A New Option for Obesity

A new option for obesity.

cocoparisienne / Pixabay – Use fat to reduce fat!

Chronic low-level inflammation is the genesis of almost every disease. Your health is at risk if left untreated. An easy measure of inflammation is the c-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. It should be offered as part of your annual physical, but it is not. I always have it added to my annual physical, along with homocysteine level and vitamin D3, to name a couple more.

The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute performed a 30-day controlled, randomized trial of omega-7 (yes, not omega-3 or omega-6) fatty acid with high-risk cardiovascular patients. The average CRP level for this group was 4.3 mg/L. Healthy people should have a CRP level between zero and 3 mg/L. My last CRP test was unmeasurable (nearly zero). I can’t remember a reading over 0.25 mg/L in all the years that I’ve asked for this extra test.

The test results were impressive. There was a 44% reduction (CRP average of 1.9 mg/L) in the average CRP group taking omega-7 fatty acid. The placebo group showed no changes. Additionally, the omega-7 supplemented group showed reductions of 15% in triglyceride levels, 8% reduction in LDL-cholesterol and a 5% increase in HDL-cholesterol.

Another recent study with nearly 4,000 adults showed similar results. An interesting outcome of this last study was the discovery of the reduction of insulin resistance by nearly 17%. This is very significant. Our body fat creates health problems. It acts like an additional organ in our bodies. It is destructive to our health in many ways. Increases in insulin resistance can ultimately lead to type II diabetes.

Omega-7 fatty acid reduces the risk of obesity, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. It enhances our cells’ ability to regulate fat burning more efficiently. As a result, less fat is stored.

Omega-7 is palmitoleic acid. The richest plant source is sea buckthorn. Other natural sources of omega-7 fatty acid are found in macadamia nuts, cheddar cheese, eggs, avocado, butter, and olive oil. Many of these natural sources also have palmitic acid. Many scientists believe that palmitic acid is dangerous to your health because it caused an increase in LDL-cholesterol. However, there is more to this story.

Linoleic acid counters the effects of palmitic acid. Coconut, palm and olive oils contain both linoleic and palmitic acids. Medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut and red palm oil do not raise cholesterol. The main health benefits from these saturated plant fats comes from the capric and lauric acids.

Overweight and nothing is working, consider adding omega-7 fatty acid supplement to your diet. Consult with your physician if you are on any medication or at risk for cardiovascular or other related disease.

What If You Could Win Every Lottery?

You can win the lottery of life.

Hermann / Pixabay

What if you could win every lottery? What if you developed a system that could predict the future? What if this system also allowed you to determine the winner of the World Series, Super Bowl, etc.? Very few of us are lucky to win anything. However, there is a system that can allow nearly every one of us to win something – our retirement health.

We don’t know the formulations to determine a winner of the World Cup, The Stanley Cup or the Davis Cup. We do know what it takes to fight disease (a healthy immune system). We do know what it takes to fight the major causes of aging (declining levels of human growth hormone and reduction in the rate of loss of telomeres). Yet, we tend not to take any action to improve our longevity.

We think we know what it takes to become an Olympic contender, to drive in the Indianapolis 500 or to ride a winner at the Kentucky Derby. But, do we follow a regimen that guarantees success longer than an Olympic athlete, professional driver or jockey?

Amateurs practice till they get it right. Professionals practice till they can’t get it wrong. We are rank amateurs when it comes to our health. Some of us prefer not to eat certain foods – vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, etc. But, is eating only certain types of food the best for you?

I advocate a lifestyle for increasing longevity and reducing the risk of age-related diseases. Eat meals that include balanced nutrition. Nutritional deficiencies lead to disease. If you are a vegan, you must ensure that you are getting all the required amino acids needed for a healthy life. They aren’t found in a single plant.

A calorie-restricted diet has been shown to increase the longevity (and health) of most animals. For us humans, the analysis is still out because we don’t have a large enough sample size to determine its effects on humans. But, there are a lot of caloric-restricted examples in humans where it does work (scientists consider this to be testimonial rather than scientific fact).

Intermittent fasting has been proven by scientists to extend life and improve health. There are many options to choose from when considering an intermittent fast. I prefer to eat in a six-hour window each day. Google ‘intermittent diets’ and see what options you might like.

