Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alzheimer's Dementia

Researchers estimate that 40-50% of individuals who reach the age of 80 will have some degree of Alzheimer's Dementia. Recent studies indicate that increasing oxidative stress with age might account for all aspects of Alzheimer’s Dementia. There is strong evidence that the brains of these patients have depleted levels of antioxidants. Although much of the damage has already been done by the time a diagnosis is made, many studies are currently underway to see if the progression of this disease can be slowed by using high doses of antioxidants such as Vitamin E, C, Zinc, Selenium and Rutin.

Prevention is the key and it is vital to take action now to protect brain cells from being destroyed. Along with staying away from processed and junk food, it is important to consume a diet rich in fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, a variety of nuts and seeds, cold water fish and plenty of purified water. For added protection, consider supplementing with Vitamin C, Grape Seed Extract, CoQ10, and Alpha Lipoic Acid, which are some of the most important antioxidants needed to enhance our natural antioxidant system, along with Zinc which is deficient in many patients.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dietary fiber from whole grains protects against cancer of the small intestine

Many large studies have found that people with higher intakes of dietary fiber and whole grains have a lower risk of colorectal cancer. However, until now there has been very little information on dietary and other risk factors for cancer of the small intestine. New research shows that people with the highest intakes of dietary fiber have a lower risk for cancer of the small intestine.

In a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology, researchers conducted a large population study to determine the relationship between intake of dietary fiber and the incidence of small intestinal cancer. Dietary information was gathered from 293,703 men and 198,618 women who participated in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. After eight years of follow-up it was determined that dietary fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of small intestinal cancer. The group with the highest intake of fiber from grains had a 49% lower risk of small intestine cancer compared to the group with the lowest intake. Likewise, the group that consumed the most whole-grain foods had a 41% lower incidence of the disease compared to the group eating the least whole-grain foods. Since similar dietary factors and results have been seen in studies involving cancer of the large intestine, it is likely that grain fiber and whole grain foods may protect against lower gastrointestinal cancers.

Gastroenterology. 2008 Oct;135(4):1163-7.

Friday, December 12, 2008

List of Food Additives, Their Effects, Foods Found In...

A family of about 10 chemicals that are banned in Russia. Believed to cause brain damage and to trigger allergies such as asthma and skin rashes. Found in Margarine, fruit juices, beer, fruit purees, tea and coffee extracts, pickles and flour.
Destroy nutrients and cause nausea and diarrhea. Used to bleach and to "mature" flour. Found in bread and white flour.
Have been implicated in high blood and cholesterol levels, as well as impaired kidney and liver function. Found in Margarine, butter, vegetable oils.
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole - a preservative)
Suspected of causing liver ailments and cancer. Found in Fresh pork and pork sausages, steak sauces, vegetable oils, shortenings, crackers, potato chips, dry cereals. cake mixes, frozen pizza, instant teas, drink powders and many more.
Colorant and flavorant, Stimulant, diuretic, causes nervousness, heart palpitations; may cause heart defects. Found in Coffee, tea, cocoa, cola, soft drinks
A popular coloring and flavoring agent. Suspected of causing vitamin B6 deficiencies, having genetic effects and possibly even causing cancer. Found in Candy, instant tea, soft drinks, bread, frozen pizza, brown colored foods like spreads, chocolate and baked goods.
Thickening agent and binder. Suspected of colitis effects, possible genetic effects. Found in Sour cream, cottage cheese, yoghurt, whipped toppings, chocolate milk, ice cream, beer, jelly, gelatin, pudding desserts, baby formulas, punch drinks, olives, vegetables packaged with sauces, cookie dough, bread.
Banned everywhere in the EEC except Britain. Powerful Irritant. Used to bleach flour and fat. In bread, flour and water.
Coal Tar AZO Dies:
Includes Tartrazine. Hyperactivity, birth defects in animals, allergies, stomach upsets. Found in Packet soups, sweets, smoked fish and meat, salad cream and jams.
They stop fats from going rancid. Stomach irritant and allergen. Found in Vegetable oils, bread, dry cereals, and fats.
Glutamates: (As in monosodium glutamate)
Can cause headaches, neck and/or chest pains in the sensitive, dizziness, palpitations and cancer. May cause genetic damage. Used in almost every convenience food
Mono- and Di-glycerides
May cause genetic changes, cancer, birth defects and other abnormalities. Found in Shortening, margarine, peanut butter, broth, bread, pies, dry roasted nuts, vegetables packaged with sauce, cookies, cakes, ravioli.
Used to preserve meat and give hams their pink color, Increasingly suspected of causing cancer - especially in combination with other products. Overdoses have caused deaths. Found in cured meat products, some cheeses and in water where nitrate fertilizers are frequently used
Propyl Gallate
May damage the liver. May cause birth defects. Found in Meat products, potato sticks, vegetables packed with sauces, vegetable shortening and oils, chewing gum, pickles.
Red Dye 40 (Allura Red AC)
Possibly causes birth defects. Cancer suspect. Found in Frankfurters, red gelatin desserts, red sweets, red soft drinks, red pistachio nuts, red chewing gums, cereals and baked goods.
Inexpensive sugar substitute. Popular with diabetics. Danger warning now required on packets in some countries. Causes allergic response and toxic reactions affecting skin, heart and gastro-intestinal tract. May cause tumors and bladder cancer. Sugar substitute used in diet foods, ginger ale, plain and diet sodas, frozen desserts and breakfast drinks.
Sodium Erythrobate (Preservative, coloring agent, used to "freshen" foods)
Possible genetic effects, banned in several countries. Found in Bacon, ham, frozen turkey roast, frankfurters, baked goods, potato salads, beverages.
As in sulphur dioxide and calcium sulphite. Genetic mutations, cancer and allergies. Found in Fruit, dried fruit and some wines
(Tannic Acid) Used for flavoring and in leather tanning. May cause liver tumors, cancer and other ailments. Found in Wine, coffee, tea cocoa, beer, butter, artificial flavorings such as caramel. brandy and maple.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Athletes - Optimize Your Performance

