Hitting a weight loss plateau is typical for any low-calorie meal plan you may be following. It is a notorious roadblock for anyone wanting to lose weight, and the game plan is to succeed on that weight loss plan, be it keto or other. Here are ten reasons why you may be hitting a plateau while trying to follow a keto diet:
Try adding sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir to even the strictest keto diet to boost those helpful bacteria. Then, there are always probiotic supplements. With probiotic supplements, make sure you follow refrigeration recommendations as these are live organisms and need food safety precautions to survive in a healthy environment.
What is the best keto diet, you ask? The keto Mediterranean Diet is the healthiest keto diet plan to follow. It has healthy fats that won't clog up your arteries, and it's good for your heart.
So, don't give up. Plan for the plateaus!
The Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet
Focus Objective: Review of Prolon, 5-day fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) that replicates the positive metabolic effects seen in fasting by promoting multisystem regeneration, enhanced cognitive performance, the promotion of fat loss, and improved healthspan with minimization of the side-effects traditionally associated with fasting such as low blood sugar, Fatigue, loss of muscle mass and weight regain.
Fasting, the practice of abstinence from any food or drink except for water, has been practiced for both spiritual and health reasons for a millennium. The practice has its roots in spirituality, with the Muslims fasting during Ramadan and Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and the Hindus fasting on designated calendar months or days of the year. We will not deal with the spiritual benefits of fasting here but rather focus on the perceived and evidence-based positive health outcomes associated with fasting and its various forms.
While much of our research on fasting comes from animal models, the focus here will be on human clinical trials, and subject areas of interest are:
· Changes in weight
· Changes in metabolic parameters associated with type 2 diabetes
· Effects on risk for and progression of cardiovascular disease
· Effects on cancer prevention and progression
We know clinically that the process of fasting results in ketosis and significant changes in metabolic pathways, stress resistance, lipolysis, autophagy, and cancer response. Medical applications to date include treating epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, weight reduction, longevity, and increased healthspan. (1)
Types of fasting models
Fasting models can be broken down into intermittent, modified fasting regimens, and time-restricted feeding. Alternate day fasting is what the name implies. Days of no food intake are cycled with days of normal food intake. Data from these regimens are limited but do show positive reductions in blood glucose, improvement in inflammatory markers, and mild weight loss of about 2.5%.
Modified fasting regimens typically provide 20-25% of energy needs on scheduled fasting days. This routine showed positive reductions in visceral fat, the appetite hormone leptin, and increases in the weight friendly hormone adiponectin. Significant weight loss was observed along with reductions in fasting insulin but not glucose. There were mixed results with regard to lipid reductions.
Time-restricted fasting is based on balancing energy intake with the circadian rhythm. In both animal and human studies, the incorporation of regular fasting intervals and eating in accordance with normal daily circadian rhythms may be important for maintaining optimal metabolic function in a variety of areas. A robust research area in shift workers showing a disruption in the circadian rhythm is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In addition, data from other studies also support the hypothesis that consuming most of the day's energy needs earlier in the day is associated with lower weight and improved health (1).
Intermittent fasting involves fasting so many days and then following a normal healthy diet for a period and then repeating the fasting cycle followed by a normal healthy eating pattern. Most of our animal and human research are based on this model of fasting.
Problems with water only fasts
When presented with various fasting options, the question is frequently asked, "Why not just do a water fast since it doesn't cost anything and its easy?" The fact is, a water-only fast is not that easy, requires discipline, and comes with some potential side effects such as:
· Electrolyte imbalance
· Low blood glucose leading to hypoglycemia
· loss of lean body mass or muscle
· Maintenance of weight loss difficult
· Extreme hunger
Depending on the length and repetitions of the fast, nutritional malnutrition may come into play, compromising the primary goal of health improvement.
What is ProLon?
ProLon is a periodic fasting program of 5 days of a scientific and patented, calorie-controlled diet followed by three weeks of normal healthy eating and then repeating the cycle two more times to achieve desired outcomes. The fasting-mimicking diet controls many of the downfalls of a water only fast by providing a limited number of calories in an optimal nutrient base to support the metabolic functions that occur during a water fast but avoid the pitfalls associated with a zero-calorie intake. (2)
What is in Prolon?
ProLon contains 66 totally unique ingredients studied at the University of Southern California under the sponsorship of a National Institute of Health grant. It is a prestigious and successful attempt to realistically mitigate the fasting process while providing an optimal diet.
The diet contains a variety of soups, bars, supplements, drinks, teas, and crackers. Day 1 is 1100 calories, while each of the other four days is about 770 calories. It is gluten and dairy-free.
