The Incredible Health Benefits of Berries

The Incredible Health Benefits of Berries

Source: GreenMedInfo.com
Valerie Burke, MSM
November 2, 2015

How can one food group offer so many incredible health benefits, from preventing heart attack, stroke and dementia to protecting you from the flu? The answer is phytonutrients, and berries are simply loaded. Reading this “berry primer” will have you snatching them by the handfuls.

As the rock stars of the fruit kingdom, berries are some of the most disease preventive foods on the planet, coveted by our hunter-gatherer ancestors for millennia. Modern science is now revealing why these little red and purple beauties have been so revered—their high levels of polyphenols and other nutrients provide health benefits from head to toe.

Berries boost your immunity and calm inflammation because they’re packed so full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber—in fact, they contain some of the highest antioxidant levels of all foods. Berries protect your heart and brain and slow down aging—and they’re a cancer cell’s worst nightmare. They’re also lower in sugar than most other fruits so less likely to destabilize your insulin.

You may have heard references to polyphenols, flavonoids, flavanols, anthocyanins, and other technical terms. These can be confusing, so before we get into health benefits, let’s review some basic berry nomenclature to build a foundation for your appreciation.

Phytochemicals 101

A berry is scientifically defined as a fleshy fruit produced by the ovary of a single flower, which includes fruits not commonly considered berries such as grapes, bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants—but excluding strawberries and raspberries. Although various horticultural camps disagree about what constitutes a berry, this article will focus on the common culinary classification, what we see at the market labeled as “berries.”

The naturally occurring compounds primarily responsible for berries’ nutritional value are the following:

·      Phytochemicals (sometimes called phytonutrients) are naturally occurring plant compounds with protective or disease preventive properties. The thousands of phytochemicals are divided into three categories: phenolic acids (which are polyphenols), flavonoids, and stilbenes/lignans.[1]

·      Polyphenols are the most abundant natural antioxidants in our food supply. Examples include resveratrol (grapes), ellagic acid (nuts and berries), capsaicin (hot peppers), epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG (green tea), quercetin, tannins, and diferuloylmethanes (found only in turmeric).[2]

·      Flavonoids are the most diverse group of polyphenols (there are 4,000!). Flavonoids are what give berries and other fruits and veggies their vibrant colors, as well as stellar antioxidant properties. Plants produce flavonoids to protect themselves from parasites, oxidative injury and harsh climatic conditions. Flavonoids benefit more than 200 different diseases with 79 different pharmaceutical actions, including cardioprotective, neuroprotective and antineoplastic. Flavonoids are divided in several subclasses, including flavanols (includes catechins and proanthrocyanidins), flavones, isoflavones (soy), and anthocyanins.

·      Anthocyanins are pigments giving plants (including berries) their deep red, purple and blue colors. The darker the berry, the more anthocyanin it contains. This pigment has significant cardioprotective, neuroprotective and antitumor properties, as well as many others.

Berries and Your Heart

One of the most remarkable gifts from berries is the protection they afford your heart, which results mostly from their anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins support the endothelial lining of your circulatory system by improving blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, enhancing capillary strength, inhibiting platelet formation, and preventing the buildup of arterial plaque.

One in three US adults now has high blood pressure,[3] and multiple studies show the benefits of blueberries for blood pressure and overall heart health. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics[4] involving high-risk postmenopausal women found that consuming one cup of blueberries daily for eight weeks reduced blood pressure and arterial stiffness, possibly due to increased nitric oxide production.

Women who consume more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week were found to have a 32 percent lower risk of heart attack. One cup of mixed berries per day has been shown to lower blood pressure and raise beneficial HDL. Blueberries offer additional protection from type 2 diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity. In a scientific review of the cardioprotective benefits of anthocyanins, researchers wrote:[5]

“Epidemiological studies suggest that increased consumption of anthocyanins lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the most common cause of mortality among men and women.

Anthocyanins frequently interact with other phytochemicals, exhibiting synergistic biological effects but making contributions from individual components difficult to decipher. Over the past 2 decades, many peer-reviewed publications have demonstrated that in addition to their noted in vitro antioxidant activity, anthocyanins may regulate different signaling pathways involved in the development of CVD.”