From Physiology studies of elite athletes, it has been determined that there are 3 main factors that separate the top athletes in the world from being 1st or 100th.
1) 5% is genetics
2) 20-25% is training and coaching
3) 70-75% is nutrition

With this in mind, consideration should be given to what an athlete is putting in his/her body and what affect intense physical training has on them? Studies have consistently shown that over-training increases our susceptibility to infections, and successive days of heavy training can temporarily impair the immune response, which can make matters worse. Overuse can cause muscle strain, joint pain, and further damage to connective tissues. Sugar suppresses the immune system for up to 4 hours. Food additives and preservatives cause free radical damage and make foods highly addictive. Eating high sugar, processed foods after an intense workout or game causes further damage to an already suppressed immune system.

Processed foods, junk food and fast food may well be this generation’s “cigarettes”. Cigarette companies are buying up major food corporations and are then taking the same technology they originally used to make cigarettes addictive and applying that to make processed foods addictive (e.g. have you ever eaten a whole bag of chips or cookies??). Paul Zane Pilzer, world famous Economist and advisor to the Clinton Administration speaks about this in his book “The Wellness Revolution”

Cigarette Giant Philip Morris Owns:
• Cigarette Brands: Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament,
• Kraft,
• Oscar Mayer
• Post (cereals)
• Maxwell House
• Philadelphia (cream cheese)
• The Nabisco trademark. (The Kraft Foods subsidiary acquired Nabisco Foods)

It is vital that top athletes be eating whole foods in the form of high quality protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables immediately after a game or workout to facilitate repair of the muscle and connective tissue and to rebuild the immune system.

