Newsletter for Health
1. Butter, Steak and Coconut Oil Aren't Likely to Kill You
2. Eggs, good or bad?
3. Taking Mold Off of the Table?
4. Neuropathy, why the pain, the tingling and the numbness?
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Butter, Steak and Coconut Oil Aren't Likely to Kill You
Last month, the American Heart Association once again went after butter, steak and especially coconut oil with this familiar warning: The saturated fats in these foods cause heart disease. The organization’s “presidential advisory” was a fresh look at the science and came in response to a growing number of researchers, including myself, who have pored over this same data in recent years and beg to differ. A rigorous review of the evidence shows that when it comes to heart attacks or mortality, saturated fats are not guilty.
Don't Believe the American Heart Assn. — Butter, Steak and Coconut Oil Aren't Likely to Kill You
To me, the AHA advisory released in June was mystifying. How could its scientists examine the same studies as I had, yet double down on an anti-saturated fat position? With a cardiologist, I went through the nuts and bolts of the AHA paper, and came to this conclusion:
It was likely driven less by sound science than by longstanding bias, commercial interests and the AHA’s need to reaffirm nearly 70 years of its “heart healthy” advice.
It was in 1961 that the AHA launched the world’s first official recommendations to avoid saturated fats, along with dietary cholesterol, in order to prevent a heart attack. This “diet-heart hypothesis” was adopted by most leading experts, though it had never been tested in clinical trials — the only kind of science that can establish cause-and-effect. Thus, from the beginning, the rap on saturated fats lacked a firm scientific foundation.
The hypothesis had some backing in preliminary data, and it made intuitive sense — fat clogs your arteries like hot grease down a cold drain pipe, right? — which was enough for AHA officials seeking to address the fast-rising tide of heart disease.
Still, rigorous data was needed, and so governments around the world — including our own, through the National Institutes of Health — spent billions of dollars trying to prove the hypothesis was true. Somewhere between 10,000 and 53,000 people were tested on diets where saturated fats were replaced by unsaturated vegetable oils.
The results did not turn out as expected — saturated fats weren’t killing people.
In a stunning example of science ignored, researchers, either unable or unwilling to believe the study outcomes, did not talk about this data for decades. The results of one of the forgotten trials, a large NIH-funded study, were not published for 16 years. Another analysis that failed to link saturated fats with heart disease, part of the famous “Framingham Study,” languished, also unpublished, in an NIH basement.
Starting in 2010, however, researchers worldwide unearthed these studies and re-examined them. Of nine separate reviews, none could find any evidence in the data that saturated fats had an effect on cardiovascular mortality or total mortality. As quite a few of the reviewing authors stated in their conclusions, such results clearly do not support the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which limit saturated fats to 10% of daily calories, or the AHA advice to cap them at 5% to 6%.
The disparity between these independent reviews and the AHA advisory hangs mainly on the endpoint chosen for consideration. Instead of looking at indisputable “hard” outcomes — heart attacks, stroke, cardiovascular mortality or total mortality — the AHA examined only less definitive “cardiovascular events,” a category that combines heart attacks with much more subjective conditions, such as angina, or heart pain. By using this combined, “intermediate endpoint” criteria, and ignoring deaths, the data can deliver negative findings for saturated fats. But that’s a little like reporting on mid-way times in a marathon while remaining silent about who won the race.
The AHA advisory disregards other data, too. While the nine other papers reviewed an average of ten trials each, the AHA examined only four. And one has to question the AHA’s choices of which trials to review. It excluded, for example, the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, based on the reasoning that the 9,750 men and women who spent a year-plus on its intervention diet did not meet the AHA’s study-duration standard of at least two years. Yet in the past, the AHA has recommended the DASH diet, based on studies of fewer than 1,200 people altogether, and trials lasting no longer than 5 months.
As Andrew Mente, a nutritional epidemiologist at McMaster University, told me, the AHA’s choices of what studies to include in its advisory review amounted to “cherry picking.”
That the AHA should be so resistant to updating its view of saturated fats, despite so much legitimate science, could simply reflect the association’s unwavering devotion to a belief it has promoted for decades. Or it could be due to its significant, longstanding reliance on funding from interested industries, such as the vegetable-oil manufacturer Procter & Gamble, maker of Crisco, which virtually launched the AHA as a nation-wide powerhouse in 1948 by designating the then-needy group to receive all the funds from a radio contest it sponsored (about $17 million).
More recently, Bayer, the owner of LibertyLink soybeans, pledged up to $500,000 to the AHA, perhaps encouraged by the group’s continued support of soybean oil, by far the dominant ingredient in the “vegetable oil” consumed in America today.
It’s still possible that a very large, long-term clinical trial could ultimately demonstrate that saturated fats cause cardiovascular death, or even premature heart attacks. And it may be prudent to restrict the consumption of coconut oil or meat for reasons that have nothing to do with saturated fats. But over the last half century, the diet-heart hypothesis has been tested more than any other in the history of nutrition, and thus far, the results have been null. If the AHA were to fully reckon with this evidence, it would be backing away from its guilty verdict on these fats. Lacking the evidence to convict, the right thing to do is acquit.
