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Archive for August, 2010

Health Building Foods

Do you keep track of your intake of vital nutrients? I doubt seriously if you do, my guess is that at least 95% of the American public doesn’t. Most people just do not see it as important. We do know that only 12% to 15% eat the recommended minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits a day.  When you look at that those figures, it becomes easy to see why America’s health is spiraling downward, particularly for America’s children.  I want to convince you that keeping track of certain essential nutrients in your diet will foster good health and may even give protection against many adverse health conditions, illnesses and diseases.  This may take a little effort however in my opinion it is worth it.  Keeping a daily food journal for a while will give you an idea of the nutrients you are getting. For food journals I recommend two sites, this site is the most comprehensive and is free http://nutritiondata.self.com/ and secondarily this site is also free. http://www.fatsecret.com

Many health organizations report that nutrition and lifestyle factors contribute to more than 70% of chronic disease and illness. Unhealthy eating and inactivity contribute to 310,000 to 580,000 deaths each year according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). That’s 13 times more than are killed by guns and 20 times more than by drug use.1

Leading Contributors to Premature Death

Diet and Physical Inactivity 310,000-580,000
Tobacco 260,000-470,000

Source: http://www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/nutrition_policy.html#eat

What adverse health conditions are you dealing with? No one is immune from negative health issues but we can swing the potential for good health in our favor by eating foods rich in health building nutrients.

It’s always best to get your nutrients from foods first and supplements secondarily. The body does not recognize isolated or synthetic nutrients the way it does food form nutrients. Therefore the absorption and use of the nutrients in the body can be much less effective than the nutrients you get from real foods. When I say real foods I am talking about unprocessed and unrefined foods. For example; Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, wild caught fish, free range chicken, free range turkey and organic eggs.

When I say nutrients, I am talking about essential nutrients meaning they must come from the foods we eat because our bodies can’t make them and they are important for good health.  Nutrients are the body’s building blocks of health.  A diet that is consistently deficient in these nutrients will over time reap the effects of a poor diet. This could be as simple as fatigue, anxiety, and body pain or more serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All of these are most likely nutrient and lifestyle induced issues.

For the sake of clarity I will list the 6 essential nutrients; they are water, carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. Within these 6 are subsets of other families. For example, carbohydrates are separated into two groups, starches and fiber.  There are many other families of nutrients in healthy foods however they are not considered essential. You may recognize some of them and you may have even thought they were essential. How about Antioxidants: they promote health by protecting cells and their genetic material from damage from free radical attacks. Phytosterols: a type of plant fat, they help reduce cholesterol helping to prevent or even reverse atherosclerosis and have shown properties that protect against colon cancer.

Essential Nutrients and Their Impact on Our Body

Vitamins and How They Impact Our Health

For more info about the content of nutrients in certain foods I recommend these sources. http://www.whfoods.com/nutrientstoc.php and http://nutritiondata.self.com/