Drinking sports drinks like “Powerade” that are loaded with sugar (16 tsp of sugar in a 946ml bottle) are among the worst choices for athletes during a practice or competition and will inhibit the immune system when the body is working its hardest. These sports drinks provide sodium and potassium but are missing all the other vital electrolytes and thus throw the body’s electrolyte system out of balance. You see increased risk of tendonitis in athletes consuming these types of drinks due to the high sodium levels. A better alternative would be eating fresh oranges (and drinking water) with the second choice being orange juice diluted with water if fresh fruit is not practical. Here is the nutritional profile of 3 oranges:

3 Oranges (required to make approx. 250 ml of juice):
185 Calories 0g Fat
0 mg Sodium 4g Protein
46g Carbohydrates n/a - Sugar
9g Fibre

% of DV (Daily Value)
Vitamin A – 16% Vitamin C – 348%
Calcium – 16% Iron – 2%
Vitamin B6 – 12% Vitamin E – 2%
Food Folate – 29% Copper – 9%
Magnesium – 10% Manganese –5%
Niacin – 6% Pantothenic Acid – 10%
Phosphorus – 6% Potassium – 20%
Riboflavin – 9% Selenium – 3%
Thiamin – 23% Zinc – 2%

Not only is there a tremendous amount of Vitamin C, which is one of the main building blocks of collagen and required for tissue repair, look at the other nutrients that are provided in this one fruit. All of these nutrients are needed by the body to strengthen the immune system and build strong muscles

Over-exercising can also cause premature aging. According to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, who has done extensive research on exercise and its effects, “distress” training produces free radicals (oxidants) that alter or destroy cell membranes and tissues. Free-radical damage is unavoidable because it is caused by oxygen uptake during exercise. Antioxidant supplements can help protect the body from free-radical damage at the cellular level. Higher dosages are recommended for athletes and those engaged in rigorous activity to protect against tissue damage. Look for a product that provides a blend of antioxidants as well as coenzyme Q10, and grape seed extract. (e.g. Usana’s supplements would be an excellent choice, visit

Nutrition and supplementation are key factors for optimum health, performance, muscle growth, and for maintaining or boosting a suppressed immune system. Frequent small meals balanced with adequate amounts of lean protein, low glycemic carbohydrates (e.g., vegetables, whole grains, and fruits such as berries, apples, pears, and plums, Locally grown and/or organic fruits and vegetables are more nutrient dense). Athletes should be eating a wide variety and incorporating as many different types as possible. Good fats will supply the body with the nutrients it needs to maintain stable energy levels for your workouts. Using unrefined, cold-pressed flax seed oil daily will help reduce the inflammation and pain of injuries such as tendonitis which develops from repetitious exercises. It contains the essential fatty acids omega-3 which the body converts into anti-inflammatory hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Also reduces the risk of stress fractures. A study of elite athletes found that by increasing their intake of “good fats” by 5%, their risk of stress fractures was virtually eliminated.

Protein is especially essential for the growth, maintenance, and repair of muscles and production of enzymes, hormones, and DNA. Protein from wild game is excellent. Game meats are tasty, nutritious, and free of many health and environmental concerns that go along with meat from today’s factory-farm animals. Research shows that buffalo meat has more highly-absorbable iron than beef. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue and a host of health issues. These meats are also nutrient-dense. Some of these nutrients include protein, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and selenium. The protein found in game meats is high in quality and can, therefore, help contribute to maintaining and increasing lean body mass.

Supplementing the diet with vitamin C benefits the immune system and also plays a key role in the formation and maintenance of collagen - a protein that is an important component of skin, ligaments, and bones. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is important for repairing connective tissue and collagen after an injury; it also reduces inflammation. Evening primrose oil supplies gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), another building block for the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. If the inflammation is acute and painful, the enzyme bromelain (from pineapples) taken between meals acts as a strong anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and pain after an injury. Vitamins A and E help to repair connective tissue and cells. Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants; they stop injury-induced free-radical damage to cells. Vitamin E further prevents internal *scarring. High quality glucosamine supplements, combined with proper diet and vitamins, can rebuild damaged cartilage without producing negative side-effects. (visit

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nutritional Tips for Getting Through the Holidays

The average person gains 5 – 7 lbs between Halloween and Christmas. Can any of us really afford that kind of weight gain, especially when the majority of it comes in the form of white sugar, white flour and alcohol? “But it’s the Holidays!!!” is the excuse, rather the plea, from people who want to indulge. Well, okay, but be smart about it. Here are some tips to help you:

