The Calcium Paradox... Explained

For years women, children and the elderly have been advised to increase their intake of Calcium through supplements and dairy foods.

That statement was not accompanied by a warning that unless you provide your body with thmilke mechanism to transport that calcium into your bones, it will form calcium deposits.

 

The Problem with Calcium

Calcium buildup in soft tissues can cause medical problems.

Calcium can accumulate in the arterial plaque that develops after an injury to the vessel wall.

Normal deposition of calcium occurs in only two places: bone and teeth.

Abnormal deposits of calcium occurs in multiple tissues including:

  1. the inner lining of the arteries (the intima) where atherosclerotic plaque accrues;

  2. the middle muscle layer of arteries (smooth muscle calcification);

  3. the heart valves, especially the aortic valve causing aortic stenosis

To The Rescue

Vitamin K2 appears to be the most important factor in steering calcium into the bone and away from heart valves and the arterial system.

Vitamin K is absolutely essential for regulating calcium balance in the body. A deficiency of vitamin K status causes brittle bones and a vascular system that hardens to a state of poor functionality.

A substantial volume of studies shows that insufficient vitamin K2 accelerates arterial calcification.1 A new study shows that restoring vitamin K2 reverses arterial calcification.2white tablets

Based on the plethora of studies published in 2008, vitamins K2 and K3 have also emerged as intriguing agents in both cancer prevention and treatment.

Vitamin K2 has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell destruction) in leukemia cells in vitro.3

In nature, vitamin K is found in two forms: vitamin K1, which occurs in leafy green vegetables; and vitamin K2, which exists in organ meats, egg yolks, dairy products, and particularly in fermented products such as cheese and curd.

While some ingested K1 is converted to K2 in the body, significant benefits occur when vitamin K2 itself is supplemented.4

Recommend this video.

References:

1. Beulens JW, Bots ML, Atsma F, et al. High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jul 19.

2. Schurgers LJ , Spronk HM , Soute BA, Schiffers PM, DeMey JG, Vermeer C . Regression of warfarin-induced medial elastocalcinosis by high intake of vitamin K in rats. Blood. 2007 Apr 1;109(7):2823-31. 
3. Tsujioka T, Miura Y, Otsuki T, et al. The mechanisms of vitamin K2-induced apoptosis of myeloma cells. Haematologica. 2006 May;91(5):613-9.
 
4. Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):3100-5.
 
 ~ Be Well.

First CUTC "Fighting Disease With Food" Info Session a Success!

On Sunday, I held the first Cooking Up The Cure (CUTC) informational session : Fighting Disease with Food. A good friend of mine who is a Nutritionist joined me. My acupuncturist kindly offered her lovely office space to me.

Snuggled amid a forest of trees, and furnished with gorgeous Asian furniture, a wood porch runs the length of the back of the building bordering the creek. It was the perfect setting for a relaxed health related talk.

Susan's office
Susan's office
Susan' porch
Susan' porch

I developed a PowerPoint presentation that included recent studies funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) which found that certain foods, spices or vitamins are proving to be just as effective (and in one case MORE effective ) as Chemotherapy in the treatment of Cancer, and others that have linked Autism and Depression to low Antioxidant levels.

I talked about Antioxidants, Carotenoids, the Fantastic Foods and Spices and Super Supplements that are being recommended as part of a Complimentary treatment approach to many serious illnesses, and why it's critical to maintain high Antioxidant levels either by eating the MINIMUM 7 - 10 servings of low-sugar fruits and a wide spectrum of colorful vegetables EVERY day, OR by taking a high quality pure Antioxidant Supplement to ensure our body is able to fight back if attacked by disease.

Attendees got their palms scanned by our Biophotonic Scanner, and were either surprised or pleased with their reading. A number of attendants will be taking our Tëgreen* supplement which has the equivalent catechins (the major component of green tea extract, have highly beneficial physiologic effects.) as 7 cups of green tea. • Tegreen 97(R) enhanced insulin sensitivity • Improved glucose-lipid metabolism • Increased fat burning and decreased body fat percentageLowered body weight associated with inhibited angiogenesis.

Learn more:

Study on Tëgreen 97(R)

I baked some Black Bean Dark Chocolate Bars and made a Quinoa Salad which I cooked with Green Tea, as samples of the Anti-Disease Diet. Both were a hit.

Each participant received CUTC Info packets that included the list of Fantastic Foods; a laminated list of Foods and their Antioxidant values; a reusable grocery list to take along when shopping for high antioxidant, vitamin packed foods; several Anti-Cancer recipes, and more.