Source: LA Times, Nina Teicholz, author of “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.” This op ed is based on a longer analysis of the recent AHA advisory that was co-written with cardiologist Eric Thorn and published this month on the medical website Medscape.
Published for Tango Advanced Nutrition by Nutrition Review
Eggs, good or bad?
I've heard on and on about cholesterol being so horrible and how different foods are bad for you due to the choesterol count. So this means you are not eating food that actually is good for you?
Read about eggs, and what happens when you eat 2 or 3 a day
Taking Mold Off the Table
By: Cesar Collado
Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to work with several professionals that have dedicated a significant portion of their lives and careers to helping patients with severe mold illness.
The breadth and scope of this often-undiagnosed disease is alarming, and I encounter severely ill mold patients all of the time. It is impossible to not have empathy for these people, because they are truly suffering. Whether they are plagued with chronic sinusitis, headaches, cognitive dysfunction, ongoing pain, or a mysterious combination of symptoms and illnesses, the result is often devastation.
Add to that the stress that being constantly sick puts on their health, careers, finances, and relationships, and the human cost can be enormous.
Mold patients often report missing out on many of life’s most rewarding events—family vacations, get-togethers, sporting events, etc.—for years or even decades.
The economic cost of treating mold-related illness is also worth noting. Healthcare is expensive! Chasing an elusive disease is a significantly expensive endeavor, for both the patients and the health care system. Physician visits, pharmaceuticals, imaging and blood diagnostics, and other treatments often becomes prohibitively expensive. Patients struggle with high deductibles, missed work, and other healthcare expenses, like out-of-pocket treatments by naturopaths and holistic practitioners that are not covered by insurance. Not to mention the potential expense of remediation to remove the root cause of the toxic burden, or of moving to a safe place, neither is a choice that mold patients have if they want to get better.
Mold Relief How To
On a more positive note, I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Dennis and other professionals that are fully vested in helping patients suffering from environmental illness. The combined treatments that are required for these patients to get well are many times challenging and expensive; however, in the end, it is hard to put a price on good health and getting your life back.
For some patients, getting better takes months, but for others, the road to better health takes years. The earlier an accurate diagnosis is made, the better the patient’s chance of finding an economically feasible solution.
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that only a few patients experience the quick identification and removal of mold as the source of their problem in a timely manner. In fact, physicians who treat environmental illness report that new patients have seen as many as 5-7 different physicians prior to seeing them.
Dr. Dennis has stated that many of his mold patients have had several sinus surgeries prior to seeing him. Surgery, antibiotics, and steroids are standard treatments for chronic sinusitis that often get repeated. Antibiotics often even create an environment that is fertile for fungus, producing a cycle of sinusitis and sickness.
“A 1998 Mayo clinic study reported that 96% of patients with chronic sinusitis studied tested positively for fungus.”
Because the systemic symptoms of mold sensitivity often overlap with symptoms of many chronic diseases, a misdiagnosis is not uncommon. Mold sickness is often a diagnosis of exclusion. Patients may go through several diagnoses and treatments prior to finding a physician that recognizes and treats the mold.
Taking Mold off the Table
Dr. Dennis and other practitioners have developed protocol to identify mold as a contributing pathogen, or to eliminate it as a cause early in their practice.
Most medical histories given by physicians do not include questions about mold or water damage to their home. Sinus and respiratory symptoms, their home environment, and a connection to other systemic symptoms indicative of an immune response are not specifically investigated.
Dr. Don Dennis (ENT) is a physician who, “takes mold off the table” early. When a patient comes to see Dr. Dennis, they most often present with sinusitis. During the first phases of treatment, Dr. Dennis does the following:
He takes a patient history which identifies facts and clues about exposure to mold. A questionnaire is given to assess sinus symptoms, home and work environments, and systemic symptoms. The patient’s answers provide clues to direct Dr. Dennis’s examination. A simple 5 minute survey can be taken by anyone online at www.sinusitiswellness.com.
He takes a “Tap Test” to find mold spores on the patient’s clothes and swabs their nasal passages. For the “Tap Test,” a Petri dish is tapped against the clothes the patients are wearing in the office. Both samples are sent to a lab for analysis. A significant mold presence on either test is significant circumstantial evidence that there is mold in the patient’s living environment. The patient is often asked to do similar testing in their living environments. (Mold cultures that form on the Petri dishes are sometimes overwhelming to see.)
He takes a blood sample for analysis on their body’s antibody responses. This test provides evidence of the presence of food and mold allergies.
I asked Dr. Dennis if he could provide me with some data about his patients and the results of these tests. We decided that reviewing the introductory testing of 75 new patients (a blind sample) would provide significant information about his patient population seeking relief from mold. Even though the data is skewed, it is incredibly informative.
97 % suffered from sinus issues;
43% also suffered from respiratory issues;
70% identified potential mold issues in their homes;
48 % had greater than 10 systemic symptoms, indicating mold as an issue.