1) Offer to be the Designated Driver and bring a bottle of San Pelligrino with lemon and limes. Be sure to drink it from a nice glass. Your friends will love you and you will save tons of calories.
2) Go for the Veggie Plate with Dip and load up on that before starting in on the other offerings. The fiber in raw vegetables will help you to fill up quickly and the antioxidants will help undo some of the damage from the other choices.
3) Avoid anything that isn’t “Special” to the season. Potato chips are NOT special!!!
4) For every alcoholic drink you consume, match it with a full glass of water. Dehydration is the main cause of hangovers. This will also help keep you full and prevent overindulging.
5) If you are baking goodies, try adding ¼ - ½ cup of ground flax seed to your recipe. You don’t have to add any extra liquid because the Omega 3 fats in the flax provide enough extra moisture. Your goodies will taste better, nuttier, have more fiber and not spike your blood sugar as much.

Here is a recipe for one of the best appetizers I know of. Whenever I take this to a party, people rave about it and ask for the recipe. You may be surprised by the ingredients but it truly tastes amazing, is very healthy, full of antioxidants and parsley is a natural diuretic.

Boniet (makes 1 cup – serves 10)
Per serving 113 cal, 11 g fat, 1.8 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1.8 g protein.
2 bunches of parsley, finely chopped
2 ounces of anchovy paste (comes in a tube, usually in the deli section)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp white vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Toss all ingredients together and let sit for an hour for the flavours to meld. Serve at room temperature with sliced multigrain baguette or crackers.

Do We Really Need Supplements?

“I can get everything I need from my diet” is a comment I often hear. If that’s true then why is 1 in 3 Canadians going to develop cancer in their lifetime based on current trends? Why is Type II Diabetes reaching epidemic levels with 1 in 3 children born today likely to develop this highly preventable disease? Why are incidences of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Fibromyalgia and a plethora of other degenerative diseases on the rise?

"Almost everything in the produce fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket which we once assumed would be very healthy is anything but," claims Thomas Pawlick, author of The End of Food: How the Food Industry Is Destroying Our Food Supply - And What We Can Do About It, published by Greystone Books in Vancouver. Pawlick, an award-winning science writer, says that much of his research data come from tables published by Agriculture Canada.

"For us to get the same amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that our grandparents or even our parents did," he says, "we would have to eat five times as much or more of some of those fruits and vegetables."

"Every three or four years Agri Canada does a fresh set of tables on the current nutritional value of various foods. They send people out at random to various supermarkets and they buy foods off the shelf, take them back to the lab and do analysis of their nutrient content and these are published," he says, adding that consumers can go online and look at the food tables themselves.

Pawlick says that a fresh tomato bought from the supermarket has 61 per cent less calcium than it did in the 1950s. "Virtually across the board, some losses have been as steep as 70 per cent and it's because of the way the crops are grown and raised."

Pawlick lays the onus directly on the large corporate farms that supply most of the grocery chains in Canada. "They choose varieties of fruits and vegetables, and when they make that choice the question of nutrition or flavour never enters into the picture," he says.

"They select varieties of fruit for thickness so when it's in a truck going across the country it won't get smushed," he charges. "So they want hard rubbery fruit and vegetables for a longer shelf life."

Pawlick says the same corporate farms also select produce for appearance. "They have to have uniformity so that every tomato or strawberry looks like the other one, and they all have to be ripe on the same day so they can be machine-harvested." Pawlick says that because imported produce is harvested prematurely, it is artificially ripened with ethylene gas.

"This decreases the amount of sugar and flavour in the fruit as opposed to allowing it to ripen on the vine." He cites the California strawberry as an example. "They are beautiful, but they are selected and bred to look good - but not to give you any nourishment."

Pawlick says that where consumers can, they should buy local produce. "Usually if it is locally grown it won't be so bad because it isn't being shipped a long distance," he says. "And anything that is locally grown means you are supporting local people and family farmers and the produce is getting to the market faster to retain its nutrients. The less time there is between picking and eating, the more nutrients will still be in the product."