This is Your Brain on Berries…

Berries are some of the best foods you can eat to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. A Chinese study[6] found the incidence of dementia (Alzheimer’s, vascular and other forms) was more than 500 percent higher for those who did not consume berries on a regular basis. A team of international researchers reviewed the science of berries’ neuroprotective effects and drew the following conclusions:[7]

Berries significantly reduce the risk for multiple types of dementia

·      Strawberries decrease oxidation and build neurological health

·      Bilberries protect against arterial and neural damage

·      Black currants discourage the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, which are common in dementia

·      Blueberries are associated with improved memory and learning, as well as reduced radical oxidation species that harm brain cells

The benefits of strawberries for your brain is at least partly explained by a recently discovered compound called fisetin, a flavonol similar to quercetin that’s found in strawberries and several other fruits and vegetables. Research published in Aging Cell[8] found fisetin prevented mice who were programmed to develop Alzheimer’s disease from actually developing it. Pamela Maher’s research team identified numerous ways in which fisetin works on metabolic pathways to reduce age-related cognitive decline, including raising intracellular glutathione levels and reducing brain inflammation, all of which she summarized in a 2009 paper.[9]

If you’re simply feeling blue, maybe you need to EAT more blue! Low dopamine levels can result in depression and other mood disturbances, but anthocyanins and proanthrocyanidins help your brain produce more dopamine.[10] [11] Or try some goji berries, shown to substantially increase feelings of well-being and improve cognitive performance after only two weeks.

Cancer’s Worst Enemy

There is evidence that berries (particularly blueberries, possibly because they’ve been the most studied) can help protect you from cancer, including breast, colon, liver and melanoma.

Blueberries are found to induce apoptosis (cell death) in virulent breast cancer cell lines. An isolate in blueberries named pterostilbene (related to resveratrol) was shown to selectively kill cancer stem cells and suppress the adverse effects of radiation. In fact, pterostilbene has demonstrated anti-cancer activity against breast, colon, gastric, esophageal and prostate cancers. However, blueberries aren’t the only berries with anticarcinogenic effects. The acai berry shows promise in treating leukemia and colon cancer, as well as supporting overall immune function, metabolism and arthritis. Bilberry inhibits colon cancer and leukemia. Blackberries and black raspberries have been demonstrated to be antiproliferative.

The bottom line is, if you want to capitalize on the healing power of berries, an excellent strategy is to incorporate them into your diet on a daily basis—and the more variety the better. To maximize antioxidant benefits, go organic. One study[12] found that organically grown blueberries have significantly higher concentrations of phenol antioxidants and anthocyanins than conventionally grown, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.

Each berry has its own special complement of phytochemicals, so add multiple types of berries to your list next time you’re hunting and gathering at your local farmers market.

Berry Special Health Benefits

Cranberry: Sixteen different studies support the efficacy of cranberries for treating and preventing urinary tract infections, but did you know they also combat MRSA?

Strawberry: Improved lipid profile, reduced cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk; protection from esophageal cancer; eight strawberries have more vitamin C than a medium sized orange

Raspberry: Support for esophageal cancer, erectile dysfunction and low sperm count

Goji Berry: Protects male reproductive organs from damage by endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as BPA

Black Currant: Support for brain power mood, allergies and rheumatoid arthritis

Elderberry: Inhibits influenza A and B as effectively as amantadine or Tamiflu

Blackberry: Suppo

Schisandra berry: Improves mitochondrial function

Read More At: GreenMedInfo.com
_________________________________________________________________

© November 2nd, 2015 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


References

[1] UC Davis Nutrition and Health Info-Sheet: Some Facts About Phytochemicals

[2] UC Davis Integrative Medicine Program: The Power of Polyphenols July 28, 2015

[3] CDC High Blood Pressure Facts

[4] Johnson SA et al. Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre- and Stage 1-Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2015 March;115(3):369-377

