Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Evils of Sugar.

I know I'm on a rant here about sugar and the whole G.I. thing....

I think its my mission to get more people to look at sugar as it truly is... A Drug.

Yes..... I said it... it is a drug.

Sugar does more then just sweeten our foods, its used as a pick me up to make us feel better and when we burn it all up... we head right back to the kitchen or the corner convenience store to get another fix.

Feeling depressed eat some chocolate, a candy bar, some hard candy any sugary food will work.

It actually works for most things..... hunger, feeling sleepy, feeling drained etc.

Sugar is not about nutrition its about getting a fix. Think about it...........

So whats up with corn syrup..... Let me rephrase that... High Fructose Corn Syrup....

That stuff is like high octane sugar. Now go to your pantry or your cupboard and read the labels on some of you favorite soups, canned goods or drinks.

You bet....

Corn syrup.

The thing that really gets me is how hard it is to find canned corn that doesn't have corn syrup added to it. Whats up with that????????????

High Fructose corn syrup is made through a complicated process of breaking down corn starch into glucose and then the glucose is broken down into fructose using a system primarily composed of three different genetically altered enzymes. The process involved in refining and distributing corn syrup is cheaper and more efficient then sugars refined from cane or beets. High fructose corn syrup is extremely soluble and mixes well in many foods. It is cheap to produce, sweet and easy to store. It’s used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon to beer as well as in health products like protein bars and natural sodas. This brings to point my issue with corn syrup in all the foods we eat, in every can around every corner.

Every cell in our bodies has the ability to break down glucose but fructose is handled solely by the liver. In research involving rats as the primary subjects... the rats were feed diets high in corn syrup.

"The researchers wanted to know whether it was the fructose or the glucose moiety that was causing the problems. So they repeated their studies with two groups of rats, one given high amounts of glucose and one given high amounts of fructose. The glucose group was unaffected but the fructose group had disastrous results. The male rats did not reach adulthood. They had anemia, high cholesterol and heart hypertrophy—that means that their hearts enlarged until they exploded. They also had delayed testicular development. Dr. Field explains that fructose in combination with copper deficiency in the growing animal interferes with collagen production." (1)

Other research on sugars indicates that excess sugar depresses immunity, sours behavior, attention and learning.

Any sugars (glucose, fructose or sucrose) should be taken in moderation and anyone living a healthy life style should consider every morsel they put in their mouths.


Okay.....I'm done ranting now.

(1)Weston A. Price Foundation Board Member Linda Forristal is the author of Ode to Sucanat (1993) and Bulgarian Rhapsody (1998). Visit her website at www.motherlindas.com.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Glycemic Index.

The Glycemic Index the latest and greatest dieting secret.

Ohhhhhhh my. I remember reading about the G.I. when I was in grade school. Now all of a sudden its like... Poof out of no where we have something new to consider.

I remember being in an antique shop several months ago... On one of the tables was a book printed around the 1940 outlining the evils of sugar. Hmm what's that all about?

Did I mention that roman athletes often ate diets high in protein and low in sugars and carbs?

Just one piece of advice. Read the labels on everything you eat. Even if the label contains the words healthy or low fat.

From Wikipedia

Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (also glycemic index, GI) is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. It compares carbohydrates gram for gram in individual foods, providing a numerical, evidence-based index of postprandial (post-meal) glycemia. The concept was invented by Dr. David J. Jenkins and colleagues in 1981 at the University of Toronto.

The glycemic index of a food is defined by the area under the 2 hour blood glucose response curve (AUC) following the ingestion of a fixed portion of carbohydrate (usually 50 g). The AUC of the test food is divided by the AUC of the standard (either glucose or white bread) and multiplied by 100. The average GI value is calculated from data collected in 10 human subjects. Both the standard and test food must contain an equal amount of available carbohydrate. The result gives a relative ranking for each tested food (Brouns et al, 2005).

Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion have the highest glycemic indices. An increased blood glucose response occurs very quickly. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have a low glycemic index. A lower glycemic index suggests slower rates of digestion and absorption of the sugars and starches in the foods and may also indicate greater extraction from the liver and periphery of the products of carbohydrate digestion. Additionally, a lower glycemic response equates to a lower insulin demand, better long-term blood glucose control and a reduction in blood lipids.

Glycemic index values for different foods are calculated by comparing measurements of their effect on blood glucose with an equal carbohydrate portion of a reference food. The current scientific validated methods use glucose as the reference food. Glucose has a glycemic index value of 100. This has the advantages in that it is universal and it results in maximum GI values of approximately 100.

