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Love Your Gut, Heal Your Gut, Heal Yourself

 

Dr Amy Myers 2013

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, mood imbalances or an autoimmune disorder?  If so, you may have a leaky gut.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly ¼ of us (about 70 million) suffer from digestive issues: gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and nausea.  In functional Medicine we believe that these symptoms may be displayed in your gut yet their effects are systemic and can affect the whole body.  We believe that the gut is the core of our health and that it is essential to have a healthy gut in order to have a healthy body.

It’s all about the gut!

A properly functioning digestive system (gut) is critical to good health. In fact, 60 -80% of our immune system is located in our gut and 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals responsible for regulating mood) such as serotonin are made in our gut.  Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems.  Gut imbalances and leaky gut have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimotos thyroiditis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea, just to name a few.

Love your gut! Heal your gut!

In functional Medicine we use a simple approach that we call the 4R program to heal your gut.  I walk you through this process in my latest eCourse The Myers Way Guide to the Gut.

 

The 4 R Program

1. Remove

Remove the bad.  The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract such as inflammatory foods, infections, and gastric irritants like alcohol, caffeine or drugs.  Inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs and sugar can lead to food sensitivities. I recommend The Myers Way and IgG food sensitivity testing to determine if any foods are a problem for you. Infections can be from parasites, yeast or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis is key to determining the levels of good bacteria as well as any infections that may be present.  Removing the infections may require treatment with herbs, anti-parasite medication, anti-fungal medication, anti-fungal supplements or even antibiotics.

2. Replace
Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid medications) diseases or aging.  This includes digestive enzymeshydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.

3. Reinoculate
Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical.  This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species.  I recommend anywhere from 25 -100 billion units a day.  Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high soluble fiber is important.

4. Repair
Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself is essential.  One of my favorites supplements is L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining.  Otherkey nutrients include zinc, omega 3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, E as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

No matter what your health issue is, the 4R program is sure to help you and your gut heal. I have witnessed dramatic reversal of chronic and inflammatory illnesses in a very short period of time by utilizing this simple approach.

 

My favorite gut healing smoothie!

1/2 – 1 cup almond milk

1/4 teaspoon (100 billion units) probiotic

1 scoop (5000 mg) L-Gutamine

3 stalks red kale

3 stalks dinosaur kale

1/2 cup frozen organic berry mix (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries)

2 scoop protein powder 

Blend

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Top 11 Biggest Lies of Mainstream Nutrition

By Kris Gunnars | Authority Nutrition

There is a lot of misinformation circling around in mainstream nutrition.

I have listed the worst examples in this article, but unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are the top 11 biggest lies, myths and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition.

1. Eggs Are Unhealthy

There’s one thing that nutrition professionals have had remarkable success with… and that is demonizing incredibly healthy foods.

The worst example of that is eggs, which happen to contain a large amount of cholesterol and were therefore considered to increase the risk of heart disease.

But recently it has been proven that the cholesterol in the diet doesn’t really raise the cholesterol in blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise the “good” cholesterol and are NOT associated with increased risk of heart disease (1, 2).

What we’re left with is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re high in all sorts of nutrients along with unique antioxidants that protect our eyes (3).

To top it all of, despite being a “high fat” food, eating eggs for breakfast is proven to cause significant weight loss compared to bagels for breakfast (4, 5).

Bottom Line: Eggs do not cause heart disease and are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.

2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You

A few decades ago it was decided that the epidemic of heart disease was caused by eating too much fat, in particular saturated fat.

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This was based on highly flawed studies and political decisions that have now been proven to be completely wrong.

A massive review article published in 2010 looked at 21 prospective epidemiological studies with a total of 347.747 subjects. Their results: absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart disease (6).

The idea that saturated fat raised the risk of heart disease was an unproven theorythat somehow became conventional wisdom (7).

Eating saturated fat raises the amount of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol in the blood and changes the LDL from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign (8, 9).

Meat, coconut oil, cheese, butter… there is absolutely no reason to fear these foods.

Bottom Line: Newer studies have proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Natural foods that are high in saturated fat are good for you.

3. Everybody Should be Eating Grains

The idea that humans should be basing their diets on grains has never made sense to me.

The agricultural revolution happened fairly recently in human evolutionary history and our genes haven’t changed that much.

Grains are fairly low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. They are also rich in a substance called phytic acid which binds essential minerals in the intestine and prevents them from being absorbed (10).

The most common grain in the western diet, by far, is wheat… and wheat can cause ahost of health problems, both minor and serious.