It was so successful that I am having another one in Berkeley in a couple of weeks, open to a slightly larger audience.  I want to keep it small enough to engage with attendees and have a meaningful discussion.

* For more information on these supplements send me an email. 

Cheers! ♥

Gluta-what??

"It's the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease --

yet you've probably never heard of it. It's the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer's disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it -- but your doctor doesn't know how address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule ...

What is it? I'm talking about the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced "gloota-thigh-own").

The highest concentration of glutathione is found in the liver, making it critically important in the detoxification and elimination of free radicals. Accumulation of these dangerous compounds can result in oxidative stress, which occurs when the generation of free radicals in the body exceeds the body’s ability to neutralize and eliminate them. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds created in the body during normal metabolic functions; they can also enter the body through the environment.

 

How Should Glutathione Be Taken?

 Unfortunately the BEST way to get supplemental glutathione into our system is through intravenous therapy.

Glutathione is probably not well absorbed into the body when taken by mouth.  A more practical solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself. While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

Note: Glutathione was the main ingredient in the immune system boosting 'cocktail' I was given daily at the Immune Clinic I've mentioned in earlier blogs, in Orange County.

   "The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.

    This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.

   At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness -- and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance. "  from Dr. Mark Hyman's blog .. read more here.

Another Source:

 Glutathione: New Supplement on the Block

July 30, 2001 -- Who wouldn't like to get their hands on a naturally occurring substance that acts as an antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detoxifier? Something that can help your body repair damage caused by stress, pollution, radiation, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, injury, trauma, and burns?

 A handful of researchers are saying the antioxidant glutathione can do all that and maybe more. But can you believe such sweeping claims? What's the evidence to back them up? Here are what three experts have to say:

 Gustavo Bounous, MD, is director of research and development at Immunotec and a retired professor of surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. "It's the [body's] most important antioxidant because it's within the cell."

 Antioxidants -- the most well-known of which are vitamins C and E -- are important for good health because they neutralize free radicals, which can build up in cells and cause damage.

 Glutathione occurs naturally in many foods, and people who eat well probably have enough in their diets, says Dean Jones, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of nutritional health sciences at Emory University in Atlanta. Those with diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables and freshly prepared meats are most likely just fine. On the other hand, those with poor diets may get too little.

 What Does Glutathione Do?

 The strong antioxidant effect of glutathione helps keep cells running smoothly. Bounous and another glutathione expert, Jeremy Appleton, ND, say it also helps the liver remove chemicals that are foreign to the body, such as drugs and pollutants.

 Appleton is Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore., and senior science editor for Healthnotes, a database on complementary and alternative medicine available at newspaper stands and health food stores.

 "If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione," says Appleton. "The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health."

 Since Glutathione is not well absorbed when taken by mouth, a solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself.  While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

 Bounous has developed a glutathione-enhancing product called Immunocal, which is made up of glutathione precursors, mainly the amino acid cysteine.

 Who Does Glutathione Help?

 Animal and laboratory studies have demonstrated that glutathione has the potential to fight almost any disease, particularly those associated with aging, since free radical damage is the cause of many of the diseases of old age.

 "Theoretically, there are many very strong arguments in favor of a therapeutic use of glutathione," says Appleton. "But when people have actually tried to use glutathione as an oral supplement, nasal spray, or intravenously, the results have been more of a preliminary nature. The amount of research on glutathione as a supplement ... is very limited."

 The best studies have been conducted in cancer. One study involved women with ovarian cancer who were being treated with chemotherapy. Some of the women were also treated with intravenous glutathione. Those given the glutathione not only had fewer side effects from the chemotherapy but also had better overall survival rates.

 Case Study

Myriam Abalain of Montreal, Canada, is one of the many people who have taken Bounous's Immunocal to combat cancer. In 1996, at age 33, a routine PAP smear revealed she had precancerous cells on her cervix, which is one step away from having cervical cancer. The three specialists she visited all told her that a hysterectomy was her only option, but she hesitated to have such major, life-altering surgery.

 Instead, she waited. For more than two years, her condition remained stable. Then a friend suggested she try Immunocal. After eight months of taking the supplement, her physician could no longer detect any precancerous cells. Does this mean Immunocal cured her? It's hard to say based on just one case like hers. It is possible her body went into remission naturally.

 Even Bounous acknowledges there's no real proof his product cured her cancer, but he's working on conducting good clinical research, comparing individuals with cancer taking glutathione to those who are not.