[5] Wallace TC. Anthocyanins in cardiovascular disease. Adv Nutr. 2011 Jan;2(1):1-7. doi: 10.3945/an.110.000042. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

[6] Wei, CJ et al. Risk factors for dementia in highly educated elderly people in Tianjin, China. Clin Neurol & Neurosurg. 2014 July;122:408 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2014.04.004

[7] Subash S. et al. Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regen Res. 2014 Aug 15; 9(16): 1557–1566.

doi:  10.4103/1673-5374.139483

[8] Currais A. et al. Modulation of p25 and inflammatory pathways by fisetin maintains cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. Aging Cell. 2014 Apr;13(2):379-90. doi: 10.1111/acel.12185. Epub 2013 Dec 17. PMCID: PMC3954948

[9] Maher P. Modulation of multiple pathways involved in the maintenance of neuronal function during aging by fisetin. Genes Nutr. 2009 Dec; 4(4): 297–307. doi:  10.1007/s12263-009-0142-5

[10] Dobberstein LJ. “Brain Protective Effects of Proathocyanidins.” Wellness Resources April 7, 2014

[11] Rahman MM. et al. Effects of anthocyanins on psychological stress-induced oxidative stress and neurotransmitter status. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 27;56(16):7545-50. doi: 10.1021/jf800930s. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

[12]Wang SY. et al. Fruit Quality, Antioxidant Capacity, and Flavonoid Content of Organically and Conventionally Grown Blueberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 July; 56 (14):5788–5794  DOI: 10.1021/jf703775r

Breakaway Links Of The Day – July 26, 2016

Breakaway
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 27, 2016

Here are yesterday’s links.

Hope all is well.

Big Pharma Prescriptions In Including Painkillers, Antidepressants Plummeting Seniors Turn To Medical Cannabis
[NaturalNews.com Daniel Gutierrez]

Researchers Find Pre-Inca Machu Picchu That Could REWRITE Andean History
[Ancient-Code.com]

[UrbanGardening] IN FOCUS – The Ninja Flame Weeder
[UrbanGardner | Curtis Stone]

French Should Expose Government Not Islam Over Neo-Gladio Provocations
[TheDailyBell.com]

Signed Into Law: Rhode Island Expands Medical Marijuana Program
[ActivistPost.com | Mike Maharrey]

Who’s Responsible For The Coup In Turkey? Was It Fethulla Gullen?
[Journal-Neo.org | F. William Engdahl]

Does Your Energy Increase Or Decrease?
[NoMoreFakeNews.com | Jon Rappoport]

CDC Releases New Meningitis B Vaccine Mandate For students, Despite Recent Study Showing Shots Fail To Protect
[NaturalNews.com | David Gutierrez]

Annunaki Structures Before The Flood: The 200,000-Year-Old Ancient City In Africa
[Ancient-Code.com]

Sustainable Food Group Petitioning Big Food [Bread] To Stop Spraying Wheat With Cancerous Glyphosate

[NaturalNews.com | J.D. Heyes]

Hillary Clinton Is A Threat To All Humanity
[CorbettReport | James Corbett]

Glyphosate Disrupts DNA Function, Causing ‘Medical Chaos’ In The Form Of Multiple Diseases Including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Say Researchers
[NaturalNews.com | Julie Wilson]

Many Of These Conditions Can Be Linked To Gluten
Dr. Bob De Maria
[iHealthTube.com]

Leaked DNC Emails Prove Once & For All That Conspiracy Theorists Were Right All Along
[NaturalNews.com | Mike Adams]

Scientists Conclude: There Is Evidence Of A Previously Unknown Species On Earth
[Ancient-Code.com]

62-Year-Old Man REVERSES Type-2 Diabetes By Cutting Out Pasta, Bread
[NaturalNews.com | Ethan A. Huff]

Interviews & Insights – A Chef Without A Kitchen – Giulio Piccioli
[UrbanFarmer | Curtis Stone]

Urban Farmers Targeted By City, Issued Multiple Threats After Property Was Vandalized
[NaturalNews.com | Claire Bernish]

Questions Surrounding The Munich Shooting
[ActiistPost.com | Brandon Turbeville]