Modern wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten, but there is evidence that a significant portion of the population may be sensitive to it (11, 12,13).

Eating gluten can damage the intestinal lining, cause pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and tiredness (14, 15). Gluten consumption has also been associated with schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia, both serious disorders of the brain (16, 17).

Bottom Line: Grains are relatively low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. The gluten grains in particular may lead to a variety of health problems.

4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Bones and Kidneys

A high protein diet has been claimed to cause both osteoporosis and kidney disease.

It is true that eating protein increases calcium excretion from the bones in the short term, but the long term studies actually show the opposite effect.

In the long term, protein has a strong association with improved bone health and a lower risk of fracture (18, 19).

Additionally, studies don’t show any association of high protein with kidney disease in otherwise healthy people (20, 21).

In fact, two of the main risk factors for kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Eating a high protein diet improves both (22, 23).

If anything, a high protein diet should be protective against osteoporosis and kidney failure!

Bottom Line: Eating a high protein diet is associated with improved bone health and a lower risk of fracture. High protein also lowers blood pressure and improves diabetes symptoms, which should lower the risk of kidney failure.

5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You

Do you know what regular food tastes like when all the fat has been taken out of it?

Well, it tastes like cardboard. No one would want to eat it.

The food manufacturers know this and therefore theyadd other things to compensate for the lack of fat.

Usually these are sweeteners… sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

We’ll get to the sugar in a moment, but I’d like to point out that even though artificial sweeteners don’t have calories, the evidence does NOT suggest that they are better for you than sugar.

In fact, many observational studies show a consistent, highly significant association with various diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, premature delivery and depression (24, 25, 26).

In these low-fat products, healthy natural fats are being replaced with substances that are extremely harmful.

Bottom Line: Low-fat foods are usually highly processed products loaded with sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. They are extremely unhealthy.

6. You Should Eat Many Small Meals Throughout The Day

The idea that you should eat many small meals throughout the day in order to “keep metabolism high” is a persistent myth that doesn’t make any sense.

It is true that eating raises your metabolism slightly while you’re digesting the meal, but it’s the total amount of food that determines the energy used, NOT the number of meals.

This has actually been put to the test and refuted multiple times. Controlled studies where one group eats many small meals and the other the same amount of food in fewer meals show that there is literally no difference between the two (27, 28).

In fact, one study in obese men revealed that eating 6 meals per day led to less feelings of fullness compared to 3 meals (29).

Not only is eating so often practically useless for most of the people out there, it may even be harmful.

It is not natural for the human body to be constantly in the fed state. In nature, we used to fast from time to time and we didn’t eat nearly as often as we do today.

When we don’t eat for a while, a cellular process called autophagy cleans waste products out of our cells (30). Fasting or not eating from time to time is good for you.

Several observational studies show a drastically increased risk of colon cancer (4th most common cause of cancer death), numbers going as high as a 90% increase for those who eat 4 meals per day compared to 2 (31, 32, 33).

Bottom Line: There is no evidence that eating many small meals throughout the day is better than fewer, bigger meals. Not eating from time to time is good for you. Increased meal frequency is associated with colon cancer.

7. Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories

The mainstream view is that everyone should eat a low-fat diet, with carbs being around 50-60% of total calories.

This sort of diet contains a lot of grains and sugars, with very small amounts of fatty foods like meat and eggs.

This type of diet may work well for some people, especially those who are naturally lean.

But for those who are obese, have the metabolic syndrome or diabetes, this amount of carbohydrates is downright dangerous.

This has actually been studied extensively. A low-fat, high-carb diet has been compared to a low-carb, high-fat diet in multiple randomized controlled trials.

The results are consistently in favor of low-carb, high-fat diets (34, 35, 36).

Bottom Line: The low-fat, high-carb diet is a miserable failure and has been proven repeatedly to be vastly inferior to lower-carb, higher-fat diets.

8. High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good For You

Polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy because some studies show that they lower your risk of heart disease.

But there are many types of polyunsaturated fats and they are not all the same.

Most importantly, we have both Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of many diseases related to inflammation (37). Humans actually need to get Omega-6s and Omega-3s in a certain ratio. If the ratio is too high in favor of Omega-6, it can cause problems (38).

By far the biggest sources of Omega-6 in the modern diet are processed seed and vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower oils.

Throughout evolution, humans never had access to such an abundance of Omega-6 fats. It is unnatural for the human body.

Research that specifically looks at Omega-6 fatty acids instead of polyunsaturated fats in general shows that they actually increase the risk of heart disease (39, 40).

Eat your Omega-3s and consider supplementing with cod fish liver oil, but avoid the industrial seed and vegetable oils.