Glycemic Index of Foods

GI values can be interpreted intuitively as percentages on an absolute scale and are commonly interpreted as follows:

* Low GI - less than 55
* Intermediate GI - between 56 and 69
* High GI - higher than 70

A low GI food will release energy slowly and steadily and is appropriate for diabetics, dieters and endurance athletes. A high GI food will provide a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and is suitable for post-endurance exercise energy recovery. Previously, white bread was sometimes used as a reference food (if white bread = 100, then glucose = 140). For people whose staple carbohydrate source is white bread, this had the advantage of conveying directly whether replacement of the dietary staple with a different food would result in faster or slower blood glucose response. The disadvantages with this system were that the reference food was not well-defined, and the GI scale was culture dependent.

The glycemic effect of foods depends on a number of factors such as the type of starch (amylose vs amylopectin), physical entrapment of the starch molecules within the food, fat content of the food and increased acidity of the meal - adding vinegar for example, will lower the GI. The presence of fat or dietary fibre can inhibit carbohydrate absorption, thus lowering the GI. Unrefined breads with higher amounts of fibre generally have a lower GI value than white breads but, while adding butter or oil will lower the GI of bread, the GI ranking does not change. That is, with or without additions, there is still a higher blood glucose curve after white bread than after a low GI bread such as pumpernickel.

The glycemic index can only be applied to foods with a reasonable carbohydrate content, as the test relies on subjects consuming enough of the test food to yield about 50 g of available carbohydrate. High fat or high protein foods such as meat, eggs, nuts and cheese have a negligible GI. Furthermore, because many fruits and vegetables (but not potatoes) contain very little carbohydrate per serving, they have very low GI values and are regarded as "free" foods. This also applies to carrots, which were originally and incorrectly reported as having a high GI (Brand-Miller et al, 2005). Alcoholic beverages have been reported to have low GI values, however it should be noted that beer has a moderate GI. Recent studies have shown that the consumption of an alcoholic drink prior to a meal reduces the GI of the meal by approximately 15% (Brand-Miller, in press).

Disease Prevention

Several lines of recent scientific evidence have shown that individuals who followed a low GI diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for developing both type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. High blood glucose levels or repeated glycemic "spikes" following a meal may promote these diseases by increasing oxidative damage to the vasculature and also by the direct increase in insulin levels (Temelkova-Kurktschiev et al, 2000). In the past, postmeal hyperglycemia has been a risk factor mainly associated with diabetes, however more recent evidence shows that postprandial hyperglycemia presents an increased risk for atherosclerosis in the non-diabetic population (Balkau et al, 1998).

Weight Control

Recent animal research provides compelling evidence that high GI carbohydrate is associated with increased risk of obesity. In human trials, it is typically difficult to separate the effects from GI and from other potentially confounding factors such as fibre content, palatability, and compliance. In the study (Pawlak et al, 2004), male rats were split into a high and low GI group over 18 weeks while mean bodyweight was maintained. Rats fed the high GI diet were 71% fatter and 8% less lean than the low GI group. Postmeal glycemia and insulin levels were significantly higher and plasma triglycerides were three-fold greater in the high GI fed rats. Furthermore, pancreatic islet cells suffered “severely disorganised architecture and extensive fibrosis”. The evidence in this study showed that continued consumption of high glycemic index carbohydrates would likely have led to the development of severe metabolic abnormalities.

Criticism

The glycemic index has been criticised for the following reasons:

* the GI of a food varies depending on the kind of food, its ripeness, the length of time it was stored, how it was cooked, its variety (potatoes from Australia, for example, have a much higher GI than potatoes from the United States), and how it was processed or manufactured.

* the GI of a food varies from person to person and even in a single individual from day to day, depending on blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and other factors.

* the GI of a mixed meal is difficult to predict.

* the GI value is based on a portion that contains 50 grams of carbohydrate only.

* a limited range of data and daily fluctuations in an individualÂ’s glycemic response.

Some of these criticisms can be addressed by taking the Glycemic load into account. This combined approach is, however, somewhat more complicated, and therefore harder to use in giving dietary advice.

Wikipedia information about glycemic index on Answers.com. Wikipedia Copyright © 2005 by Wikipedia. Published by Wikipedia.

Dictionary definition of glycemic index on Answers.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Drug Risks the FDA’s System Missed

  • Health Matters Minutes E-Zine


  • Article by Ira Marxe

    Beware of FDA Approved Prescription Drugs

    Recently, a close acquaintance of ours had kidney failure and had to be rushed to the hospital.

    Three years ago I tried to introduce him to our all natural vitamin/mineral based arterial plaque cleansing formula, a proven way of cleansing the plaque out of your arteries with no side effects, but with no success.

    This was after he had bi-pass surgery for clogged arteries.

    He did, however, take our information with the list of ingredients to his cardiologist. His cardiologist said our product wouldn’t work, (typical), and that he was better off taking a statin drug.

    Statins, his cardiologist said, would be more effective and our acquaintance, being a good patient, listened. His belief was, who would know better then an M.D. Cardiologist?