#GoodNewsNextWeek: There Was Never Marijuana In The Colorado Water
[MediaMonarchy | James Evan Pilato]

62-Year-Old Man REVERSES Type-2 Diabetes By Cutting Out Pasta, Bread

Type 2 diabetes
Source: NaturalNews.com
Ethan A. Huff
July 26, 2016

The next time somebody tries to tell you that type-2 diabetes is irreversible, simply point them to the incredible healing journey of Geoff Whitington, a UK man who was ultimately cured of his diabetic condition, thanks to the loving efforts of his two sons who helped lift their father out of the rut he’d been stuck in for years.

Grossly overweight, hormonally imbalanced, and on the verge of having to have his leg amputated, Geoff had all but given up hope of any sort of healthy future. A security guard who worked long, 15-hour shifts, Geoff was in a pretty bad place health-wise as a result of eating too much takeout and junk food, which left him about 100 pounds overweight and reliant on crutches just to move around.

Grieved at having to watch their formerly healthy, athletic dad get overweight and then become frail due to diabetes, sons Ian and Anthony decided that it was time to intervene. They took their father on a 10-day trip to Spain, during which time they showed him old pictures of himself during his pre-diabetic days, and offered up a solution to restore his health.

The two boys developed a solid workout plan for their dad that they, too, would participate in, and also urged their father to immediately change his diet to exclude two of the things he loved most: pastas and breads. These blood sugar-raising foods are a nightmare for diabetics, and Geoff’s two sons knew that they would have to be pulled from the menu if their father was ever to get better.

Part of the plan involved having younger brother Ian, a documentary filmmaker, capture Geoff’s transformation on film in order to share his story with others – everything from the daily cycling regimen, to the 800-calorie-per-day restricted diet – an anti-diabetic approach pioneered by Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University’s Diabetes Research Group.

The film, entitled Fixing Dad, aired on Sunday, July 24, on BBC2. You can learn more about the film here.

This low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet helped Geoff shed about 100 pounds, as did the daily workouts with his sons. Eating lots of veggies and clean meats also brought Geoff’s blood sugar levels down to a normal range, so much so that he was able to completely reverse his diabetes and get off his medications.

“We insisted that if he could stick to the diet and exercise plan we had devised for him, we could hopefully enable him to spend another 20 to 30 years with us and his four grandchildren,” son Anthony told the UK’s Daily Mail.

Official dietary guidelines allowing ‘some’ sugar for diabetics will never cure disease

Making these changes was difficult for Geoff – at least initially. But after he began to see dramatic progress in terms of his weight, strength and newfound athletic abilities, continuing on with them was a no-brainer.

His Charcot foot – a diabetic condition in which the arch of the foot collapses due to fragile bones and lack of blood flow – completely went away, as did his diabetes-related heart events. Geoff’s circulation improved, and he began to feel better in many different areas that were gradually crippling him.

He credits it all to the efforts of his sons rather than the system. That’s because the system told Geoff that he could eat “some” sugar in “moderation” – a misnomer of the food establishment – and still survive, as long as he took his pills. But pills were the problem, and diet and exercise were the solution.

“Too many pills are being doled out because the right advice is not getting across,” Geoff told the Daily Mail.

Fresh, chemical-free vegetables are a great addition to any diabetes prevention diet, and you can learn more here about how to grow them at home with the incredible Vertical Garden Tower.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources for this article include:

DailyMail.co.uk

FixingDad.com

Nine Chronic Diseases Caused By Pesticides

Pesticides
Source: NaturalNews.com
Isabelle Z.
June 24, 2016

By now, it is fairly common knowledge that pesticide exposure is associated with a disturbing number of life-changing illnesses. Yet, for some reason, pesticides continue to be used on a widespread basis, with people around the world feeling the effects of these harmful toxins. The wide reach and influence of agricultural firms like Monsanto is responsible for many of the health problems faced by people around the world today.