 

What Are the Risks?

 Overall, taking glutathione or its precursors in reasonable amounts appears to be quite safe, although it should be avoided in people with milk protein allergies and in those who have received an organ transplant. There is also some concern, however, about the safety of taking glutathione for the one condition for which there is the greatest evidence of its usefulness: cancer.

 "People don't get concerned about these health-promoting [supplements] until they're in their 50s and 60s," says Emory's Dean Jones. At that point, they may already have the initial precancerous [cells]. Therefore, the supplements, just like they promote health in normal tissues, might promote health in the precancerous tissue."

 Appleton recognizes this possibility but says "there's no evidence that supplementing with glutathione, even intravenously, is in any way going to make any cancer worse. In fact, the evidence we have suggests the opposite."

 Bounous says his research has demonstrated that taking Immunocal actually lowers glutathione in cancer cells while increasing it in normal cells. As a result, the cancer cells are more vulnerable to chemotherapy, and the normal cells are protected.

 The upshot? The experts disagree on who should take glutathione or its precursors. Bounous says everyone should take it in order to optimize overall health. Appleton would reserve it for people with cancer. Jones says it might only prove beneficial for those who eat poorly and are thus unlikely to be getting much glutathione or its precursors in their diet.

 They all acknowledge that people with severe diseases known to be associated with low glutathione levels, such as AIDS, may well benefit from the supplement, although there is no proof to this effect.

 For her part, Myriam Abalain is still taking Immunocal and feeling fine. "I'm doing pretty good now," she says. "I'm in better shape than ever!"

*~*~*~*~*~

 If you have any of the listed illnesses, talk to your doctor about Glutathione treatment, especially if you are in Chemotherapy.

  ~ Be Well. 

Sugars and Sweeteners - Glycemic Index

It's not easy to shop for foods by glycemic index unless you know what that is.  Once you have the ratings you can incorporate them into your shopping list before you leave the house.  With this in hand, and soon in your head!, you will be able to make intelligent choices about what is 'healthy'. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise our blood glucose (blood sugar) level. A food with a low GI will typically prompt a moderate rise in blood glucose, while foods with a high GI may cause our blood glucose level to spike above the optimal level.

An awareness of foods' Glycemic Index can help you control your blood sugar levels, and may help you prevent heart disease, improve cholesterol levels, prevent insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, prevent certain cancers, and achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

Note: A study tracked participants for year and found that overweight people on a low-carb, low-glycemic-index diet lost just as much weight -- 8% of their original weight -- as people on a reduced-fat, high-glycemic-index diet. So as long as you stick with healthy fats (Coconut and Olive oil), your focus should be on the GI of the foods you eat.

Artificial Sweeteners N/A Never a Healthy Sugar Alternative All artificial chemical sweeteners are toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain, the very reason many people consume them. They should be avoided. In fact, given a choice between high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, we recommend high fructose corn syrup by far (though it's essentially asking if you should consume poison or worse poison).

Stevia 0 Best Healthy Sugar Alternative Though it is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, stevia is not a sugar. Unlike other popular sweeteners, it has a glycemic index rating of less than 1 and therefore does not feed candida (yeast) or cause any of the numerous other problems associated with sugar consumption. Please note that Stevia and Truvia are not the same thing.

Xylitol 7 Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol sweetener found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables which can cause bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence with initial consumption. It's said to be safe for pregnant women, and is said to possibly treat ear infections, osteoporosis, respiratory infections, candida, and is it even helps fight cavities. In fact, in Finland, virtually all chewing gum is sweetened with xylitol.

Agave Nectar 15-30 * Although it has a low-glycemic index, Agave syrup is made from the Blue Agave plant by the extraction and purification of "sap" from the agave plant, which is broken down by natural enzymes into the mono-saccharides (simple sugars): mainly fructose (70-75%) and dextrose (20-26%).

* Agave nectar is 90% fructose. If excessive fructose is causing our obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome epidemic, then agave might be worse than high fructose corn syrup (55% fructose) and worse than table sugar.

Fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin release and as a result, doesn’t stimulate the release of another hormone that makes us feel full. Plus, fructose goes to the liver to be broken down, and there it is converted to fat, which can raise cholesterol and triglycerides.

Furthermore, much of the Agave Syrups sold in stores are made from fructose and have little or no actual Agave sap in them.