Vitamin Health Impact Partial list Significant Food Sources (partial list)
B1 (thiamin) Supports energy, required to turn food into energy, metabolism and nerve function, reduces stress spinach, green peas, tomato juice, watermelon, sunflower seeds, lean ham, lean pork chops, soy milk
B2 (riboflavin) Supports energy,  required to turn food into energy, metabolism, normal vision and skin health, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, milk, liver, oysters, clams
B3 (niacin) Supports energy, required to turn food into energy,  metabolism, skin health, nervous system and digestive system spinach, potatoes, tomato juice, lean ground beef, chicken breast, tuna (canned in water), liver, shrimp
Biotin Energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, glycogen synthesis widespread in foods
Pantothenic Acid Supports energy metabolism widespread in foods
B6 (pyridoxine) Amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, red blood cell production, heart health bananas, watermelon, tomato juice, broccoli, spinach, acorn squash, potatoes, white rice, chicken breast
Folate Supports DNA synthesis and new cell formation, heart health, supports nerve health tomato juice, green beans, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, okra, black-eyed peas, lentils, navy, pinto and garbanzo beans
B12 Used in new cell synthesis, helps break down fatty acids and amino acids, supports nerve cell maintenance, heart health meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs
C (ascorbic acid) Collagen synthesis, amino acid metabolism, helps iron absorption, immunity, antioxidant, healthy bones and joints spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, snow peas, tomato juice, kiwi, mango, orange, grapefruit juice, strawberries
A (retinol) Supports vision, skin, bone and tooth growth, immunity and reproduction, mango, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, tomato juice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beef liver
D Promotes bone mineralization, required o build certain hormones self-synthesis via sunlight, fortified milk, egg yolk, liver, fatty fish, cod liver oil
E Antioxidant, regulation of oxidation reactions,  cellular membrane health, supports cell membrane stabilization polyunsaturated plant oils (soybean, corn and canola oils), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, tofu, avocado, sweet potatoes, shrimp, cod
K Synthesis of blood-clotting proteins, regulates blood calcium, bone health, immune function Brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, liver

Minerals and How They Impact Our Health

Mineral Health Impact Significant Food Sources
Sodium Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, supports muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmissions Processed foods, salt, soy sauce, bread, milk, meats
Chloride Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, aids in digestion Processed foods, salt, soy sauce, milk, eggs, meats
Potassium Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, cell integrity, muscle relaxation and nerve impulse transmission potatoes, acorn squash, artichoke, spinach, broccoli, carrots, green beans, cantaloupe, tomato juice, avocado, grapefruit juice, watermelon, banana, strawberries, cod, milk
Calcium Formation of bones and teeth, supports blood clotting, muscle contraction,  maintains pH balance milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, tofu, sardines, green beans, spinach, broccoli, fortified foods
Phosphorus Formation of cells, bones and teeth, maintains pH balance all animal foods (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk)
Magnesium Used in over 300 metabolic functions, supports bone mineralization, protein building, muscular contraction, nerve impulse transmission, immune function, helps regulate blood pressure spinach, broccoli, artichokes, green beans, tomato juice, navy beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas,  sunflower seeds, tofu, cashews, halibut
Iron Part of the protein hemoglobin (carries oxygen throughout body’s cells) , necessary for healthy cellular function,  required for Neurotransmitters, dopamine, nor-epinephrine and serotonin artichoke, parsley, spinach, broccoli, green beans, tomato juice, tofu, lentils, beans, whole grains, clams, shrimp, beef liver;

iron in foods sources becomes more bio-available to the body when consumed with Vitamin c rich foods

Zinc A part of many enzymes, involved in production of genetic material and proteins, transports vitamin A, taste perception, wound healing, sperm production and the normal development of the fetus , immune function spinach, broccoli, green peas, green beans, tomato juice, lentils, oysters, shrimp, crab, turkey (dark meat), lean ham, lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt, Swiss cheese, tofu, ricotta cheese

If taken as a supplement always take cooper with it. Cooper and zinc compete for space on the same enzyme and the intake of too much of one may cause a deficiency of the other.

Selenium Antioxidant.  Works with vitamin E to protect body from oxidation Brazil nuts, crimini mushrooms, barley, oats, seafood, meats and grains
Iodine Component of thyroid hormones that help regulate growth, development and metabolic rate salt, kelp, algae, seafood, bread, milk, cheese
Copper Necessary for the absorption and utilization of iron, supports formation of hemoglobin and several enzymes Calf’s liver, cashews, cooked soybeans, crimini mushrooms, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coked barley, garbanzo beans, pinto beans

If taken as a supplement always take zinc with it. Cooper and zinc compete for space on the same enzyme and the intake of too much of one may cause a deficiency of the other.