The advocacy group, Beyond Pesticides, has created a Pesticide-Induced Disease (PID) database that provides vital information about the many dangers of these chemicals. The list is depressingly long, and its warnings are particularly important for children. Here is a look at nine of the diseases with the strongest links to pesticide exposure.

1. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia

This progressive brain-destroying disease reportedly affects up to 5.3 million Americans. The numbers have been rising recently in keeping with the rise in our nation’s pesticide use, and this appears to be more than a coincidence. Studies have found that people exposed to pesticides have not only a greater incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia, but also increased dysfunction in psychomotor, behavioral and cognitive skills. The link is particularly strong when it comes to insecticides.

2. Cancer

Many cancers have been linked to pesticides, including brain, bone, liver, pancreas, bladder and prostate cancers, as well as leukemia. Cancers of the lymph system, such as Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, are particularly well-documented. These are the seventh most commonly diagnosed cancers in adults, and the third most common in children. In fact, children who live in agricultural areas have higher risks of several of these illnesses.

3. Birth defects

Birth defects in humans and animals alike have been noted with increasing frequency as pesticide use rises, particularly in agricultural areas. For example, gastroschisis, a birth defect in which a baby’s intestines and other organs develop outside the abdomen, occurs much more frequently in babies with mothers who live within 25 kilometers of sites where the pesticide atrazine was used. In fact, atrazine has been linked to nine different birth defects.

4. Endocrine disruption

In this condition, chemicals from pesticides as well as plastics, household cleaners and other chemicals make their way into the body and disrupt its hormonal balance, leading to disease, developmental problems and reproductive issues. The endocrine system, which includes the thyroid, and adrenal and pituitary glands, is vital for growth and development, and anything that disrupts it can have major repercussions on one’s overall health. Pesticides and other chemicals change the concentration of the body’s natural hormones and interfere with metabolism, hormonal synthesis, transport and excretion. Male hormones are particularly vulnerable, reports Scientific American.

5. Reproductive issues

Exposure to pesticides can affect the reproductive systems of men and women alike. In one study, men who had high levels of three different common pesticides in their urine were actually ten times more likely to have low sperm quality. Meanwhile, rats who experienced even very low exposure to pesticides developed reproductive problems. Several pesticides and fungicides are also known to impair the synthesis of testosterone.

6. Asthma and allergies

The rate of asthma has been climbing dramatically in keeping with the rise of pesticide use. It is estimated that around 16 million Americans suffer from asthma, which is not only chronic but can also be life-threatening. Pesticide use has also been linked to food allergies. An Agricultural Health Study of more than 25,000 farm women found a link between seven different insecticides and atopic asthma.

7. Diabetes

While an unhealthy lifestyle certainly plays a role in type 2 diabetes, the widespread exposure to pesticides containing organophosphate can induce obesity and spur diabetic reactions. In one of several studies into the connection, a North Carolina State University study found elevated levels of diabetes among women who were exposed to five different classes of pesticides.

8. Parkinson’s Disease

This common neurodegenerative disease affects more than a million Americans, whose brain nerve cells become so damaged that they are unable to control the movement of their muscles. Pesticide exposure has been identified as a leading cause of this, with one study finding that the frequent use of household pesticides boosted a person’s odds of Parkinson’s by 47 percent. Even more alarmingly, those who frequently used organophosphate pesticides had a 71 percent higher likelihood of developing the neurodegenerative disease.

9. Developmental and learning disorders

Because organs continue to develop throughout childhood, children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pesticides, and one place this can be quite evident is in the brain. Even low levels of pesticide exposure have been found to affect intelligence and behavior. Children who live in areas subjected to aerial spraying of pesticides for mosquitoes are 25 percent more likely to experience developmental disorders and autism.

The problems caused by pesticides are so bad that the French town of Saint-Jean has banned their use within 160 feet (50 meters) of homes. The town’s deputy mayor, who also happens to be a doctor, summed it up: “Research shows that people living near areas where pesticides are used are more affected by some diseases: endocrinal hormone disruption, diabetes and obesity, hormone-dependent cancers, cancer of the blood, male and female fertility problems and birth defects.”