How does ProLon work?
The food kit, studied for 25 years at the University of Southern California, is designed to trigger the body's identification of the presence of food through the following nutrient-sensing pathways:
· IGF-1, mTOR (Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) and PKA (Protein Kinase A) are two critical nutrient-sensing pathways that recognize the presence of protein, carbohydrates (sugars)
· These nutrient-sensing pathways are pro-growth and pro-aging and lead to many common health problems including heart disease and cancer
· ProLon downregulates these pathways enhancing a fasting mode and activating cellular regeneration and rejuvenation (3)
ProLon allows you to eat while tricking your body into acting like its on a fast
What is ProLon for?
ProLon affects many regenerative and rejuvenating changes, including effects on a wide range of markers that contribute to aging and ill health. In clinical trials, ProLon has been found to (3)
Maintain Healthy Levels of:
· Fasting blood glucose
· Blood pressure
· C-reactive protein
· Stem cells
· insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
Improve the following:
· Regenerative Weight Loss driven by visceral fat loss
· Maintenance of lean body mass
· Energy levels
· Skin appearance
With the success of ProLon, the company plans on implementing fasting regimens tailored for a variety of medical conditions, including cancer support, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's support, and diabetes control therapy. ProLon is prescribed by 5,000 clinics nationwide.
#fastingmimickingdiet, #fastingmicmicking, #intermittentfasting, #antiaging, #stemcells
1. Patterson RE, Laughlin GA, Sears DD, et al. Intermittent fasting and human metabolic health. 2015. J Acad Nutr Dietetics; 115(8):1203-1212.
2. Brandhorst S, et.al. A periodic diet that mimics fasting promotes multisystem regeneration, enhanced cognitive performance, and healthspan. 2015. Cell Metabolism; 72(1):86-99.
3. Brandhorst S., Wei M, et al. FMDs and risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. 2017. J. of Sci Translational Med;24(9):377.
Most people have heard of type I and type II diabetes, but what about the other three types? Prediabetes, Type 1.5, and Type 3 Diabetes are all common metabolic abnormalities, but little reference is made to them in the clinical setting. So, let us take a peek at these mysterious “lurkers” behind the metabolic curtains!
While many people look at this diagnosis as just a warning sign of an impending problem, it is actually far more serious than that. If you are at the prediabetes stage, the insulin resistance that got you there has been going on far too long, and the longer it has been rampant in your body, the more damage it may have done.
Prediabetes is diagnosed when your blood sugar is ≥100-125 or the HbA1C is 5.7-6.4%. There may or may not be symptoms at this point. Treatment usually consists of weight management and lifestyle medicine. Occasionally a patient is started on metformin to decrease the chances of progression to type 2 diabetes.
Functional medicines used in place of conventional medications include the herbal extract berberine at 500 mg three times a day or a combination of Banaba, fenugreek, cinnamon, Gymnema, magnesium, ginseng, or white mulberry.
The best thing to do if you find yourself prediabetic is to find a functional medicine doctor who can probe into the why’s and how the insulin resistance got started in the first place. Once the source of the problem can be found and treated, the symptoms will disappear.
This form of diabetes is thought to be autoimmune in nature and is a combination of type 1 and type 2 in its features. Latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) is a type of slowly progressing type 1 diabetes with the body slowly losing its ability to produce insulin and not requiring it pharmacologically for several months to years after diagnosis.
People with LADA are often over 30, and since their body is still producing some insulin, they are frequently misdiagnosed as diabetes type 2. According to a journal article from Diabetic Medicine, “around 4-14 % of patients classified with type 2 diabetes have DAA” (diabetes-associated antibodies characteristic of LADA). Diagnosis can be confirmed by the presence of one of two autoantibodies in the blood of the patient and a low to normal C-peptide level and a progressive loss of pancreatic beta-cell activity.
Initially, LADA can be controlled with diet and exercise, but eventually, insulin shots will be necessary. Patients with LADA should be treated with insulin as the first choice as opposed to oral hypoglycemics when diet and exercise fail to control the blood sugar. Sulfonylureas should not be used as they will increase the rate of C-peptide degradation. Treatments that may preserve beta-cell function include dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
Diabetes Type 3
Currently, there is a rapid growth in the literature pointing toward insulin deficiency and insulin resistance as mediators of Alzheimer's Disease (AD)-type neurodegeneration, but this surge of new information is riddled with conflicting and unresolved concepts about the relationship between diabetes type 2, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Type 2 diabetes causes brain insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment, but its aggregate effects fall far short of mimicking AD; AD represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves the brain and has molecular and biochemical features that overlap with both type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes may not be sufficient to cause AD, although it could serve as a cofactor in its pathogenesis or progression. However, data referring to AD as type 3 diabetes is justified because the fundamental molecular and biochemical abnormalities overlap with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes rather than mimic the effects of either one.