Manganese Facilitates many cell processes widespread in foods
Fluoride Involved in the formation of bones and teeth, helps to make teeth resistant to decay fluoridated drinking water, tea, seafood
Chromium Associated with insulin and is required for the release of energy from glucose vegetable oils, liver, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, cheese, nuts
Molybdenum Facilitates many cell processes legumes, organ meats
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Enjoying Life

I must ask you this question. Have you thought about what limitations your current state of health has placed on you? Does your current state of health allow you the luxury of a walk around the lake or park without thinking “are my knees going to hurt or I am not sure I can make it, I’ll be to tired.”  What about taking a 3, 4 or even 6 mile hike in the mountains? The real question is, when it comes down to living life the way you would like to, can you?  If you can’t are you willing to do something about it?

As I look back on my life 5 years ago it was very limited.  My joints ached and walking more than a few hundred feet without looking for a resting spot was impossible. I had to sit on the sidelines and watch my grandchildren play without me.  This was torture.  My wife loved to hike and camp, sadly she had to give it up because I couldn’t.  She didn’t want to go without me.  I love college football, however going to the games was pure misery. This is no longer the case. My body allows me the luxury to do almost anything I would like to do at my age of 54.  If you really want more from your body continue reading. If not,  hopefully you are in great health and do not need this information.

If you want your body to be a magnificent vessel allowing you to have an active and fun life, it’s never to late. Our bodies are amazingly and wondrously made. God provided our bodies with an innate drive for health. Regardless how badly we poison our bodies they continue to fight to live.  If we give our bodies some help they can recover and give us the freedom to really experience life physically the way we desire.

OK, so let’s get right to the point of this blog. How to go from a state of  poor health, illness or even disease to better health, very little illness or even reverse disease.  We are each metabolically and genetically unique. In addition, the exposure to external influences  such as stress, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, injuries, smoking, alcohol and drug intake have a total combined effect that can limit each persons health potential.  For example, If someone suffered an injury in a car accident and had broken their ankle, their ability to do an extreme hike may be limited however they may be able to comfortably do a moderate hike.  Regardless of your current health condition it can always improve.

In addition to the rules below,  learn to live within your energy/calorie budget. If you do not eat enough calories your body will be lacking very important nutrients needed to produce energy and build and repair your body. If you eat too much you will gain weight and open the door for other weight related health issues.

16 Rules of Healthy Living

Following these tips will help in your achievement of optimal health and wellness

