Archive for August, 2010

More Vitamin K

Monday, August 30th, 2010

A study in the journal of Diabetes Care found an association between the intake of both phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinones (vitamin K2) with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. [Diabetes Care, 2010 Apr. 27]

Life Extension

Radiation Overload

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

A study released at the end of last year reveals that CT scans deliver up to 4 times more radiation than what was previously believed, which is dangerously high. [Smith-Bidman R, Lipson J, Marcus r. et al. Radiation dose associated with common computed tomography examinations and the associated lifetime attributable risk of cancer. Arch Inter Med. 2009 Dec 14:169(22):2078-2086]

Another study by the National Cancer Institute showed that CT scans administered in the year 2007 alone may contribute to 29,000 new cancer cases and nearly 15,000 cancer deaths. [Berrington de Gonzalez A. Mahesh M, Kim KP, et al. Projected cancer risks from computed tomographic scans performed in the United States in 2007. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Dec 14;169(22):2071-7]

There is a place for CT scans but they are way overused today.

Life Extension, August 2010

Harmful Blood Pressure Medication

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

A study in the American Journal of Hypertension, August 2010, found that blood pressure medication can make blood pressure worse.

Unfortunately Big Pharma pushes the drugs and doctors obediently follow without knowing they are not helping with the control of hypertension.

Almost all of the new type of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications (calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors) have the net effect of short-circuiting the function of your kidneys to drive down blood pressure. The kidney makes an enqyme called rennin, which causes your blood pressure to rise so as to maintain proper fluid volume in your body. Big Pharma makes medications to blunt the process.

This new study shows that many people with high blood pressure actually have low rennin function which results in high blood pressure and these medication actually makes the situation worse.

It has been known for almost 40 years that dysfunction of the sodium/potassium pump at cell membranes is causing the depression of rennin function in the kidneys. To correct the problem you need to reduce sodium intake and increase potassium intake. Actually increasing potassium and magnesium intake can improve the source of the problem and should really be the first line of action.

Electricity and ultra sound boost potatoes’ antioxidant content

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Interesting study reported by Mike Stone in Food Quality News

Electricity and ultra sound boost potatoes’ antioxidant content by 60 per cent

Treating potatoes with electricity and ultra-sound could improve their antioxidant activity by up to 60 per cent, according to new research from Obihiro University in Hokkaido, Japan.

Kazunori Hironaka who lead the research said: “We found that treating the potatoes with ultrasound or electricity for 5-30 minutes increased the amounts of antioxidants –– including phenols and chlorogenic acid –– by as much as 50 per cent.”

The ultrasound treatment consisted of immersing whole potatoes in water and subjecting them to ultra sound for between five to 10 minutes.

The electrical treatment involved immersing the potatoes in a salt solution for 10 seconds and then applying a small electrical charge for 10, 20, and 30 minutes.

Reseachers then measured both the antioxidant activity and the phenolic content. Both treatments increased signifantly the stressed potatoes’ antioxidant content. For example, t he five minute ultrasound treatment increased polyphenol levels by 1.2 times and other antioxidants by about 1.6 times. Subsequent results revealed that antioxidant levels had rocketed by up to 60 per cent.

“We knew from research done in the past that drought, bruising, and other stresses could stimulate the accumulation of beneficial phenolic compounds in fresh produce,” said Hironaka who is with Obihiro University in Hokkaido, Japan. “We found that there hasn’t been any research on the healthful effects of using mechanical processes to stress vegetables. So we decided in this study to evaluate effect of ultrasound and electric treatments on polyphenols and other antioxidants in potatoes.”

Growing consumer interest in healthy or functional foods could mean a bright future for the low cost and straight-forward treatment techniques.

Potatoes are the world’s fifth most widely-consumed plant food and are already regarded as a good source of antioxidants, including vitamin C and compounds called polyphenols.

Plants create antioxidants to help them combat stress in the form of attacks by pests and diseases and drought.

The research findings were reported at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in Boston, USA.

The Average American Diet Falls Short

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

“Nearly the entire U.S. population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations,” is the conclusion of a report published online on August 11, 2010 in the Journal of Nutrition.

Susan M. Krebs Smith and her colleagues at the National Cancer Institute evaluated data from 16,338 individuals aged 2 and older who participated in the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Quantities of foods reported in 24 hour dietary recall interviews were categorized into groups included in the USDA’s food pyramid, which diagrams the recommended dietary intake of total fruits, whole fruits, total vegetables, dark green vegetables orange vegetables, legumes, starchy vegetables, other vegetables, milk, total grains, whole grains, meat and beans, and oils.