The field of diabetology is growing as we understand more about the molecular and biochemical nature of diabetes.
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#Alzheimer'sDisease #Diabetes #Prediabetes
5 Types of Keto Diets
Ketogenic diets are all the rage today, many of them followed incorrectly or at risk to their heart’s health. If you have a coach helping you with this diet, look to see if they are certified in the diet instruction. Certification programs exist that guide the provider in helping the patient or client choose heart-healthy fats when keeping that fat goal high and not turn to a diet of bacon and eggs.
The five types of keto diets people are following these days are:
The Standard Keto Diet
This diet is the most typical ketogenic diet and consists of a 75% fat intake, 20% protein intake, and 5% carbohydrate intake. It is necessary to control the protein intake because protein readily turns into glucose. It is no joke that this diet is strict and difficult to follow.
Some good examples of healthier fat choices include:
1. Cacao Butter
2. Coconut Butter
3. Organic Coconut Oil
4. MCT Oil
7. Coconut Milk
8. Coconut Cream
12. Sugar Free Chocolate
15. Avocado Oil
17. Olive Oil
Targeted Keto Diet
Targeted Ketogenic Diets (TKD) are geared toward bodybuilders. With a targeted keto, allowable carbohydrates are scheduled into the meal plan a half hour before a workout. The key to making this diet a success is high- intensity workouts to get that glucose burned out of the system before it is taken out of ketosis.
A good tip for burning your allowable carbs fast is to eat easily digestible carbohydrates. After the workout, it is essential to take in more protein to rebuild muscle fast.
Cyclical Keto Diet
This variation of the standard diet allows you to have healthy carbs like berries and other lower glycemic foods on the carb list. You will need to put yourself back on the classic keto diet after 24-48 hours to get back into ketosis easily without all the adverse effects such as “keto flu.”
High Protein Ketogenic Diet
This variation is targeted more towards people struggling with obesity. In a high protein ketogenic diet, practitioners will consume 35% protein, 60% fat, and 5% carbs. The carbs are still kept low, but in this case, the fat is decreased by 15%, and the corresponding increase in protein is 15%. Protein is vital on the keto diet, but too much of it will cause you to fall out of ketosis, as mentioned earlier. This variation is also suitable for elite athletes.
Restricted Ketogenic Diet
This is a restricted caloric version of the standard diet, and only 12 grams of carbohydrate per day are allowed. This diet is most often used in medical settings and most often in the cancer ward when someone is following a keto diet with their cancer treatments. It is a variation used with a three day fast. A 2010 study showed that a patient with a form of brain cancer had no signs of mutated brain tissue after two months on this diet. Medical professionals will not only monitor caloric intake, carbs, and ketosis, but specific ketone levels will need to be achieved.
I am not advocating ketogenic diets, just trying to create an informed environment. Please post questions in the forum area, and I will address each one.
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#ketogenic, #ketogenicdiets, #lowcarbohydrates
"Targeted Ketogenic Diet" by Stephen Pearson is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Fatty liver disease affects 25.2% of the population worldwide. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD is often a precursor to colon cancer, making it a common practice now to screen all fatty liver diagnosis for bowel cancer.
What is NAFLD?
Fatty liver is just that. The normal cells of the liver have been replaced with fat cells that cannot do the job of a liver cell. Thus, the total mass of the liver is decreased, which impacts the quality of the job a liver can do, which is to filter the blood coming from the gastrointestinal tract and to detoxify toxins from food, the environment, and from oxidative stress within the body.
Weighing in at three lbs., the liver is the workhorse of the digestive system and performs over 500 functions to keep the body healthy.
What Causes NAFLD?
Lifestyle choices affect most chronic diseases, and NAFLD is no exception. The primary aggravators of fatty liver disease are:
· Being overweight or obese
· Being insulin resistant
· Having abnormally high levels of blood fats, especially triglycerides
· Having metabolic syndrome or symptoms of such
· Being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes
Understanding the causes and contributors to fatty liver disease assist practitioners in individualizing a comprehensive care plan to reverse the disorder. Although no established treatment protocol exists for NAFLD, several treatments have been shown to reverse the damage and restore healthy liver functioning. Specifically, there are ten different approaches to restoring the liver to a healthy metabolic balance.
1. Losing weight
Excess weight causes inflammation and insulin resistance, both contributors to fatty liver disease. Studies show that a weight loss of just 10% can dramatically improve NAFLD indicators and function. Even losing 3-5% of one’s body weight can improve liver function and insulin sensitivity.