  1. Remove all unnatural sources of sugar from your life.  (Table sugar, brown sugar, HFCS, corn syrup, confectioners’ sugar, syrup, etc…) Sugar acts as a poison that causes inflammation to our arteries and veins leading to heart disease, atherosclerosis and of course diabetes. Added sugars upset our normal hormonal balance and lower our immune system. Sugars in natural live foods does not have this effect.  Look for products made with stevia or xylitol. You can also use these as sweeteners at home.
  2. Make changes slowly to your lifestyle. You are more likely to be successful at making the positive changes stick by make change slowly.
  3. Remove or limit all refined and processed foods from your life.  (most boxed or canned flour based products)  Breads, pastas and cereals should be organic whole grain selections. Refined flours (those that say enriched, bleached, flour, wheat flour, bromate, multigrain and unbleached are refined) have the same effect on the body that added sugars do because they are simple carbohydrates and are absorbed into the body as blood sugar very quickly leading to the same disease potential and weight gain. These types of grains can get you into a vicious cycle of wanting to eat more and more of them.  It becomes a carbohydrate addiction that can be hard to break!  Learn the foods with the lowest blood sugar impact at this site. It will teach you everything you need to know about the blood sugar impact of particular foods.
  4. Replace frying with sauteing, baking, grilling or broiling.  Use  olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil or coconut oil.
  5. Replace flour based foods with “Whole Grain” choices.  (first ingredient in the list should say whole grain)
  6. Eat foods as close to nature in their raw state as possible (fresh or frozen).  If you must eat canned vegetables please rinse well.  Strive for 70% raw foods and 30% cooked.
  7. Eat a diet rich in variety. Include as many colors of vegetables (70% of your diet should be vegetables and fruits) fruits and grains, nuts and seeds every day. Limit nuts and seeds to 1 to 2 oz. per day due to calories.  The daily consumption of nuts drastically reduces the risk of heart disease.  Add ground flax-seed to your diet, 2 tbsp. daily to make sure you get plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids. These are essential for heart health, pain reduction, hormone regulation and nerve health.
  8. Limit saturated fats and totally eliminate trans fats from your diet. Include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are very healthy for you in moderation.  Olive oil is a monounsaturated oil and most nuts contain a good source of monounsaturated oils. The Omega 3 Polyunsaturated oils come from walnuts, flax-seed and cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, halibut and cod.  While sardines and salmon are the best animal sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, ground flax-seed is the best sources of vegetative Omega 3 Fatty Acids and in my opinion the best source for it daily.  Flax seed also provides lignans which may help prevent certain types of cancers.  Omega 6 Polyunsaturated fatty acids are very prevalent in our vegetables and are seldom deficient in our diet. You need extra Omega 3 to balance the ration to a 2 to 1 Omega 6 to Omega 3. Your SATURATED FAT intake should not exceed 10% of your calories. Example a 2,000 calorie intake should have no more than 200 calories from saturated fat. At 9 calories per gram of fat that would mean you should limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 22 grams per day.  3.5 ounces of cheddar cheese has 21 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 ounces of cream cheese has 28  grams.
  9. Eliminate or reduce the intake of animal proteins. According to the China Study (the longest running nutritional health study every conducted) the intake of animal protein that exceeds more than 10% of our daily protein intake leads to the potential activation of cancer causing genes.  Interestingly the consumption of plant proteins had no negative effect on genetic expression. Study after study showed that by increasing the intake of casein (milk protein) in the diet to more than 10% of the protein daily intake over longer periods of time the casein activated cancerous genes allowing them the potential to express as disease. When the casein was reduced to less than 10% of dietary intake the cancer promoting gene was turned off and would not express itself. Personally I do not recommend animal proteins. If meat must be consumed then cold water fish such as salmon, halibut, cod, steelhead trout and sardines are the preferred choice.  However understand that you raise your risk of higher mercury levels along with other excito-toxins in older and larger fish such as swordfish, shark and tuna.
  10. Eliminate dairy products (cheese, milk and creams) from your daily diet. Replace with Almond milk or Rice milk. The casein protein in dairy milk is very hard to digest and stays active in the body causing the body’s PH to become to acidic. This causes the body to leach calcium from bones and teeth to lower the PH to a health promoting level. The leaching of the calcium from bone is a leading cause of osteoporosis. I do not consume dairy products and do not recommend them. There are healthy dairy alternatives to choose from.
  11. Get plenty of water every day, 80 ounces over 24 hours. Hydration is very important to health and aids in the removal of toxins and from the body. Water is required in every metabolic activity. If you are ill, exercise intensely or sweat profusely you will need more water.  A good rule of thumb is 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight.
  12. Supplement your diet with a good whole food supplement that addresses the seven key areas of nutrition required for vibrant health. (ask for our suggestions)
  13. Move more every day. Exercise is very important in delivering the nutrients we consume to every cell  in our body and primes the lymph system pumping toxins out of our bodies. In addition exercise increases our metabolic rate helping to burn more calories (weight-loss) and will increase our bodies’ efficiency in using utilizing oxygen, increasing our overall fitness level.  To lose weight and build health we need to have a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week.
  14. Get a minimum of 20 minutes of fresh air and sunshine daily.
  15. If you smoke, quit.
  16. Avoid or cut caffeinated and alcoholic beverages from your diet. If you must drink limit them to no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for females and 2 for males.  Other than red wine there is not enough nutritional value in alcoholic beverages to include them in your diet. They actually rob your body of nutrients.  I do not recommend alcoholic beverages.