Medical research is finally starting to prove and acknowledge the need for supplements. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently reversed a long-standing anti-vitamin stance by publishing two scientific review articles recommending multivitamin supplements for all adults. Robert H. Fletcher, MD, MSc, and Kathleen M. Fairfield, MD, DrPH, of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, reviewed more than 30 years of scientific papers regarding vitamins in relation to chronic diseases and published their findings in two companion articles. The researchers wrote that the North American diet is generally sufficient to prevent overt vitamin deficiency diseases such as pellagra, scurvy, and beriberi. However, they explain, "recent evidence has shown that suboptimal levels of vitamins, even well above those causing deficiency syndromes, are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis." In a clinical commentary, they note that “a large proportion of the general population” has less-than-optimal intakes of a number of vitamins, exposing them to increased disease risk, "it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements."

So what is the best brand of supplements? To find the answer you need to look in the NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements by Lyle MacWilliam, MSc. Mr MacWilliams is "a former Canadian Member of Parliament and MLA for British Columbia" who "served at the behest of Canada's federal Minister of Health to help develp a new regulatory frameword for natural health products, ensuring Canadian access to safe, effective, and high quality nutritional supplements." Usana Health Sciences produces supplements that receive the "Five-Star Gold Medal of Achievement". The products are designed to feed the human cell and in conjunction with the Linus Pauling Institute, Usana Health Sciences has created an incredible line of supplements that sets the standard for the rest of the industry to follow. To learn more you can visit my website at

Obesity Trends in United States.

If you haven't visited the Centers for Disease Control website and seen the slideshow that shows the dramatic increases in obesity rates over the last 22 years, I encourage you to take a look. The state of Colorado is now the ONLY state with less than 20% obesity.

2007 State Obesity Rates
Alabama - 30.3%, Alaska - 27.5%, Arizona - 25.4%, Arkansas - 28.7%, California - 22.6%, Colorado - 18.7%, Connecticut - 21.2%, Delaware - 27.4%, Florida - 23.6%, Georgia - 28.2%, Hawaii - 21.4%, Idaho - 24.5%, Illinois - 24.9%, Indiana - 26.8%, Iowa - 26.9%, Kansas - 26.9%, Kentucky - 27.4%, Louisiana - 29.8%, Maine - 24.8%, Maryland - 25.4%, Massachusetts - 21.3%, Michigan - 27.7%, Minnesota - 25.6%, Mississippi - 32.0%, Missouri - 27.5%, Montana - 21.8%, Nebraska - 26.0%, Nevada - 24.1%, New Hampshire - 24.4%, New Jersey - 23.5%, New Mexico - 24.0%, New York - 25.0%, North Carolina - 28.0%, North Dakota - 26.5%, Ohio - 27.5%, Oklahoma - 28.1%, Oregon - 25.5%, Pennsylvania - 27.1%, Rhode Island - 21.4%, South Carolina - 28.4%, South Dakota - 26.2%, Tennessee - 30.1%, Texas - 28.1%, Utah - 21.8%, Vermont - 21.3%, Virginia - 24.3%, Washington - 25.3%, Washington DC - 21.8%, West Virginia - 29.5%, Wisconsin - 24.7%, Wyoming - 23.7%

To say this is tragic is an understatement. It drives me crazy when I still see ads on tv promoting low fat products as if that's the problem. WAKE UP!!!! Fat is not the issue. If it were, we would all be thin since low fat products are everywhere. But the statistics prove otherwise. SUGAR is the real culprit here. In 2003, the average American ate 142 lbs of Sugar (64.5kg) and drank 46 Gallons of Pop (174L), compared to eating only 8.3 lbs (3.8kg) of Broccoli. Excess sugar in the body CONVERTS INTO FAT. Excess sugar sends our bodies on a hypoglycemic rollercoaster than leads to cravings for more sugar. The fact that Type II Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in North America should be another clue.

Fat naturally found in foods like meats, dairy, nuts, etc. actually makes us feel full faster and takes longer to digest so we also feel full longer. Sugar does the opposite. Food manufacturers know this which is why they have replaced fat with sugar. Compare your labels. Low fat versions have more sugar and sodium than their higher fat counterparts.

If you are serious about losing weight, start by cutting out sugar (and alcohol, which also converts quickly to fat) and you will see dramatic results.

Visit my website at to learn more.