If only every town – especially those with or close to farming communities – could get on board and protect the health of its citizens in such a strong and fearless way.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Popular Diabetes Drug Found to up B12 Deficiency, Anemia Risk

drugs-metformin-diabetes-anemia-735-350

Source: NaturalSociety.com
Julie Fidler
March 13, 2016

A popular diabetes drug has been shown in a new study to increase the risk for vitamin B12 deficiency and anemia when taken over several years.

Metformin (generic name: glucophage) is a drug prescribed to people with Type 2 diabetes to help control the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood by reducing how much glucose is absorbed from food and produced by the liver. The medication also increases the body’s response to insulin.

Senior study author Dr. Jill P. Crandall of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City told Reuters in an email:

“Metformin is the most commonly used drug to treat type 2 diabetes, so many millions of people are taking it, usually for a prolonged period (many years).”

Crandall added that some people also take the drug to prevent diabetes, and to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the most common causes of female infertility.

For the study, Crandall and her team looked at data from the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, which followed individuals at high risk for Type 2 diabetes for more than a decade.

At the start of the study, more than 3,000 participants age 25 years and older had high blood sugar. They were randomly assigned to receive either 850 milligrams of metformin twice daily, placebo medication, or an intensive lifestyle program not including medication. Only those taking metformin were included in the new analysis, and about 50 participants were excluded who had undergone weight-loss surgery, which would affect their diabetes outcomes.

Researchers took blood samples from the participants at the 5- and 13-year follow-ups. These samples helped the team conclude that at year 5, average B12 levels were lower in the metformin group than the placebo group, and B12 deficiency was more common, affecting about 4% of participants on metformin, compared to 2% of those not taking the drug.

Approximately 20% of metformin users and 10% of non-users had borderline low B12 levels.

Average B12 levels were higher at the 13-year-point than at 5 years, but B12 deficiency was also found to be more common in both the metformin and the placebo groups.

At 5 years, more of the metformin patients had anemia than the placebo group, as well.

Continue Reading At:NaturalSociety.com

Reversing Diabetes With Food

Source: NutritionFacts.org
March 2, 2016

DESCRIPTION: Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with severe calorie restriction—whether by surgery or starvation—but can also be reversed by simply eating healthier.

Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with an extremely low calorie diet (see my last video: Reversing Diabetes with Surgery http://nutritionfacts.org/video/rever…). And as this video shows, type 2 diabetes can be reversed with an extremely healthy diet, but is that because it was also low in calories? That’s the million dollar (death?) question that I answer in my next video: Diabetes Reversal: Is it the Calories or the Food? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/diabe…). Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be quite a doozy!

I’ve touched before at the ability of healthy diets to both prevent (Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes http://nutritionfacts.org/video/Plant…) and treat (Plant-Based Diets for Diabetes http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant…) type 2 diabetes. It’s so exciting to be plugging in the final puzzle pieces.

VIDEO: How Monsanto’s Glyphosate Attacks our Core Cellular Functions

RoundUp

Source: NaturalSociety.com
Christina Sarich
January 19, 2016

Monsanto’s Round Up herbicide, containing the likely-carcinogenic glyphosate, is causing widespread mitochondrial dysfunction in cells. This is associated with a long list of degenerative disease and chronic health conditions including autism, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and obesity.

The mitochondria of our cells complete some of the most important functions of cellular respiration. This is how our cells eat, excrete, and repair themselves. Mitochondria are like the batteries of the cell. They create metabolic energy through ATP.  If the mitochondria, well-defined cytoplasmic organelles of the cell are damaged, the cell cannot function.

As Pamela Coleman, PhD from Farm and Food Policy and an Analyst for the Cornucopia Institute has said:

“Contrary to the current widely-held misconception that glyphosate is relatively harmless to humans, the available evidence shows that glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.”

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com

The Truth About Sugar

Source:Mercola.com
Dr. Mercola
December 12, 2015

“The Truth About Sugar” features Cara Patterson, Rick Shabilla, Audrey Cannon, and Simon Gallagher, who between them consume nearly 120 teaspoons of sugar a day.