With exercise, there is an increase in fatty acid oxidation (thus taking it out of the liver), improved insulin sensitivity in the cells, decreased fatty acid synthesis, and a reduction in liver and mitochondrial damage. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and the primary determinant of our metabolic rate (in conjunction with the thyroid). Physical exercise remains a powerful keyway to reversing fatty liver disease.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week. Or, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week will produce the same beneficial results. Even handicapped and elderly individuals can participate in low impact exercises such as sitting exercises, walking, aqua therapy, Tai Chi, or other creative forms of movement.
Berberine is a herbal supplement frequently used to replace pharmaceutical drugs in lowering cholesterol and glucose. Recent studies have shown it to be beneficial in NAFLD, although more research is needed to determine effective dosage.
Berberine promotes fatty acid oxidation, inhibits fat generation and positively alters gut microbes. It has been used as a pharmacological replacement for Metformin ( a standard glucose-lowering drug) and for statin medications (used for cholesterol reduction) with excellent outcomes.
Berberine is safe with few if any, side- effects aside from some mild gastrointestinal discomfort occasionally reported.
The dosage of Berberine most effective is 500 mg three times daily.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
Studies have shown the administration of omega-3 fatty acids to improve liver enzyme levels, normalize blood triglycerides, lowers the enzyme GGT, increases HDLs, and decreases fat in the liver. These are all positive changes indicative of liver regeneration. Recent studies suggest that treatment with omega-3 fatty acids may be a new pharmacological approach due to their positive impact on liver inflammation, fibrosis, and liver injury.
Studies using omega 3 supplements have achieved positive results with 450 mg – 4 gms/day. Most studies use 1 gram twice per day of omega-3 fatty acids to achieve effects while avoiding fishy aftertastes or unpleasant gastrointestinal upset.
Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, flaxseeds and walnuts.
5. Milk Thistle
In a recent study, the obtained results indicated that silymarin (milk thistle) appears to be effective in reducing the biochemical, inflammatory, and ultrasonic indices of hepatic steatosis. Some parameters indicative of an early stage of atherosclerosis were also lowered.
Milk thistle also decreased insulin resistance.
The most effective dose to achieve a liver improvement is 420 mg/day.
Beetroot is effective due to its betaine content, which is known to control the inflammation and fibrotic changes within the liver. Beetroot is also super high in antioxidants and nutrients, aside from the betaine content.
Beets can be enjoyed as food or purchased as a food supplement. It comes as a powder to make beet juice or in capsules in the root form. Beetroot juice 80-140 ml daily or 200 grams baked or simmered beets can be used for therapy.
Increasing nutritional fiber has been shown to reduce liver enzymes and improve fatty liver infiltration. Increasing vegetables and complex carbohydrates should help, but if on a weight loss program, and especially if constipation is a problem, a fiber supplement may be in order.
PGX is a water-soluble fiber that can be taken before or with meals to increase satiety, decrease blood sugars and fats, and positively affect the liver. If FODMAPS are a problem, taking Benefiber might be a better choice, and two servings a day provide only 6 grams of fiber – not enough to cause the common side effects of adding a fiber supplement of bloating and gas.
The fiber recommendations for NALFD are at least 21 grams per day. Dosing should start low and go slow to avoid bloating and cramps.
8. High Fructose Corn Syrup
Fructose is poorly metabolized in NAFLD. Foods high in fructose should be limited. Fresh fruits can be limited to two per day. Sugar, which is part fructose and glucose also needs to be avoided due to the fructose content. Then there is high fructose corn syrup, an additive in pop and many processed foods. Avoid at all costs. Read labels but do not consume high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)-containing beverages were associated with metabolic abnormalities and contributed to the development of NAFLD in human trials. Ingested carbohydrates are a major stimulus for hepatic de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and are more likely to directly contribute to NAFLD than dietary fat.
9. Vitamin D
New evidence suggests that low serum Vitamin D may cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Hypovitaminosis D is associated with the severity and incidence of NAFLD.
A test of vitamin D status should be run on every patient with a diagnosis of NAFLD. Furthermore, levels less than 30 should be repleted with supra-optimum doses for a period such as the repletion protocol of 10,000 IU for 5 days for 6 weeks and then retest and adjust dosage.
10. Emphasis on low glycemic index carbohydrates
A low glycemic Mediterranean type diet was found to decrease the indicators of fatty liver in a short amount of time in a recent randomized clinical trial. It was concluded that this type of intervention should be pursued as part of all lifestyle interventions for NAFLD.