Life Extension

Pomegranate compounds show skin health potential

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Extracts from berries and pomegranate may protect the skin from the detrimental effects of UV exposure, offering interesting dietary approaches to prevent skin wrinkles, suggests a new study.

Korean scientists report that ellagic acid may prevent the degradation of collagen in human skin cells, which would maintain skin structure and slow the formation of wrinkles, according to findings published in this month’s issue of Experimental Dermatology.

Additional studies with hairless mice showed that the polyphenol prevented the thickening of the skin on exposure to UV radiation. Topical application of ellagic acid was associated with a decrease in levels of pro-inflammatory compounds in the skin of the animals, report researchers from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Hallym University in Korea.

“Topical or dietary interventions with berries and pomegranate rich in ellagic acid and ellagitannins are promising strategies in curtailing skin wrinkling and cutaneous inflammation associated with chronic UV exposure leading to photoageing,” wrote the researchers.

The results tap into the growing awareness of the link between diet and health, and by extension physical appearance, means that many consumers are receptive to the concept of ‘beauty from within’.

By Stephen Daniells, 10-Aug-2010,

One of Nature’s Most Perfect Foods

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Popeye the Sailorman, and his creators, knew one of the most perfect foods. As a child I would watch him be almost defeated until he got his spinach – then he could counquer the world.

I found it rather amusing when certain political leaders bad-mouthed spinach. Maybe it was Popeye, or my parents, but I have always liked spinach – but I didn’t realize it was a real health food.

Nutritionally, spinach is one of the most perfect foods created.

*it’s anti-inflammatory – it plays a role in controlling asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzeimer’s.

*it’s antioxidant – an excellent source of Vitamins C and A

*eye-health – spinach has lutein which helps protect against eye diseases

*iron – a real source of iron

*strong bones – the vitamin K in spinach helps maintain bone health

The list continues – so – like Popeye, eat your spinach.

Avandia & Actos Increase Fracture Risk

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

The often-prescribed diabetic medications Avandia and Actos have now been proven to cause an increase risk in fractures in postmenopausal women.  In men if these drugs are combined with a potassium-robbing diuretic, then the fracture risk is also increased.  The FDA is currently considering whether to remove Avandia from the market because it causes heart attacks.  Actos is not as bad as Avandia on the heart attack issue.  However, Actos is equally as bad as Avandia on the fracture issue.  This is the third time these researchers have published conclusive data on this risk – the FDA twiddles its thumbs.

Byron J. Richards, CCN,, Aug 6, 2010

Importance of Potassium

Monday, August 9th, 2010

The Department of Nephrology and Endocrinology, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, has shown that potassium offsets salt-induced cardiovascular distress.

Potassium is highly concentrated in your cells, whereas sodium (salt) is concentrated between your cells.

A new study from Japan shows that a lack of potassium is a primary reason why salt can cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular damage. Summer time with it’s high heat can aggravate a potassium deficiency.

Potassium is the most important positive ion within your cells. Your cells have an ion pump that pumps 2 potassium ions into a cell while pumping 3 sodium ions out. This maintains the proper electrical charges within your cells.

Potassium, like magnesium and calcium, are minerals that help buffer your body against stress and helps maintain the proper pH in your body. When your body becomes too acidic  all sorts of unhealthy problems arise.

A Study of Gut Bacteria

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Changing gut bacteria could explain chronic western illnesses: Study

A shift in gut microbial composition may explain the rising prevalence of chronic stomach upsets and even obesity among children in developed nations, suggests new research.

Diets high in fat, sugar and protein, and low in fiber have been associated with increased incidence of noninfectious intestinal diseases all over the world.

Researchers writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), examined differences in gut microbiota in 14 healthy children in rural Burkina Faso and 15 healthy children in urban Italy in an effort to explain the role of gut bacteria in some of these chronic illnesses.

The Burkina Faso children ate a diet high in starch, fiber and plant polysaccharides, and low in fat and animal protein – a diet thought to be similar to that of early human settlements at the time of the birth of agriculture. The Italian children’s diet was typical of the developed world – high in animal protein, sugar, starch, and fat, and low in fiber.

The researchers, from the University of Florence, compared intestinal bacteria in the two populations and found that significant differences developed from the time that breast feeding ceased.

“Our results suggest that diet has a dominant role over other possible variables such as ethnicity, sanitation, hygiene, geography, and climate, in shaping the gut microbiota,” the authors wrote.

“We can hypothesize that the reduction in richness we observe in EU compared with BF children, could indicate how the consumption of sugar, animal fat, and calorie-dense foods in industrialized countries is rapidly limiting the adaptive potential of the microbiota.”

By Caroline Scott-Thomas, 06-Aug-2010,