Refined sugar has become a dietary staple in most developed nations, and many are at a loss as to how to avoid this pernicious ingredient, which can be found in virtually every processed food — typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

High-sugar diets are undoubtedly the primary culprit in skyrocketing obesity and type 2 diabetes rates and other chronic health problems associated with insulin resistance.

For example, according to recent research1 presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015, obese children as young as 8 now display signs of heart disease, and excessive sugar consumption right from birth on is at the root of this trend.

Cutting out Sugar Is One of the Easiest and Fastest Ways to Improve Your Health

“The Truth About Sugar,” which aired on BBC One, aims to “demystify some of the myths about sugar — namely, what food products secretly contain it — and demonstrate the impact it can make on your health if you reduce the amount you eat.”

Three of the individuals in the film did indeed manage to lose nearly 6 kilos (13 pounds) each after going on a low-sugar diet — cutting their added sugar from an average of 23 to 39 teaspoons a day, down to 6 teaspoons, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Recent research2,3,4,5 has revealed that cutting out added sugars can improve biomarkers associated with health in as little as 10 days — even when overall calorie count and percentage of carbohydrates remains the same.

The study, led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist who has long argued that added sugar is toxic when consumed in too-high amounts, reduced the amount of added sugars from an average of 27 percent of daily calories down to about 10 percent.

This is in line with the most recent recommendations by the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, issued in February.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also proposed adding “added sugar” to the Nutrition Facts panel on processed foods, set at 10 percent of total energy intake for a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet.

Dr. Lustig’s research suggests such a labeling addition could potentially make a big difference in people’s health, provided they read food labels.

Sugar Is Disguised Under Many Names

Many are simply unaware of just how much sugar they’re consuming. Added sugar oftentimes hides under other less familiar names, such as dextrose, maltose, galactose, and maltodextrin, for example.

According to SugarScience.org, added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods under more than 60 different names. (For a full list, please see SugarScience.org’s “Hidden in Plain Sight” page.6)

Misled by shrewd advertisers, many are also still unaware of how too much sugar can disrupt your health and well-being. As previously reported by The New York Times:7

“The scientists who started SugarScience.org say they have reviewed 8,000 independent clinical research articles on sugar and its role in metabolic conditions that are some of the leading killers of Americans, like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.

The link between sugar and chronic disease has attracted increasing scientific scrutiny in recent years. But many studies have provided conflicting conclusions, and experts say part of the reason is that biased studies have clouded the debate.”

Industry Front Groups Work to Keep Sugar Hazards Secret

Indeed, the sugar-processed food and beverage industries have fought hard to hide and downplay the health hazards associated with sugar. Large sums of money have been spent to this end, and scientific integrity has been tossed by the wayside in order to convince you that sugar belongs in your diet.

Weight problems, they say, are due to inactivity — not excessive sugar consumption. The Global Energy Balance Network is one front group peddling this misinformation, originally funded with millions of dollars by none other than Coca-Cola.

But we are making progress as last week, due to all the public exposure and negative press, the Global Energy Network shut down.8

It was to counter profit-driven industry interests that SugarScience.org9 was created. Run by dozens of scientists at three American universities, this educational website makes independent research available to the public, so if you want the real scoop on what sugar does to your health, this is the place to look.

Refined Sugar Is All Energy and No Nutrition

When we talk about sugar, we’re really including ALL sugars, including honey, agave, table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and the natural fructose found in fresh-pressed fruit juice and whole fruits.

However, refined sugar and processed fructose are two of the worst, with fructose having even worse health impacts than refined sugar. In the film, biologist Marty Jopson, Ph.D., explains what makes refined sugar so unhealthy.

Sugar cane and sugar beets are used in sugar production, as these plants have high concentrations of sugar. The refining process further increases that sugar concentration.

Since all the fiber, roughage, and most of the water is removed, what’s left — the refined sugar — is nothing but empty calories (pure energy), completely devoid of nutrition. Should you fail to use up all these calories through physical activity, it will inevitably be stored as fat. And that’s the problem with eating some 30 teaspoons or more of refined sugar a day. You simply cannot burn it all!

