albumin in a simple and inexpensive blood test . But to measure the individual amino acids is much more expensive and complex so it’s the cheapest component to test for but it’s almost always normal so unless it’s out of range it doesn’t tell you much.
Moving now to measuring how you’re doing in terms of your carbohydrate intake is the test for insulin and sugar. A simple mathematical calculation provides your level of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance equals metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome equals increased risk of heart attack, cancer, stroke, early death, obesity, dementia, arthritis etc have I left anyone out? By measuring your insulin resistance you will get a sense of how your body is handling sugar / carbohydrates. This blood sample needs to be drawn fasting. But, it can be done over and over again to assess your response to changes in your diet. This gives you yet another independent, reliable, and validated tool to tell us, like, Hemoglobin A1c etc of how you are doing in your management of sugar. The insulin level is going to be abnormal long before the hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar tests are abnormal. Your doctor or healthcare provider hasn’t ordered it because they have focused on the sugar but your sugar’s will be in a normal range for years while your insulin is elevated. It’s not an expensive test. It’s very very simple to interpret ….the lower the number the better.
Finally it comes to measuring the fats in your diet and your fat management. It’s easy for your doctor to measure your cholesterol and of course the minute they do they focus on the number and if the number’s over 200 you’re on a statin. Unfortunately, the cholesterol hypothesis has been demonstrated to be false. The article referenced below is just one of many …. an up-to-date review of 19 different studies which, when examined ,showed an inverse relationship between your bad cholesterol (the LDL) and all-cause mortality meaning the higher your bad cholesterol the longer you lived. It’s painful for me as a 30-year healthcare provider to have to admit that what I’ve been promoting for years is just, in fact ,not true. So when I order your cholesterol panel I’m not concerned at all about your cholesterol unless it’s too low but I am worried about your triglyceride to HDL relationship because this, I think, really reflects your metabolic state. The higher the triglyceride to HDL ratio the worst your metabolic state. you are probably not focusing on this when you review your labs with your provider. This concept is really not new and it is part of the very definition for metabolic syndrome. Here’s the link to the article regarding the relationship between LDL cholesterol and mortality.
But wait, there’s more to explore in the world of fats and your diet. You must work with your doctor to measure your omega-6 and Omega-3 ratio. The omega-6 is the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid and the omega-6 is the inflammatory essential fatty acid. Examples of the major Omega-3s include EPA and DHA. These are found in fish oil, fish etc, Examples of the Omega-6 fatty acid would be arachidonic acid which along with cholesterol EPA and DHA makeup vital fats for your brain. It’s important though that they’re balanced and for most of us we are way out of balance due of course to the diet. The optimum Omega 6 and 3 ratio is 1:1 but most people have a 5 : 1 or 10 : 1 ratio which means that every cell in their body is affected by this distortion. This ratio is easy to measure and is actionable. Cut down the corn oil, the canola oil, the vegetable oils and cut down the fried foods. That will lower your omega-6 as you raise Omega-3s by either having more fish nuts Etc in your diet or by supplementing and, of course, I recommend cod liver oil just like Grandma used to do.
So now I’ve given you the information and the rationale to go to your doctors and have a proactive visit about what’s really important; these basic elemental markers of your nutritional status. If you’re not measuring your insulin resistance and you’re not measuring the Omega 6:3 ratio and you’re not measuring the triglyceride HDL ratio you’re flying in the dark with your health. Better fasten your seatbelt. Better yet… fast ! Luckily, all of those measures are completely controlled by you and your diet. These are simple inexpensive tests you can have repeated over time to measure your success in other than just the inches on your waist. These tests are reliable , usually covered by insurance , and give you a way to keep yourself honest. Now go get what you need! Until next month, get well and stay well.
JT BARRY MD
I was hoping to be able to write about something other than coronavirus this month hoping that the situation would be substantially behind us but as I prepare this column that’s clearly not the case. Of course I have recommended vitamin d and vitamin C and zinc and those are pretty obvious, generally available, extraordinarily safe supplements you can take to try and minimize your likelihood of infection and or minimize the degree of infection if you get it.