Eating foods (vegetables and fruits) that increase your pH improve your risk of avoiding disease. Disease needs low oxygen conditions and an acidic environment to grow well. Higher pH conditions (over 7.35) extinguish the flame of disease growth. Dr. Otto Warburg received a Nobel Prize for his discovery in this area.

You have the ability to educate yourself and take effective actions to win your race to retirement with outstanding health. Why not take advantage of it sooner than later?

Warning – Guaranteed 100% Mortality

Everyone of us will die at some time.

kellepics / Pixabay – Everyone of us will die at some time.

Yes, everything we do, good or bad, results in 100% mortality in our lives. The difference is how well we enjoy our lives. I spoke briefly at a business luncheon today. I did a little health test with the participants (almost three dozen). The test was to touch a small piece of pH paper to their tongues for a half-second, then look at the resulting color and standby for the results.

Most people were sharing their numbers with me as we were in line getting our food. I kept telling them that I would explain, in detail, what their personal number meant towards the end of dinner. It amazed me, although it shouldn’t have, that literally, everyone was not aware of this test and what it represents.

Regarding pH, anything less than 7.0 is acidic, the lower the number the higher the acid level. A reading over 7.0 is alkaline and the closer you get to 14.0, the higher the level of alkalinity.

Our blood must maintain a pH between 7.35 and 7.45. We will have serious health problems if our bloodstream pH gets above or below its normal range. When we live in an acidic state (below 7.0), our bodies will leach calcium from our bones to keep the pH of our blood in the normal range. Unless calcium is replaced daily, we run the risk of osteopenia, and eventually osteoporosis. Wonder why so many elderly people have hip fractures?

Another concern of living in the acidic range is that cancer cells find that perfect storm to grow when our pH stays below 6.0 for extended periods of time. Dr. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize in the 1930’s for his work on cancer cell viability in alkaline tissues.

There are two primary reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables compared to dairy, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins at each meal.  Fruits and vegetables leave our bodies in an alkaline state. Everything else leaves our bodies acidic. To get our bodies into an alkaline state, we must exceed the acidic input with alkaline producing foods. Additionally, normal metabolic processes (breathing, exercising, etc.) have acidic byproducts. There is a lot to overcome to live and maintain an alkaline state.

pH paper is relatively cheap. You can test your saliva or urine to obtain nearly instantaneous measurements. I measure my pH twice a day on the average – at night before bed and upon awakening. It gives me a sense of how well my diet is treating me.

I still have a 100% guarantee of dying, but it might not be from cancer or complications of falling and breaking something.

The Perfect Storm of Health

What does your storm look like?

tpsdave / Pixabay

We think of a perfect storm relating to weather. It is a rare combination of factors that meet at a single point in time. It can also be equated to other things in our lives. The Perfect Storm of Health is a double-edged sword. It can be fantastic or devastating.

Multiple events occurring within a very short period of time can combine to make you super healthy or super sick. We’ve seen it with the elderly. One day they are in reasonable health and can do most things to live a normal life.

A fall might result in a broken hip. Treatment for that problem might result in another malady (conjunctive heart failure, for example). Then another and another. Several unpredicted events compound the original problem and make it worse.

Before long, this combination of health issues might end with deathbed visits from relatives. A common thread of conversation is that this person was in such good health not that long ago.

We tend to think in the negative. However, I see articles about people living well past their 100’s. When asked about the secret of their longevity, it can be anything from one drink a day, to forgiveness, to a special food they eat daily.

I believe there are many factors that influence health positively if we choose them. However, if we choose not to, then our health can be in jeopardy down the road.

Studies show that human growth hormone and telomere length are the two primal causes of aging. Exercise (both strength training and HIIT) enhance longevity. Intermittent fasting increases human growth hormone faster than almost anything else. Caloric restriction is linked with 20-30% increase in lifespan with most animals. Balanced nutrition is needed to keep us healthy from nutrient deficiencies. The level of pH of our bodies is also relatively easy to control.

We have many options, yet we don’t know about them. If we ignore them, then it is possible that several unpredicted factors might collide at the same time and wreck havoc on our health. Sometimes we can recover and make amends and live a better life. But, many we can’t. Half the time a person with cardiovascular disease finds out about it when they survive that first heart attack.