For example, to burn off the calories from one Snickers bar you’d have to walk about five miles, and to offset a one-soda-per-day habit — equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar — you have to walk one hour per day just to prevent additional weight gain.

But it’s not just candy, pastries and soda that are loaded with added sugars. Savory foods contain it as well. As do most, if not all condiments, and even infant formula and baby food.

How Much Sugar Do You Eat Each Day?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know the exact answer to that question, and the reason for this is because it’s in virtually all processed food products, including products you would never suspect would have added sugar in it.

For example, the film mentions that a serving of Pad Thai noodles contains 9.5 teaspoons of sugar; a package of sweet and sour chicken with rice contains 12.5 teaspoons (more than a can of soda); and a can of baked beans contains 6 teaspoons of sugar — which, remember, would ideally be your grand total for the day!

The film goes on to discuss the science of addictive foods, and how food manufacturers employ scientists to determine the precise “bliss point” of each food, be it tomato sauce or chips. This “bliss point” is achieved through combinations of sugar, salt, and fat, plus proprietary additives and flavorings, as detailed in my previous article “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.

One question raised is: were food manufacturers to take sugar out of their foods completely, would we still buy them? The answer is likely no, because without all these flavor additives, of which sugar is more or less essential, many processed foods would be unpalatable, as the processing removes much of the natural flavors.

This is a problem relegated to the processed food industry. You don’t really have this problem when you’re cooking from scratch with whole foods, which are packed with natural flavors. Then all you need is seasoning. Rarely, if ever would you consider adding several teaspoons of sugar to a home-cooked meal!

How Quickly Can a High-Sugar Diet Pack on Unwanted Pounds?

So, just how quickly can a high sugar diet like this pack on extra pounds? To use Dr. Jopson’s example, let’s say you drink 3 cups of tea or coffee per day, and you add 2 teaspoons of sugar to each cup. Let’s also assume that you’re not burning off that extra sugar due to a sit-down job and leisure time inactivity. At the end of one year, that sugar (6 teaspoons a day), would turn into a whopping 4.5 kilos, or 9.9 pounds, of body fat.

When you consider that most consume five or six times more sugar than that each day, it’s easy to see how obesity has become more the norm than the exception. One of the volunteers featured in “The Truth About Sugar” had a body fat percentage of 51, and that’s not unusual these days. A body fat percentage of 32 and over is considered obese for women, and anything above 25 percent falls in the obese category for men.

What to Do If Your Body Fat Percentage Is Too High

It’s important to realize that the benefits of reducing belly fat go far beyond aesthetics. Abdominal fat — the visceral fat that deposits around your internal organs — releases proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, affecting how your body breaks down sugars and fats.

The chronic inflammation associated with visceral fat accumulation can trigger a wide range of systemic diseases linked with metabolic syndrome. This is why carrying extra weight around your middle is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and other chronic diseases, and why measuring your waist-to-hip ratio is actually a better indicator of your health status than body mass index (BMI).

For the majority of people, severely restricting carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, and grains in your diet will be the key to weight loss. Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods will raise your insulin levels and, over time, cause insulin resistance, which is the No. 1 underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

If you’re currently drinking soda, other sweetened beverages, or fruit juices on a daily basis, you may want to start by eliminating those, and work your way through the rest of your food choices from there. The only beverage your body truly needs is clean, pure water.

As you cut the sugars from your diet, you need to replace them with healthy substitutes like vegetables and healthy fats (including natural saturated fats). You can find a detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan, and I urge you to consult this guide if you are trying to lose weight.

Remember, one of the simplest guidelines to shedding excess weight is to EAT REAL FOOD, meaning food in the most natural form you can find, ideally whole organic produce, and pasture-raised when it comes to meats and animal products like dairy and eggs.

Intermittent fasting can further boost weight loss, as it:

  • Increases secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burning hormone
  • Increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure
  • Decreases insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity
  • Increases ghrelin, aka “the hunger hormone,” thereby reducing overeating
  • Shifts your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuelContinue Reading At: Mercola.com