Many of these changes are fairly easy but some may require some education. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your Registered Dietitian for guidance on how to make these changes.
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#NAFLD, #berberine, #fattyliver, #lowglycemic, #HFCS, #vitaminD, #beetroot, #milkthistle
Do You Need Magnesium?
Approximately 10-20% of the U.S population suffers from magnesium deficiency. Many people do not care about their deficiencies, but deficiencies are at the root cause of many disorders and chronic illnesses. A lack of magnesium, for example, can adversely affect the heart, muscles, sleep, energy level, and feeling of well-being. Are you having trouble sleeping at night but are fatigued during the day? Do you have difficulty with digestion and are chronically constipated? You may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency.
What About Magnesium in Food?
Magnesium levels in food have declined by 80-90% according to some research. That means getting magnesium from food unless it is added, is difficult. Also, many medications, such as a popular antacid, Omeprazole, causes low magnesium levels.
Won't Magnesium Deficiency be Corrected with a Multivitamin?
Couple a low intake with drug-nutrient interactions with a medical profession not trained to monitor magnesium levels when warranted, and we have a population deficiency problem that can easily be corrected through supplementation. In most cases, your One- A- Day won't do it, however. A scrupulous look at your multivitamin label will often find magnesium lacking. The reason it is often not included is it overpowers the smaller minerals also needed by the body like selenium. So, read the label before you feel confident your multivitamin is meeting your magnesium needs.
Forms of Magnesium
Magnesium comes bound to another molecule, which affects how well it is absorbed and the action of the molecule in the body. Examples include:
Magnesium sulfate: Found abundantly in Epsom salts, it has good absorption with low toxicity. It is terrific for tissue application and is absorbed well through the skin. It is used intravenously to prevent preterm labor, for bronchospasm, acute nephritis, and toxemia of pregnancy.
Magnesium Glycinate: This form of magnesium is one of the gentlest on the stomach. It is this form that is used for those recovering from bariatric surgery as it is the best absorbed and is also the supplement of choice for those recovering from low blood levels. It is the ideal form of magnesium for those who can not tolerate the laxative effects of magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate. Glycine, the molecule bound to magnesium, has a calming effect on the nerves and is supportive of cognitive function. It is often the form used for migraine headaches.
Magnesium L-Threonate: This is a newer form of magnesium and research is showing it to have a cognitive and neuropathic advantage in the animal model. The fact that this form of magnesium restored memory to aging rodents poses possible applications at a clinical level that need to be studied further.
It is the only form of magnesium that has been shown to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, thus directly raising brain magnesium levels. Anecdotal evidence suggests that magnesium L-threonate may help get rid of "brain fog" and helps with vestibular migraine. The downside is it is expensive and new and needs further research.
Magnesium Malate: Most commonly used form for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It is said to have a high bioavailability, supports energy production, and the ability to chelate toxic metals. Malate also creates less gastrointestinal stress and irritation than oxide and citrate. It may be too energizing for some.
Magnesium Citrate: It is excellent for relieving Constipation. It is not as bioavailable as the other forms of magnesium.
Magnesium Oxide: Not very bioavailable and is used most frequently as a laxative or for heartburn.
What is the Dosage for Magnesium?
Most experts agree that 3-4 mg/kg/day will replete magnesium levels. However, keep in mind, though, that the recommended daily intake for adults for magnesium is between 310-400 mg per day depending on age and sex, so this repletion dosage may be on the low side for some. Repletion can be done based on conditions as below:
*Cluster headache: 1 gram of magnesium
*Vasoplastic Angina: 65 mg/kg given by IV
*Constipation: 8.75-25 g of magnesium citrate in a 150 ml to 300 ml solution
*Indigestion: 400-1200 mg of magnesium hydroxide up to 4x per day; 800 mg of magnesium oxide may also be used
Low blood levels: 3 grams of magnesium sulfate taken every 6 hours for 4 doses according to one reference. A glycinate version would probably be more effective. A 5% solution of magnesium chloride for 16 weeks may be used
*Heart disease: 800-1200 of magnesium oxide for three months
*Migraine: 400 mg/day
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Low Magnesium Levels?
· Muscle twitches or cramps
· Lethargy and fatigue
· Irregular heartbeats
· Nausea and vomiting
· Personality changes
· Anxiety and panic attacks
· High blood pressure
· Type 2 diabetes
· Acid reflux
Foods High in Magnesium
· Leafy vegetables
· Tuna fish
· Pumpkin seeds
· Dark chocolate
· Whole grains
· Fatty fish
So, Do You Need Magnesium?