Healthy Wishes,

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Nutritionist

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Americas Obesity Epidemic

When I heard this it really irritated me.  Instead of spending the money on education to prevent obesity, lets enable bad dietary behavior by surgically shrinking the stomach.  What has the person learned? Nothing! This is a waste of taxpayer money.  Just two weeks ago the N.Y Times released an article stating that obesity rates are still climbing.  Gastric  by-pass and lap band surgeries do not fix the problem.  An analogy might be;  run the car engine without putting oil in the motor, when it burns up lets just replace it.  Does that make sense.  Eat a poor diet, don’t exercise and when you become obese it’s OK we will just cut you open and shrink your stomach.  Maybe you will keep the weight off, maybe not. The problem has not been addressed.

Recent studies make it clear that the current approaches to obesity from western medicine aren’t working.  When I was close to 440 pounds my doctor never recommend a dietary or lifestyle change, he recommended gastric bypass surgery.   I am so glad I did not have the surgery.  I did it the healthy way and lost over 200 pounds and I have kept it off.  The problem got corrected.

It further impresses upon me the need for state or federal program to teach people how to lose weight and live healthy. To change this poor health mentality in our American culture it has to start in our schools.   At an early age we must begin to educate our children on the importance of  healthy eating, healthy lifestyles and the mechanics of how to live of life of wellness.  This has to be ingrained in the minds of our youth.

The cost of educating is cheaper than a surgical fix. We must focus on prevention. We must address the cause of the problem. Lap band surgery or even gastric bypass surgery does not fix the problem and many times there are surgical complications.  Weight is a behavior and education problem.  Less than 1% of obesity is caused by medical conditions or the side effects of drugs.

If you are obese or have weight issues I challenge you to make a stand. Take your life back the right way, the only long-term healthy way, by eating healthier foods, moving more and staying within your calorie budget.

I did it , you can do it.  Please,  for your children, for your wife, for your self, for your friends,  for your health, make a commitment today to do something about your weight.

The first step is making the commitment.

Always consult with you doctor before making dietary or lifestyle changes particularly if your have health issues.

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Nutritionist

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Building Muscles the Healthy Way

Are you trying to build a more muscular body? I bet you didn’t realize that not only does too much protein not build more muscle; it can cause health issues such as osteoporosis, constipation or diarrhea. Don’t miss understand this statement, adequate protein is critical for a healthy body and some people need more than others.

Many nutrients and compounds are needed to build muscles in our bodies. For the sake of article length, I will limit this discussion to protein intake.

Lets explore the metabolism of protein required for building muscles in the human body!

There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the amount of protein needed to build muscle mass. What builds muscle? True muscle growth comes from two different biological effects of weight bearing exercise;

  • hyperplasia which is the increase in the number of muscle cells
  • hypertrophy which is the growth in size of the actual cell.

Both are the result of the stress load on muscle fibers from exercise or strenuous work, which initiates the uptake of amino acids in the form of proteins. Excess amino acids (building blocks used to make proteins) are burned as fuel or metabolized into fat. Your body never likes to use more than 10% of its energy needs from protein. Only so much muscle protein synthesis (MPS) can occur. You can’t force feed muscle cells. The first 3 hours after a workout is the time when the majority of MPS will take place.

It is really amazing how many articles I have read from bodybuilding sources that say a person should consume between 2 to 4 grams of protein for every kg of body weight, or that a person should consume 1 to 1 ½ grams of protein per pound of body weight. That would mean a 200-pound man would need to consume between 200 grams and 363 grams of protein daily. The DRI for protein intake under normal bodily demand would be .8 grams of protein for each kg of body weight. To figure your body weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, that number is your weight converted from pounds to kilograms. For the obese the protein intake would be .8 grams for every kg of muscle massFor an athlete with heavy demands on muscle performance such as a body builder or an Olympic athlete the intake would be 1.6 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight meaning that same 200 pound man would consume 145 grams of protein at the high-end. An endurance athlete such as those running marathons, iron man events and triathlons requires less because they are not placing as much stress on the major muscle groups. Their needs can be met in most cases with no more than 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight. The average person who works out in the gym and is very active hiking and playing organized sports does not need this level of protein intake.