The Simple Things That Work

Ginger is a super food.

KRiemer / Pixabay – Ginger is a super food.

Ginger has been used for centuries for various cures. The Chinese, Indian and Roman archives have many writings on how to use ginger for various ailments. The Romans were importing ginger two-thousand years ago.

Motion sickness and morning sickness are two of the better-known remedies associated with ginger. I wish I had known this when I started flying with the military. I was airsick for nearly my first 500 hours flying. I flew antisubmarine warfare missions a thousand miles or more away from the nearest land.

At altitude, everything was as routine as flying from Point A to Point B. However, two-hundred feet over the water, with lots of twists and turns, it was enough to upset my stomach. Oh, by the way, I sat facing the left wing to operate my equipment. Not a normal perspective for the inner ear.

I flew a mission working with a US ship and submarine and got sick before the first hour was over. Our missions usually lasted twelve hours. Most interesting about that mission is that it was the last time I was ever airsick. We flew the exact same mission the next day and I’ve never been airsick since – that’s an additional 3700 hours.

Ginger has been tested using double-blind studies to determine its ability to relieve pain. The results were very positive against both chronic and acute inflammation.

Ginger has been used to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea. The studies proved that ginger mixed with high-protein significantly reduced nausea in chemotherapy patients. Recent studies showed that ginger was effective in preventing colon cancer in lab animals. Ginger targets the leukotriene (LTA[4]H) which acts as a catalyst for colon cancer cells.

Ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die. Several strands of ovarian cancer were treated with ginger and traditional chemotherapy treatments. One problem with chemotherapy is that cancer cells can become resistant to various drugs. Ginger is unique in being a food. Cancer cells have not been shown to become resistant to it.

I use fresh ginger weekly (along with garlic and turmeric). I dice, grate and julienne ginger for various meals. It is found in most stores. Use the edge of a spoon to scrap the fibrous skin off.

Amp Up Your AMPK For a Healthier and Longer Life

Cellular health leads to body health.

skeeze / Pixabay – Cellular health leads to body health.

AMPK is an enzyme found in every cell in your body. The real name for AMPK is 5’ AMP-activated protein kinase, also known as 5’adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. AMPK is critical for good health and longevity. As we age, our levels of AMPK decrease naturally.

A loss of AMPK increases abdominal obesity, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, cellular stress and chronic inflammation. It influences insulin sensitivity which causes excess glucose in our blood. It negatively affects the function of our mitochondrial and gene expression. Low levels of AMPK cause an unneeded accumulation of cellular debris and senescent cells. It can also lead to heart failure.

AMPK acts as a switch to determine how our cells use energy. It can turn on the processes to burn or not burn fat. When stored energy is burned from fats, it increases the elimination of fats and sugars from our blood stream. The latest research indicates that AMPK is responsible for potentially extended our lives by 20-30%.

Normal levels of AMPK reduce fat storage in your cells (especially around your belly), the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, chronic inflammation, and liver fat accumulation. It increases the numbers of cellular mitochondria and insulin sensitivity to control blood glucose levels.

The bottom line is that you want healthy levels of AMPK. Normal aging will lead to unhealthy levels of AMPK. What can you do? Vigorous exercise increases AMPK. Caloric restriction (with balanced nutrition) increases AMPK. Two herbal extracts, gynostemma pentaphyllum and trans-tiliroside (from rose hips) activate our bodies production of AMPK. The prescription drug, Metformin, used for treating type II diabetes also shows a proclivity for increasing production of AMPK.

Want to live and healthy and long life? Consider amping up your AMPK.

 

What Do You Measure?

Measure to Control

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay – Measure what you want to control.

I listened to a presentation this week and heard the following statement several times – “What you measure you can control!”. It got me to thinking about what I measure. There are some obvious things, but my focus for measurement is on health and wellness. What do you measure to determine the state of your health? It should be easy, simple and cheap.

Most of us look at our weight more often than we should. Is weight a good indicator of health? Not really! You can be thin and sick or overweight and healthy. What about the diabetics? They measure blood sugar. Yes, because they must. It could be life-threatening if they don’t. But, what else is really measured?