Magnesium deficiency is relatively common in clinical practice but goes mostly unrecognized due to a lack of testing. For example, low magnesium has been found in 84% of premenopausal women with Osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency may persist despite normal serum levels. It has been suggested that the lower limit of normal for serum magnesium references an early deficiency. Measuring red blood cell magnesium is more accurate than serum magnesium.
What are the high-risk groups for low magnesium?
· Those with digestive or absorption issues
· Those over 60
· Those on proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole
· Those with diabetes
If you are experiencing symptoms such as those in the list above and are in one of the high-risk groups listed, you may be at risk for magnesium deficiency. Wouldn't it be great if you could start sleeping better and have more energy just by taking a supplement or changing your diet?
Need help finding quality magnesium products? Shop at Nutritional Synergy Clinic's Dispensary at https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/kshattler
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#magnesium, #hypomagnesaemia, #chronicfatiguesyndrome, #insomnia, #magnesiumsupplements, #magnesiumdeficiency
Alzheimer's Disease (AD), a brain disorder that ravages your memory, robbed 5.5 million Americans of their quality of life in 2019. Two-thirds of those affected were women, the traditional caretakers of our society. African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to be diagnosed with this illness, and there is no cure. But there is hope.
Research is showing that diet may delay the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease, and we all know that every moment we can spend with our loved one where we don't have to wrestle with the side-effects of this disease are precious and to be treasured.
Studies from Rush University in Chicago have found that the MIND diet, a combination of the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet, may decrease the risk of Alzheimer's by as much as 50% and can still protect the brain even when not followed rigorously.
What is the MIND Diet?
The MIND diet was born out of blending the DASH diet for hypertension, which focused on limiting sodium in the diet while increasing vegetables and low-fat dairy with the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean Diet, a diet focused on increasing consumption of vegetables, monounsaturated fats from olive oil, fish, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids- the building blocks of this meal plan.
Researchers believe that those who follow the diet for years will receive the most significant protective benefits. The time to start a MIND diet is when you find out you have Alzheimer's Disease in the family as it will lower your risk of developing it. For those who already have it, it's not too late to start the diet to delay the progression of AD.
What Does the MIND Diet Do?
The MIND diet emphasizes those foods that protect the brain and restricts those foods that affect the brain adversely. It works because it reduces inflammation of the brain and nerves; it acts as an antioxidant for the tissues it makes nerve transmission more fluid and decreases neuron loss while improving memory overall.
How Do I Follow a MIND Diet?
As with any major change, start slow. Make a few changes at a time until the MIND diet feels like your everyday routine. Soon even grocery shopping will become automatic, and you won't have to pour over lists of foods that you aren't used to eating or learning new recipes or ways of cooking because it has become a habit. It just takes a little time, one step at a time.
When introducing starchy beans into the diet, do so slowly if it is a new food to the individual. Starchy beans like chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, fava beans, etc., are not only high in fiber, they may be gas forming and cause bloating if introduced into the diet too quickly. Always introduce increased fiber slowly with 8 glasses of water per day to avoid bloating.
Another trick to lessen gas and bloating from beans is to either soak them overnight, drain and rinse or bring to a boil and drain, rinse and then bring the beans to heat again. Draining the water gets rid of the gassy component present in beans.
Also, some healthy foods can be expensive, a real consideration for most of us. One way to save money is to buy fruits and vegetables in season and freeze them. Don't use sugar or salt, just freeze them after they've been cleaned, label and date them and freeze for later.
MIND Diet Guidelines
The Rules of the Diet Are:
The MIND diet supports vascular health and is protective against vascular dementia. Certain foods used in the MIND diet have been directly linked to improved neurological function or reduced Alzheimer's Disease biomarkers in the brain. MIND diet foods reflect nutrients that have been shown in studies to slow cognitive decline, decrease the risk of AD, scour the brain of amyloid plaque, and decrease neuron loss.
So, while a cure may not be here, hope is on the horizon for a better quality of life by following the MIND diet.
#Alzheimer's Disease #MIND diet #cognitive #dementia
What is Evidence-Based Medicine?
Defined, evidence-based medicine is the cumulative result of a synthesis of clinical expertise, patient’s values and the best scientific evidence we have available relative to that patient’s care. Evidence-based medicine (EBM) originated in the second half of the 19th century and represents the conscientious use of the best evidence available in making reasonable decisions about patient care.
Gaps Between Research and Practice in Medicine
One of the biggest shortcomings of using EBM is the gap between the release of scientific studies and their adoption by the clinical community. It represents a huge knowledge gap and a barrier to the implementation of the EBM model. For example, in the case of the beneficial use of aspirin in the treatment of heart attack victims, it took almost a decade for it to become a routine practice after the EBM studies were released.