Consuming high quality complex carbohydrates is equally important because it keeps the body from burning those ingested proteins for fuel allowing the body to use the proteins for MPS.

Protein synthesis is most effective when the body is fed adequate complex carbohydrates. This allows the body to use the protein for building muscles, hormones, enzymes and other protein compounds.  Without enough complex carbohydrate the body is forced to burn the protein for energy instead.  The body prefers carbohydrates as its major source of energy.  So make sure at least 50% of your calories are from complex carbohydrates. Weight lifting is an anaerobic action, which requires glucose (sugar) for fuel. Sugar is a form of carbohydrate.

Protein is used for many functions not only muscle growth. Protein is required to build and repair muscle cells, hormones, blood cells, enzymes, antibodies and antigens.

The excess intake of protein can cause serious health consequences. The consumption of a high protein diet typically means the person is also consuming excess saturated fats and cholesterol and less fiber. Excess fats and cholesterol increase LDL and total cholesterol levels increasing the risk for heart disease. Taking excess protein in supplements can also cause digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea and cramping.  Protein metabolism requires a lot of water.  Thus excess protein intake may cause dehydration as well.

In addition, animal proteins, particularly from dairy, promote calcium loss and are a promote of osteoporosis.

“Women consuming greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods had significantly increased risks of hip fractures, while no increase in fracture risk was observed for the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources.”

12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women American Journal of Public Health 1997;87

“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures…metabolism of dietary protein causes increased urinary excretion of calcium.”

American Journal of Epidemiology 1994;139

A high protein diet typically results in a lowered consumption of fiber, which is critical for colon health. There is no fiber in meat. As noted in Clinical Nutrition a Functional Approach pg. 27, adequate fiber intake is cardio-protective, glucose regulating and cancer protective. Fiber in a bottle is never an equal to fiber from vegetative foods. A recent Japanese study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2002 concluded that as dietary animal protein, fats and oils increase, the incidence of colo-rectal cancer increases. However, colorectal cancer rates decrease as dietary plant protein increases.

As protein replaces vegetative foods the diet could be lacking vital macro and micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients that are contained in plant foods and not found in animal foods.  A lack of nutrients over time can lead to health issues such as impaired immune function, digestive disorders, fatigue, hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance.

The metabolic synthesis of protein causes different acids to be formed. To neutralize the acids the body must release calcium from bone to bring the body’s pH back into balance. Over time a high intake of proteins can cause osteoporosis.  However, certain plant foods that also contain proteins such as grains, nuts and seeds and legumes contain higher levels of potassium which help decrease urinary calcium loss.

For people with decreased kidney function excess protein intake can lead to further impairment of kidney function and even promote kidney disease.

Summary

The very high intake of proteins as recommend by many body building and sports health publications and body building organizations is misleading and can cause bodily harm through the dissemination of incorrect dietary information regarding protein intake.

Excess protein, particularly from animals can increase the risk of bone loss, heart disease, obesity, impaired kidney function, cancers and even type II diabetes.  The absence of carbohydrate to provide for adequate glucose or glycogen synthesis to fuel the Krebs cycle, ETC and neurological functions will cause the body to use the protein for fuel thus reducing the amount of protein that can be used for bodily functions that require dietary protein. When protein intake replaces complex carbohydrates the diet can be denied important phytonutrients that promote health and may even lower the risk of certain diseases. Furthermore, protein does not increase muscle mass or strength. The stress load on muscles triggers the body to use amino acids provided by dietary proteins to form specific proteins for building and repairing muscle tissues, MPS.