Bottom Line: Humans need to get Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in a certain ratio. Eating excess Omega-6 from seed oils raises your risk of disease.

9. Low Carb Diets Are Dangerous

I personally believe low-carb diets to be a potential cure for many of the most common health problems in western nations.

The low-fat diet peddled all around the world is fairly useless against many of these diseases. It simply does not work.

However, low-carb diets (demonized by nutritionists and the media) have repeatedly been shown to lead to much better outcomes.

Every randomized controlled trial on low-carb diets shows that they:

Reduce body fat more than calorie-restricted low-fat diets, even though the low-carb dieters are allowed to eat as much as they want (41, 42).

Lower blood pressure significantly (43, 44).

Lower blood sugar and improve symptoms of diabetes much more than low-fat diets (45, 46, 47, 48).

Increase HDL (the good) cholesterol much more (49, 50).

Lower triglycerides much more than low-fat diets (51, 52, 53).

Change the pattern of LDL (bad) cholesterol from small, dense (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign (54, 55).

Low carb diets are also easier to stick to, probably because they don’t require you to restrict calories and be hungry all the time. More people in the low-carb groups make it to the end of the studies (56, 57).
Many of the health professionals that are supposed to have our best interest in mind have the audacity to claim that these diets are dangerous, then continue to peddle their failed low-fat dogma that is hurting more people than it helps.

Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are the healthiest, easiest and most effective way to lose weight and reverse metabolic disease. It is a scientific fact.

10. Sugar is Unhealthy Because it Contains “Empty” Calories

It is commonly believed that sugar is bad for you because it contains empty calories.

It’s true, sugar has a lot of calories with no essential nutrients. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Sugar, primarily because of its high fructose content, affects metabolism in a way that sets us up for rapid fat gain and metabolic disease.

Fructose gets metabolized by the liver and turned into fat which is secreted into the blood as VLDL particles. This leads to elevated triglycerides and cholesterol (58,59).

It also causes resistance to the hormones insulin and leptin, which is a stepping stone towards obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes (60, 61).

This is just to name a few. Sugar causes a relentless biochemical drive for humans to eat more and get fat. It is probably the single worst ingredient in the standard western diet.

Bottom Line: The harmful effects of sugar go way beyond empty calories. Sugar wreaks havoc on our metabolism and sets us up for weight gain and many serious diseases.

11. High Fat Foods Will Make You Fat

It seems kind of intuitive that eating fat would make you get fat.

The stuff that is gathering under our skin and making us look soft and puffy is fat. So… eating fat should give our bodies even more of it.

But it isn’t that simple. Despite fat having more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein, high-fat diets do not make people fat.

As with anything, this depends on the context. A diet that is high in fat AND high in carbs will make you fat, but it’s NOT because of the fat.

In fact, diets that are high in fat (and low in carbs) cause much greater fat loss than diets that are low in fat (62, 63, 64).

12. Anything Else?

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Acupuncture: From quack science to proven medical treatment

(NaturalNews) There are many alternative treatments that have been considered (and still are) as quack medicine by the all-seeing and all-knowing conventional medical model. However, as science and results began to prove their legitimacy, conventional wisdom was forced to acknowledge their efficacy. Acupuncture needles are one of those treatments that have gone from quack science to proven medical device, and scores of people are now experiencing its benefits.

How acupuncture works

In the 1960s, Professor Kim Bong Han and researchers in Korea attempted to prove the existence of meridians in the human body using microdissection techniques. They found evidence of an independent series of fine, duct-like tubes corresponding to the paths of traditional acupuncture meridians.

Fluids in this system sometimes flowed in the same direction as blood and lymph, but also traveled the opposite direction at other times. They realized that these ducts are different from the vascular and lymphatic systems that Western medicine had identified, and that meridians themselves might exist within them.

This meridian system was further validated by a French researcher, Pierre de Vernejoul, who injected radioactive isotopes into the acupoints of humans and tracked their movement with a gamma imaging camera. These isotopes traveled 12 inches along the acupuncture meridians within four to six minutes.

Vernejoul then challenged his work by injecting isotopes into blood vessels in random areas of the body rather than acupoints, and found that they did not travel in the same way at all, illustrating that meridians do contain a system of separate pathways within the body.

In 1997, acupuncture gained official credibility with the FDA reclassifying acupuncture needles from “experimental” to “medical device,” thereby acknowledging that it is a safe and effective medical instrument. In the same year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a statement endorsing acupuncture for a variety of conditions.