Mold “Tap Test” Data:
93 % had dangerous levels of mold on their clothes (>10 colonies);
63% had mycotoxin-producing mold in their results.
Blood Test Data:
19% had high levels of antibodies, indicating significant mold exposure and mold allergies;
69% had moderate levels of mold antibodies, also suggesting mold sensitivity.
While neither of these tests is scientifically conclusive, together, they provide evidence of mold exposure. Patients with positive results are provided a treatment plan with practices that are relatively inexpensive and are often very effective. This data also proves that patients and physicians can identify if mold might be the root cause of their sickness early; often avoiding a lengthy sickness and a chain of specialists, diagnostics and medicines. This is worth a great deal to patients and their families. It also reduces health care expenditures overall.
As part of their treatment plan, these patients are given a plan to actively remove mold from their sinuses, clothes, linens, surfaces and air in their indoor environments.
Find out if you have mold in your home Mold Testing
Products to Help you Clean out the Mold in Your House
Neuropathy, why the pain, the tingling and the numbness?
Neuropathy has many symptoms. It may start with a tingling feeling and end up with numbness. It can be a pricking, or burning sensation, loss of reflexes and muscle shrinkage, abnormal sensations, or sensitivity to touch. Its worse symptom is pain, sometimes so excruciating that a person would amputate rather then continue the pain.
It is called many names such as paresthesia, neuritis, neuralgia, dysesthensia, hypoesthesia, hypesthesia, hypalgesia, hypealgesia and hyperesthesia due to its many different kinds of symptoms.
But, what underlies all these symptoms?
They are created by a specific type of nerve damage. This nerve damage can come from too much sugar in the blood (the reason it is a side effect of diabetes). It can be caused by exposure to chemicals such as cancer treatments, poisons, alcoholism, or a side effect of some medications. It can be the result of kidney or liver failure, infectious disease or nutritional deficiencies especially B vitamins. The reasons are many; the damage they produce is the same.
What creates the problem is damage done to the outer lining of the nerve cell. Cells have coverings much like an electrical wire has an insulation of plastic. Have you ever seen a wire whose insulation is damaged – the electrical current doesn’t flow correctly. It can send electricity out from the area where it is damaged, it can stop the flow of electricity or it can damage what its supposed to be supplying electricity to.
A damaged nerve covering does the same thing. It can send out “sparks” that cause tingling, it can stop the flow resulting in numbness. It can create feelings of hot or cold or a sensitivity due to crossed signals. It can definitely cause pain especially as the damage gets worse.
The idea is to build a healthy outer covering. This is called the myelin sheath. What is needed is specific B vitamins.
The only question is how to get these B vitamins in sufficient amounts so that the body can actually build healthy nerves Isolated B vitamins that are sold at the health food stores or local drug stores get washed out of the system too quickly to fix the damage. It would be hard to take enough of this type of nutrients to make a difference. You can’t get it from vitamins made in a laboratory.
What is needed is a whole food (or food based) supplement with methylcobalamine and benfotiamine and other B vitamins that the body can use to build healthy cells. That is one of the functions of the body, make new healthy cells. But it does need specific nutrients to do its job.
Nutrients are what a body runs on. A car runs on gas. If you drive the car down the road, it uses up a steady amount of that gas. If you take that same car and speed down the freeway, you will use up a lot of gas. When you take a body “out on the freeway”, or put it under physical stress, it uses up a lot more nutrients. Thus, getting the right supplements in the right amount is important.
Just as a car won’t drive without giving it gas. A body can’t function correctly without the proper nutrients it needs to “drive”. In the case of neuropathy, it needs these B vitamins.
Neuropathy can be a side effect of many things. Although most often it is caused by too much sugar in the blood - Diabetes - there are many factors. Chemoitherapy and some drugs have neuropathy as a side effect and it can be caused by surgery damaging the nerves - there are many others.
For more information about neuropathy.
For information on finding the right vitamins to give the body what it needs to build healthy nerves.
(Do you know someone with neuropathy sho speacks only Spanish, there are links at the top of each of these pages to go to the translation en espanol.)
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What can Vitamin C do for Your Nerves?
Sorbitol (a form of sugar) travels to certain parts of the body where it builds up. These parts of the body are:
- the lens of the eye where it forms a white milky film called cataracts and
RHP Vitamin C is one of the highest quality vitamin C products on the market today. It is an ascorbic acid in a citrus concentrate that contains proteins and bioflavonoids. This greatly improves the absorption of the vitamin C and is much more bioavailable to your body.
- the sciatic nerve (the big nerve that runs down your leg) where it can cause nerve damage (nerve pain).
Evidence indicates that taking 2,000 mg a day of vitamin C may reduce the production of sorbitol and help strip sorbitol out of the body.
Most of the vitamin C sold in the US is ascorbic acid by itself.
You can learn more or order the RHP Vitamin C
If you have any questions please email or call us at (888) 758-5590
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