Research published in The Journal Physiology 2001 states “Overfeeding protein does not increase the size of the lean body mass, and amino acids supplied in excess of the requirements of protein synthesis are simply oxidized (Motil et al. 1981; Price et al. 1994) and their carbon skeletons used for fuel or stored as fat. The rise in plasma urea observed in this study supports this interpretation.”

Some of these people will suffer from serious illness and disease from excessive protein intake. Sadly the illness or disease may be caused by their false belief that a high consumption of dietary protein is superior at building muscle mass and muscle strength compared to current DRI recommendations for protein intake.

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

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Did you know you have a profound affect on how quickly your body ages?  Every morning looking in the mirror can tell us how we are aging externally. The real issue is how you are aging internally. How well are your cells and ultimately your organs and glands holding up against the daily assault of free radicals, toxins, stress and nutritional deficiencies?  The idea is to slow down the aging process if we can.  There are a few things you can do to not only reduce the aging process but maybe even reverse it in some cases.

How Can We Slow Down Aging?

So what does aging really mean? Technically, aging is a combination of all metabolic life activities, effects of exposure to toxins, microbial agents, nutrient deficiencies and their total combined effect over time on the body’s cells.

As part of life, we are exposed to micro-organisms, environmental toxins, drugs, emotional toxicities, unhealthy foods, nutrient deficiencies and stress, let’s call these “negative health catalyst”, or NHC. These NHCs have a direct impact on our cells ability to continue to replicate in a healthy state. NHCs can cause damage to the cell and even DNA in our cells. They do this in different ways. In one case they cause free radicals to form that can damage the cells and even the DNA in the cell to the point that the cell will begin to replicate itself in an unhealthy state.  In another way they lower our immune function to the point that the immune system is not healthy enough to stop the growth of bacteria, viruses, micro organisms and even mutated cells and the mutated cells can multiply to the point of disease. In another way they turn on the adverse health potential of certain genes to express themselves as disease and illness, but potentially the most damaging effect of these NHCs is their ability to shorten our telomeres and cause damage to our DNA through free radical damage to our cells.

What Causes Aging?

My opinion is that the biggest causes of aging are:

What Are Telomeres?

In this Illustration The Red Caps Are Telomeres

Our genes are located on twisted, double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres, Telomeres are protective DNA-protein complexes, which protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide and hold some secrets to how we age and get cancer. Think of the plastic caps on the end of your shoe laces. This is sort of what the telomeres look like. They keep the strands of chromosomes from unraveling. As the effects of NHCs advance our cellular aging the telomeres get shorter and shorter.   Once the telomeres get so short, the cell can no longer replicate and over time aging accelerates.

In 2009 three American scientists who discovered telomeres were awarded The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine. Their work began a couple of decades earlier. What they discovered only enhances our belief that the way we live has an undeniable impact on the status of our health. Although this research certainly identifies the damage caused by the shortening of our telomeres , further research is underway to fully understand its role in life longevity and the advancement of disease and illness.

To strengthen our telomere’s we must increase the presence of the enzyme telomerase in our cells. Telomerase is an enzyme that is responsible for keeping telomeres healthy. As we age our bodies produce less and less telomerase thus we begin to age faster and faster. In addition the NHC’s also slow down the cellular production of telomerase.

How do we slow down the aging Process?

By living a lifestyle of wellness we greatly enhance our potential for slowing the aging process and having a life of vibrant health.  Recent studies even show that a lifestyle of wellness actually can increase the cellular production of telomerase and improve overall health. If we remove NHC’s and include nutrient dense foods, pure water, relaxation, adequate sleep, health building exercise, fresh air, sunshine and emotional and spiritual balance, we can improve every facet of our health potential. You can in many cases trump genetic tendencies.  The way you live has such a powerful effect on your health that it literally can mean the difference between sudden death and a life of longevity with vibrant health.

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

Nutritionist

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