You might measure the number of times you went to the gym. You might keep track of the number of minutes jogging (or with some other sport). Exercise is required for great health and longevity, but is it representative of health? I think, partially.

Some people count calories. It might seem healthy; but, you need nutritional balance for good health. Nutritional balance with caloric restriction is improves longevity and reduces the risk of age-related diseases. Some people avoid certain types of foods by choice – vegans, paleo, etc. It is much more difficult to obtain all the nutritional balance from plants alone.

Some people measure their blood pressure. This is a good measurement of cardiac health, but it doesn’t guarantee strong cardiovascular wellness. With a plethora of things to measure, what makes the most sense?

Almost every disease begins at the cellular level with chronic low-level inflammation. Counter the inflammation and you halt the initiation of disease. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals which cause cellular inflammation. Most antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables make your body alkaline. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats make your body acidic.

Oxygen kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi on contact. Alkalinity promotes more dissolved oxygen than acidity. Measure pH and you get an excellent measure of the alkalinity of your body. This one measurement, I believe, is a strong indicator of great health. It is cheap. It is easy. I can be done as often as you want.

pH paper can be obtained at health food stores. It can be used to measure the alkalinity of your urine or saliva. I use pH paper to measure my saliva before going to bed and again when I awaken. When I am eating properly, I consistently see reading above 7.4 when I go to bed and above 7.0 when I rise. During the day, my pH can rise to 7.8 or higher.

I know my alkaline body is responding well to the foods I chose to eat and adding deep breathing exercises infuses more oxygen into my organs and tissues. It might be something for you to consider. What you measure you can control!

Fake News or Restricted?

We are not allowed to know some facts.

Hans / Pixabay – We are not allowed to know some facts.

Since 1962, television commercials about products to improve health or combat disease have been regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world allowing prescription drugs to be advertised on television.

Foods are not tested by the FDA for the efficacy of treating disease or improving health. A dozen years ago, cherry growers advertised that cherries could improve health and prevent cancer, heart disease and arthritis. Why? A couple of reasons. The FDA never tested cherries, therefore the claim was unproven. Secondly, The FDA’s legal doctrine states that only drugs can prevent, treat, mitigate or cure disease.

In truth, cherries contain compounds that are nearly ten times stronger than aspirin or ibuprofen in relieving pain. Additionally, there are other compounds in cherries that have shown a remarkable ability to kill cancer cells and prevent cancer.

As, always, follow the money with most issues. Who benefits from a food that can prevent or cure cancer? Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) stated that coconut oil is unhealthy. The AHA doesn’t tell us that coconut oil is unhealthy for your heart. They tell us that coconut oil is a saturated fat and is linked to higher cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a very poor biomarker for heart disease. Fifty percent of people dying from heart attacks have healthy cholesterol levels. Homocysteine levels are much more indicative of heart health. The myth of saturated fats causing heart disease has been disproved many times over. Yet, many doctors still hold onto this belief.

Inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries contribute to the build up of cholesterol plaques and cardiovascular disease. It’s not the cholesterol that’s a problem, but the level of inflammation in the body. The c-reactive protein test is a great indicator of total body inflammation.

The FDA and other professional medical organizations have strict guidelines they use to determine disease prevention and cure. They focus on symptoms and correction of those symptoms, not on the cause of the disease. If a food can prevent inflammation, such as cherries, the company cannot advertise this fact. It is an unproven fact in the world of FDA. This information is restricted from publication to the world.

There are sources for this information. I research it most nearly every day. However, it is not mainstream and doesn’t get widely disseminated. There are unproven ways of preventing and curing diseases. They have worked for centuries in countries all over our world. Unless your grandparents told you to take ginger for a cough, migraine headaches, motion sickness or rheumatoid arthritis, you would never know about the curative, and preventive, properties of ginger.

Find a good source for your health and wellness information. I highly recommend Life Extension magazine.

Will You Have Regerts?

Will today's decisions be tomorrow's regrets?

Der_Typ_von_Nebenan / Pixabay – Will today’s decisions be tomorrow’s regrets?

There is a television commercial sponsored by Milky Way. A tattoo artist is distracted by a Milky Way candy bar while tattooing a man’s arm. The tattoo should say, No Regrets. But, it says, No Regerts.