Fructose 17 Though fructose has a low glycemic index rating, fructose consumption should be limited. Fructose is linked to heart disease as it raises triglycerides and cholesterol. It is devoid of nutrition. Refined fructose puts an enormous strain on the liver.

Brown Rice Syrup 85 It is not recommended for diabetics, since its sweetness comes from maltose, which is known to cause spikes in blood sugar.

Raw Honey 30 A Healthy Sugar Alternative in moderation With antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients, raw, unprocessed honey is considered a super-food by many alternative health care practitioners and a remedy for many health ailments. Choose your honey wisely. There is nothing beneficial about processed honey.

Coconut Palm Sugar 35 Originally made from the sugary sap of the Palmyra palm , the date palm or sugar date palm (Phoenix sylvestris). It's also made from the sap of coconut palms. With a relatively low glycemic index, Coconut palm sugar is the new rage among health nuts. It's often called "coconut nectar sugar" or "coconut sugar".  BUT.. The composition of coconut sugar (also known as gula kelapa, jaggery or gur) obtained from three locations in Indonesia was determined using HPLC. Sucrose was the major component of all samples (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3-9% each).

Apple Juice 40 Fresh apple juice is good for you, though we recommend eating fresh raw whole apples. Concentrated apple juice (sometimes used as a sweetener) is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice.

Barley Malt Syrup 42 Barley malt syrup is considered to be one of the healthiest sweeteners in the natural food industry. Barley malt is made by soaking and sprouting barley to make malt, then combining it with more barley and cooking this mixture until the starch is converted to sugar. The mash is then strained and cooked down to syrup or dried into powder.

Amasake 43 This is an ancient, Oriental whole grain sweetener made from cultured brown rice. It has a thick, pudding-like consistency. It's not easy to find in the U.S., but it is a great alternative to refined table sugar.

Sugar Cane Juice 43 Healthy Sugar Alternative in moderation.  Sugar cane juice has many nutrients and other beneficial properties and is said by some health practitioners to be almost as medicinal as raw honey. The use of this substance (in moderation of course) has not been associated with any negative side effects or dangerous medical conditions.

Organic Sugar 47 Organic sugar comes from sugar cane grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It is usually darker than traditional white sugar because it contains some molasses. (It has not been processed to the degree white sugar is processed).

Maple Syrup 54 Maple syrup is made by boiling sap collected from natural growth maple trees during March & April. It is refined sap and is therefore processed.  It has a high glycemic index, and though it is much more nutritious than refined table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, there are better choices.

Evaporated Cane Juice 55 Evaporated cane juice is often considered unrefined sugar, but juicing is a refining process, and evaporating refines further. Though better than turbinado, cane juice (unevaporated) is a better choice as a sweetener.

Black Strap Molasses 55 White refined table sugar is sugar cane with all the nutrition taken out. Black strap molasses is all of that nutrition that was taken away. A quality organic (must be organic!) molasses provides iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is alkalizing to the body.

Turbinado 65 Turbinado sugar is partially processed sugar, also called raw sugar.

Raw sugar 65 Raw sugar is not actually raw sugar. It is processed, though not as refined as common white table sugar. Therefore, given a choice between raw and white, choose raw. There are many variations of raw sugar with names depending on how refined it is.

Cola (and most other sodas) 70 Though cola has a lower GI ranking then some might expect, there are many other reasons to avoid cola, or any type of soda. There is nothing beneficial to the human body inside a can of soda (not to mention we should avoid drinking out of aluminum cans!).

Corn Syrup 75 Corn syrup has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Refined, Pasteurized Honey 75 The nutrition is gone, and there is often high fructose corn syrup added to processed honey. Refined pasteurized honey is no better than white table sugar.

Refined Table Sugar 80 Conventionally grown, chemically processed, and striped of all beneficial properties, many health advocates believe that refined sugar is one of the two leading causes (high fructose corn syrup is the other) of nearly every health ailment known to man (or woman or child). Not only does it have a high GI ranking, but it also is extremely acidic to the body causing calcium and other mineral depletion from bones and organs (sugar is alkaline but has a very acidic effect on the body).

High Fructose Corn Syrup 87 Many health advocates believe that high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar are the two biggest contributors to health ailments in our society. High fructose corn syrup is a combination of sucrose and fructose.

Glucose (AKA Dextrose) 100 White bread was the benchmark, but for consistency glucose now holds the rating at 100.

Maltodextrin 150 Foods that have maltodextrin often say "Low Sugar" or "Complex Carbohydrate", but this sweetener should be avoided!

*~*~*~*~*

  ~ To Your Health!