Interestingly, the publication of COVID-19 articles are bypassing some of the usual publication rules and are going right into the search engines. This is to specifically reduce the gap between research and practice, an endeavor much needed in this pandemic.
Classification of Evidence
EBM classifies evidence based on their freedom from biases in the interpretation of the results. The levels of evidence look something like this:
1. Evidence obtained by a meta-analysis of several randomized controlled research (RCR).
2. Evidence from a sole RCR.
3. Evidence from one well designed controlled RCR.
4. Evidence from one quasi-experimental approach.
5. Research case study only.
6. Evidence from one’s clinical practice or case studies.
Each level represents a strength of evidence to ponder in application to a patient’s case or to a public health situation. With EBM a provider can assess the strength of evidence with the risks/benefits of ordering tests and treatments for an individual patient or the strength of evidence for a public health recommendation. We are said to be in an age of EBM.
Five Ways Evidence-Based Medicine Adds Value to the Functional Health Model
1. EBM helps functional health providers stay on top of standardized treatment protocols without reading 17 studies a day by utilizing study classification and priority.
2. Uses timely data to make decisions. This has been greatly aided by the computer age and the development and maintenance of large databases of information that providers can access for research and education.
3. It improves accountability, transparency, and worth. What this means is the patient acquires the best care for the least cost with all variables of the treatment consistent with the values of the patient.
4. Improves the quality of care. Despite the fact that Americans spend more money on healthcare than any other nation in the world, we are the sickest.
5. Improves outcomes. Functional health providers are invested in practicing medicine that works, not just seeing patients on a daily schedule and taking care of urgent ills. They want to see that a prescribed treatment has true value for a patient and that the care received has made a significant impact on that patient’s overall health and well-being.
Functional health represents a fusion of EBM and alternative medicine. It has been argued that functional health practitioners are not evidence-based practitioners. That cannot be further from the truth. Functional health practitioners frequently rely on EBM for treatment decisions and novel approaches to diseases that are on the cutting edge of scientific decisions and novel approaches to diseases.
#evidence-based medicine #EBM #quality control #functional health #evidence
"Culture of Evidence" by JasonGoto is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
We are in the dark days of a novel pandemic where any glimmer of preventive hope on the horizon is appreciated in this battle. Research has recently sounded the horns of prevention in terms of taking vitamin D to fortify the body’s immune system against influenza and the novel coronavirus. According to the most recent public health outcry, the most at-risk population should be fortifying themselves with 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily in the weeks before winter and then stabilize intake at 5,000 IU per day to maintain blood levels of 40-50 ng/ml, although, admittedly, this research is controversial and needs more study.
Vitamin D acts by three mechanisms – maintaining a physical barrier, increasing natural cellular immunity, and increasing adaptive immunity. Vitamin D helps keep tight gap junctions between cells. Several articles have suggested how viruses disturb junction integrity, increasing infection by the viruses and other microorganisms that can squeeze through the leaky membranes. This is a physical barrier function.
Innate immunity is enhanced through the induction of antimicrobial peptides, which exhibit direct antiviral and antimicrobial activities against a spectrum of microbes, including enveloped and nonenveloped viruses, fungi, and bacteria. These peptides kill the invading pathogens by invading their cell membrane and neutralizing necessary biological activities.
Cellular immunity is enhanced in part by reducing the cytokine storm induced by the innate immune system. The innate immune system generates both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in response to viral infections. Vitamin D can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while increasing the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Vitamin D supplementation also enhances the expression of genes related to antioxidation. Increased glutathione productions spare the use of vitamin C, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities. Glutathione is a peptide involved as an antioxidant, and vitamin D affects its expression.
What is the Optimal Blood Level for Vitamin D in the Prevention of COVID-19?
Research shows that 38 ng/L was sufficient for reducing community-acquired pneumonia, although the degree of protection increased as blood level increased with the optimal range being 40-60 ng/ml. Studies show that those at risk for influenza or COVID should take vitamin D to reduce this risk. Furthermore, randomized control trials are now recommended based upon positive clinical and observational studies on the role of vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of virus related infections.
High doses of vitamin D seem to be well tolerated with doses of 60,000 IU/d found in the literature to treat asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, rickets, and tuberculosis in the 1930s and 40s. High doses of vitamin D over prolonged periods can damage the kidneys; however, we are talking about high doses for a short time. The tolerable upper limit for vitamin D is 4,000 IU/day. Research shows that doses of 25,000 IU have not caused severe side-effects. Everyone is different, and we err on the side of caution.