Hopefully, by the time this article is published we will have the antibody testing available for everyone who wants it. We will finally start to get a handle on who had a trivial infection and have a better sense of the real death rate etc. I sent a reference to a video in an email to all of my private patients but I feel it’s important enough to share with you as well. This video was one done by dr. Paul Masson and it’s entitled “How to Survive The Coronavirus The Effect Of Diet Part 1”. The link is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lJPjsuftmQ . I have on my way radio show talked about the possible role of high dose intravenous vitamin C the role of ultraviolet light and the role of ozone in the treatment of viral infections but this is something that requires medical intervention you can’t do any of these on your own. Doctor Mason’s video is about what you can do to improve your health and immune system. Of course he focuses on the diet and that’s music to my ears. As he elaborates diabetes, obesity , hypertension and heart disease all increase your risk of ending up in the ICU. Age is a risk factor but seems to be really related to the underlying illness not just the age. Healthy old people have less risk than sick young people or so the data shows so far. Dr Mason reviews the issues of metabolic syndrome…high waist circumference, hypertension, high triglycerides, low hdl cholesterol and fasting glucose over 100. Statistically speaking only 12% of adults in America have none of the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance , a hallmark of metabolic syndrome, clearly impairs the immune system in multiple ways. Even the cytokine storm is related to insulin resistance. Of course you can be insulin resistant for years before your blood glucose goes up so your doctor must check your insulin not your blood glucose to find out if you are insulin resistant. Most doctors just dont run this test. It’s cheap, easy to order and it’s easy to interpret.
Luckily you can change your insulin resistance very rapidly by changing your diet and removing the bulk of carbohydrates in your diet. Lose the sugar and regain your health. Yes, I know you are addicted to sugar…we all are. But study after study shows low carb diets improve health…resolve insulin resistance…promote weight loss etc.
Dr Mason also reviews cholesterol and how high cholesterol is protective against infection. That’s right high hdl cholesterol makes you less likely to get infection and less likely to become septic if you do get infected. In his video he reviews major papers that completely disprove the cholesterol hypothesis that your cardiologist clings to… Cholesterol bad…must lower the number. Dr Mason uses important published research to completely shred the idea that it’s good to lower your cholesterol and saturated fats are bad for you. Bring this article to your doctor, your cardiologist and ask them to watch it and refute anything he is saying and they will be unable to. Of course most of them will not even watch it because they have been trained to believe cholesterol is evil and that’s that. Again , high cholesterol is protective against infection, sepsis and all cause mortality and the evidence is real , convincing and overwhelming if you just look at the research. Need another reference? Try Dr Malcolm Kendricks great book The Cholesterol Con.
So we are giving seniors the flu shot which demonstrably does not work to prevent death and hospitalization and according to published research this year increases the risk of getting ill with the coronavirus. On top of that we are giving statins to every senior we can convince to take them so it’s not surprising that this group has the highest rate of mortality with infections. My profession has much to answer for and it disturbs me that so many of my colleagues see this research and just shrug it off and can’t open their minds to the idea we have been making the wrong recommendations regarding your health.
Dr Masons video is a must see. He talks about treating patients on the ventilator. Often , because we were taught it was important, if patients are on the vent for any length of time , we feed them with tube feeds. This is a bad idea. The typical tube feeds are not healthy for you…I know ,I know they have been approved by the nutritionists / dieticians / intensivists etc but they contain unhealthy oils and sugars that do not , in any way, promote health and recovery. It has been demonstrated decades ago that starvation and fasting stimulate the immune system. High fat low carb feedings have been shown to cut down time on the ventilator. So what are the local hospitals using?
Next , Dr Mason takes on hypertension as the last component of the metabolic syndrome. Hypertension is associated with increased mortality in coronavirus infection. He shows that hypertension is not a problem of eating too much salt..it’s due to too much insulin and its effects on the kidney. Lower your insulin and lower your blood pressure. Table salt is not the problem. Stop looking for low sodium foods and get off the high carb diet. Dr Mason recommends you get a continuous glucose monitor even if you are not an obvious diabetic and once you keep your sugars down your pressure should follow. Now Dr Mason eschews all oils, including my beloved olive oil , and he might be right but I don’t see lard making a comeback in the near future. Finally , Dr Mason goes over the extensive data that reviewed saturated fat and diet and how saturated fat is good for you …the opposite of what you are being told today but the evidence is overwhelming.
Unfortunately, health professionals today are way too organ focused..This doctor takes care of your bones, this one takes care of your heart, this one your kidney etc..What every doctor has learned in medical school but quickly forgot because we focus on pills and procedures is that we are all bags of electrochemical activity and if the individual cells of any organ are happy the organ will be happy. What you fuel your body with will determine your health. Stop the cereal, stop the soda, ask your doctor to measure your insulin and you can begin today to improve your health and your immune system. Until next month….spread the love not the virus.
JT BARRY MD