    A side note: Did you know that the leading cause of death among cardiologists is heart disease? (Courtesy of the American Heart Association).



    Anyway...Three years later the statin drugs did prove to be more effective.

    They effectively shut down his kidneys. Kidney failure is one of the side effects of statins.

    Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending, as he seems to be recovering although my sense is that he will never be the same.

    I tell you this story as an introduction to a recent Consumer Report’s investigation of prescription drugs and their findings. I quote, “Common drugs, hidden dangers. Tens of millions of people at risk”.

    They have discovered 12 relatively common prescription drugs with risks they site that include increased likelihood of heart disease, stroke, cancer or suicide. These risks were either undetected or underestimated when the FDA approved these drugs for use.

    Some of these drugs should have black box warning labels. They do not. Some are advertised making false claims leaving out potential risks. With its present day power, there is little the FDA can do about it.

    You know we have always advised that you seek a nutritional solution to your problems before resorting to traditional drugs. There are many nutritional solutions out there if only people will look for alternatives instead of blindly accepting their doctor’s drugs as the only solution.

    You need to seriously question the advisability of a drug solution and consider all of the side affects of the drug being prescribed. Don’t only rely solely on your M.D. who may be drug-biased, or really doesn’t know.

    Ask your pharmacist. Research the Internet. Be thorough so that you can make an educated decision.

    Let me remind you of what we have been saying for a long time, your body is the great healer….if given the right nutrients.

    Drugs should be used only as a last resort, and some should never be used. Don’t let drug company ads push you into becoming a prescription drug addict. Drug companies are only interested in the profits they can make by keeping you on their drugs for as long as possible. It is not in their best interest to cure you.

    Here are the 12 prescription drugs that Consumer’s Reports found will put you at great risk if you take them. If you are taking any of these drugs, talk to your doctor about an alternative or go find another doctor.

    Drug Risks the FDA’s System Missed:

    *

    Celecoxib (Celebrex) – Pain and Inflammation: Increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

    *

    Rosuvastatin (Crestor, strongest of the statin drug group such as Lipitor, Zocor, etc.) – Elevated cholesterol levels: Muscle breakdown and kidney failure, especially in Asian Americans.

    *

    Estrogen (Premarin, Prempro, and others) – Menopausal symptoms and post menopausal osteoporosis: Increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots.

    *

    Isotretinoin (Accutane) – Severe nodular acne: Birth defects, depression, psychosis, and suicidal tendencies.

    *

    Malathion (Ovide) – Head lice: Flammability of hair and neurotoxicity.

    *

    Medroxyprogesterone injections (Depo-Proveeral) – Contraception: Irreversible bone loss.

    *

    Mefloquine (Lariam) – Malaria prevention for travelers: Disorientation, severe anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and depression.

    *

    Salmeterol (Serevent) – Asthma: Increased asthma-related deaths; risk may be higher in African-Americans.

    *

    Sibutramine (Meridia) – Weight loss: Increased blood pressure and heart rate; heart-rhythm abnormalities, heart attack, cardiac arrest, memory problems.

    *

    SSRIs such as sertraline (Zoloft) venlafaxine (Effixor) – Anxiety and depression: Increased suicidal tendencies initially or after dosage changes, particularly in children and teens but possibly in adults as well. All antidepressants may have similar risks, but current evidence appears stronger for SSRIs.

    *

    Tegaserod (Zelnorm) – Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation: Potentially dangerous diarrhea and other intestinal problems.

    *

    Topical immunosupprressants primecrolimus (Elidel), tacrolimus (Protopic) – Eczma: Increased cancer risk.

    Last week I asked you to support the Organic Consumer’s Association who is fighting to bring us healthy food and alternative answers to drugs. This week I have given you more solid reasons for you to do that.

    We cannot stand by and simply let things happen. It is up to us to help the OCA make things happen. Give a little or give a lot, but give something.

    www.organicconsumers.org/donation.htm

    To your good health and longevity,

    Ira Marxe
    CEO, Good Health Supplement

    Copyrighted © 2006 - All Rights Reserved

    Health Disclaimer: The information contained in this or any GHS related articles or materials are not intended to take the place of personal medical advice from your health care professional. Any action taken based on the contents found in this or any GHS related articles, materials or information is at the sole discretion of the reader. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals as necessary on any matter relating to their health and well-being. Any information or opinions provided here or in any GHS related articles, materials or information are believed to be accurate and sound, however no GHS personal or associates will be held responsible on behalf of any reader who fails to consult appropriate health authorities with respect to their individual health care, and the author or publisher of any information is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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    Article by Ira Marxe of AntiAgingLifeExtension.com featuring Good Health Supplements dedicated to offering you affordable, leading edge technology in healthy heart support, breakthrough anti-aging, superior multi-vitamin, invaluable digestive supplementation and more!

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