We get distracted by many things daily. It’s hard to avoid. I find that even having something written down doesn’t ensure that it will happen. Not having it written down almost guarantee that it will not happen.

Our health is very low on our priority list. Most people don’t pay attention to it. They might think about it occasionally, but no real action is taken to ensure that their health will be ideal when they need it the most in their retirement years.

We think about our families, our finances, our vacations, our cars, our cell phones, our spiritual lives, our friends, our jobs and many more things more often than we think about improving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Jeff Olson wrote The Slight Edge. In it, he states that incremental changes made daily can have huge effects in the future. Those effects can be good or bad. If someone smokes a couple of packs of cigarettes every day, he or she can expect a shortened life. If another person exercises every day without fail, he or she can expect a healthier and longer life compared to the daily smoker.

We have habits. We do the same things every day. However, a small change occurs that becomes a part of our daily habits. It might be good or bad. It doesn’t matter. It happens. We allow it. We perpetuate it.

For example, in school, we had to read. After school, over 95% of former students don’t read a book a year. I was one of them. If it wasn’t related to the courses I was taking, I didn’t read. Nowadays, I read daily and finish a book a week on the average. But, not reading was once a habit in my life.

Health is similar. Our parents taught us to eat a certain way when we lived with them. When we became independent, we adopted another set of habits for eating. For me, meals were fixed and eaten in the home. Rarely, did my parents ever take all nine of us kids out to dinner.

I learned to cook from my mother and enjoy cooking today. But, for years, I deferred to eating out because of the convenience. I still strive to eat at home daily, but it is difficult. However, I do make healthier choices when eating out in recent years.

Eating healthy is one part of a much larger equation of a healthy lifestyle. Daily stress reduction, balanced nutrition, exercise, intermittent fasting, caloric restriction, toxin removal, etc. contribute to a healthy lifestyle. We need to address these and other issues daily to be healthy in our retirement lives.

How Now Brown Cow

Brown cows don't produce chocolate milk.

Quique / Pixabay – Brown cows don’t produce chocolate milk.

A friend of mine showed me an article yesterday indicating that 16% of American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Why? Because we were told that by our parents.

We believe things from authority figures in our lives. We believe things because it makes sense most of the time. Like, eating fat makes your fat. (It doesn’t!) We have the capability of verifying things, yet we don’t. I’ve had more than several posts on Facebook that were refuted by someone who did the research. I didn’t take the time to verify it myself.

When there is a sliver of truth, we tend to believe. It doesn’t make any difference what it is – spiritual, relational, political, health, etc. We accept things based on our history.

That’s the way our subconscious mind works. We feed it data 24/7. It never sleeps. Every thought is filed away. A similar thought is piled on top of older thoughts on the same topic. When that pile of thoughts gets high enough, it is almost impossible for us to believe (or do) something different.

I am reminded of a comic rendition of a large 6 on the floor between two men. One is standing on the top of the 6 and it looks like a 9 to him. Another man is standing at the bottom of the 6 and it looks like a 6 to him. There is no way the man who sees a 6 can convince the man who sees the 9 that the number is really a 6. And, vice versa. We see a lot of that today in our political views.

How many times have you started a diet to lose weight and fail? Each failure was filed away for future use. The next time you want to start a diet to lose weight, your subconscious mind will review your history on that topic and determine that you have failed in the past. It will not allow you to be successful, no matter what you do. The prime directive of your subconscious mind to to protect you from failure and embarrassment.

There are ways to overcome the immense files of incorrect information. Brute force doesn’t work. Changing the way you talk to yourself and adding emotion to your thoughts helps. Understand that your subconscious mind only works in the present, not in the future or in the past. Wanting to start something tomorrow does not compute.

Maybe some of your closely held beliefs on health and wellness are wrong. When would you even know? You might never know. You live your life making decisions based on erroneous data and survive. But, you could have thrived if you had taken the right actions.

We are very flexible. We can live a long time on bad health decisions. We recover and keep going. Until we can’t recover from an illness. Then there is a gradual decline in our health and quality of life. We see this too often in our elderly. They break a hip (for example) and are no longer able to live their life and everything starts to shut down.

Brown cows don’t produce chocolate milk. That is obvious to many. But, what about those other things that have never been challenged in your life?