The electrical component of acupuncture

Current research suggests that there is a specific relationship between acupuncture points, meridians and the electrical currents of the body.

In the 1970s, Robert O. Becker, M.D., and biophysicist Maria Reichmanis were able to prove that electrical currents did flow along the ancient Chinese meridians and that 25% of the acupuncture points existed along those scientifically measurable lines. They reasoned that these points acted as amplifiers to boost the minute electrical signals as they traveled along the body and that the insertion of a needle could interfere with the flow and block the stimulus of pain.

Conditions improved by acupuncture

The World Health Organization has noted over 40 conditions that acupuncture can treat, including:

• Migraines
• Sinusitis
• Common cold
• Tonsillitis
• Allergies
• Asthma
• Addictions
• Gastrointestinal disorders
• Tennis elbow
• Paralysis from stroke
• Sciatica
• Osteoarthritis
• Myopia
• Insomnia
• Inflammation of the eyes

Acupuncture has also been found to be effective in the treatment of a variety of rheumatoid conditions and brings relief to 80% of those who suffer from arthrosis, or osteoarthritis. There is also evidence that it can be used in the treatment of environmentally induced illnesses due to radiation, pesticide poisoning, toxic compounds and air pollution.

Even in acute abdominal conditions such as appendicitis or kidney stone and gallstone attacks, acupuncture can be used before further progression necessitates surgery.

Acupuncture is also considered a valid veterinary medical procedure used mainly for surgical anesthesia and alleviation of chronic pain. It has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms in 84% of animals suffering from arthritic pain and other degenerative joint diseases.

Sources for this article include:

Trivieri, Larry, and John W. Anderson. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Second ed. Celestial Arts, 2002.

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

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Coconuts can improve brain function, boost cardiovascular health and more.

This is a great well explained truth and list of the benefits of coconut oil. Our favorite brand is:

Dr. Bronners – Magic Fresh-pressed Virgin Coconut Oil Whole Kernel Unrefined – 14 Oz.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by: Michael Ravensthorpe

Few tropical fruits are as versatile as coconuts. These unique, round drupes, whose name likely derives from the 16th-century Spanish word for “head” or “skull,” are processed around the world to make coconut milk, flour, sugar and butter, countless soap and cosmetic products, and, of course, coconut oil — one of the greatest superfoods on Earth. In fact, coconut products have become so popular in the West that we often overlook the fruit in its natural state. However, according to the Coconut Research Center, a huge proportion of the world’s population depends on fresh coconuts for nourishment — nourishment that they provide in abundance.

Research into coconuts:

Weight management — Coconuts are rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of dietary fat that is known to trigger weight loss due to the speed with which our bodies metabolize them. One study published in the June 2006 issue of the Ceylon Medical Journal, for instance, showed that MCTs convert into free medium-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides during digestion — two substance that our bodies use immediately rather than store as fat. Moreover, MCTs are known to curb hunger more effectively than long-chain triglycerides (found in rich foods like meat and cheese), preventing us from overeating and reducing our calorie intake over time.

Boost cardiovascular health — The high amounts of MCTs in coconuts have also been linked to improved cardiovascular health. According to Dr. Marie Pierre St-Onge, lead researcher of a study published in the October 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, volunteers who were fed MCTs as part of a four-month weight-loss plan experienced a noticeable reduction in total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol concentrations. Therefore, if you suffer from high cholesterol, adding more coconuts to your diet could help stabilize it.

Excellent source of fiber — According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of coconut meat contains 7 grams of dietary fiber. Though most people know that fiber sweeps the intestinal tract and can help treat constipation, an article published in the April 2009 edition of Nutrition Reviews shows that fiber-rich diets also reduce our blood sugar, guard us from diabetes, boost our immunity and — as with MCTs — lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in our bloodstreams. In fact, coconuts are one of the best foods that we can eat for maintaining blood health.

Improve brain function — One serving of fresh coconut meat provides us with 17 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of copper, an essential trace mineral that activates enzymes responsible for the production of neurotransmitters — chemicals that our brains use to transfer information from one cell to another. For this reason, copper-rich foods like coconut can help shield us from age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, an October 2013 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease shows that the oil in coconut meat can help guard nerve cells from protein plaques, which contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Mineral content — Since coconuts are mostly comprised of fat, their mineral profiles fall short of other tropical fruits. That said, coconuts do contain respectable levels of potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and the important antioxidant selenium. Additionally, one serving of coconut meat also supplies us with 60 percent of our RDI of magnesium, a mineral that facilitates numerous chemical reactions in our bodies and in which a huge number of us are unknowingly deficient.