Obviously, the research on COVID is challenging the tolerable upper limit in its recommendations suggesting that supplementation could improve the outcome of the clinical COVID 19 condition.
Improvement of Clinical Outcomes of COVID-19 with Supplementation
Recent research results have shown that having a favorable clinical outcome rather than a critical outcome was increased approximately 19.61 times with a high vitamin D level. Vitamin D status was found to be significantly associated with clinical outcomes. Of 212 cases of COVID 19, 23.1 % were identified as mild, 27.8 % were ordinary, and 26.4 % were severe, and 22. % were critical. Mean serum vitamin D level was 23.8 ng/ml with < 20 being defined as deficient. Using multinomial logistic regression, a distinct relationship was found between the level of vitamin D and the severity of clinical outcomes between all levels of severity compared to levels of vitamin D.
As for the link with immune function, one systematic review and one met-analysis of data from 11,321 people published in the British Medical Journal found that people who took weekly or daily supplements of vitamin D were less likely to develop respiratory tract infections than those who didn't. There is despite a conflicting review in the same journal that said there was no relationship. Then, another review published in the same journal issue stated that according to the Royal Society there is a biologically plausible reason to suspect vitamin D deficiency to be involved in immune dysregulation. Clearly we see a confusion in study results. In the midst of all this mud, Dr. Fauci himself states he takes two vitamins to ward off COVID, vitamin D and vitamin C.
Public Health Call to Action
Research is showing that vitamin D deficiency is common and may contribute to increased risk of respiratory infection, particularly COVID-19. It is advised by some groups that the following be urgently supplemented with 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D to enhance their resistance to COVID-19:
While there is a slight discrepancy between the amounts of vitamin D being recommended, the fact that supplementation is being recommended should not be taken lightly. Every nursing home resident should have it in their care plan to increase vitamin D intake to 1,000-10,000 IU per day, depending on their blood levels. Deficient individuals may need to supplement with 10,000 IU 5 days per week for six weeks and then drop down to 5,000 IU per day until optimal blood levels are reached, and then maintenance may be set at 1,000 IU/d. Others who have higher blood levels of vitamin D may only need 800 IU per day.
The best thing to do is get your blood level for vitamin D measured and then consult with your health care provider for repletion and maintenance dosing recommendations.
#COVID-19 #vitaminD #coronavirus #vitamins #vitamin D deficiency
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Berberine is a chemical found in several plants including the European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, philodendron, and tree turmeric and belongs to a class of compounds called alkaloids. It is said to have powerful effects similar to that of a pharmacological nature and has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. It is just now coming of age in modern nutritional medicine in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes.
How Does Berberine Work? Berberine is known to stimulate insulin secretion and to activate AMPK, an enzyme known to regulate cellular energy metabolism. Its primary actions are to:
Effectiveness of Berberine in Diabetic Patients: Berberine has been found to act in a similar manner as the commonly used diabetes drug Metformin. It is not clear whether metformin and berberine undertake all actions via the same mechanisms, or some via similar and other different mechanisms. While the severe adverse gastrointestinal side-effects that interfere with metformin compliance are generally absent in berberine treatment, treatment with both berberine and metformin (or other oral hypoglycemics) has been found to be superior in controlling glucose than either treatment alone.
Dosage and treatment duration may vary with the patient’s age. Data suggests that berberine therapy becomes unremarkable in treatments lasting more than 90 days or in amounts greater than 2 grams. Further clinical studies of longer duration are needed in this area. The most effective dose is 500 mg three times a day.
Because most anti-diabetic drugs cannot be used in patients with hepatic dysfunction, renal disease, and heart disease, this makes pharmacological therapy of type 2 diabetes complicated and the use of other nutraceuticals such as berberine more desirable.
Current studies have reported the significance of berberine against oxidative stress and inflammation in cells, elaborating its vital role in diabetes mellitus. Generally, a decrease in blood glucose level by 20–40% is reported in fasting patients treated with berberine alone, this effect resembles that of rosiglitazone and metformin treatment.
Application: Preliminary research from both animal and human studies indicate that berberine therapy in dosages of 500 mg three times per day may be an advantageous treatment for diabetes type 2 either alone or in conjunction with other hypoglycemics for optimal blood sugar control with minimal adverse side-effects.
The mechanisms of action of berberine mirror those of the common anti-diabetic drug metformin without the severe diarrhea side-effects that adversely affect medication compliance.
Further long-term studies are needed on human subjects to identify exact mechanisms of action and duration of treatment best utilized for long term blood sugar control of diabetes.
#berberine #AMPK #diabetes #blood sugar #type 2 diabetes #metformin
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.