Tag Archives: DIET

HARVARD STUDY: VITAMIN D LOWERS THE RISK OF YOUNG-ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER

COMMENTARY:

Vitamin D has many beneficial effects, but my comments will be restricted to the effect of vitamin D on cancer.

Interest in this association was started by the observation that certain cancers are less common near the equator, where there is more sunlight exposure, and therefore more natural vitamin D generation in your skin.
The most information on cancer in humans Is available on colorectal, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Colorectal cancer, highlighted DWW our posting, is the only cancer that apparently is affected by vitamin D.

Several studies have suggested that vitamin D can decrease cancer cell growth, stimulate cell death, and reduce cancer blood vessel formation. Increasing cell death, or apoptosis, is what interests me the most, since this is one of the factors which increases inflammation in aging.

The infographics stated that only 300 international units of vitamin D is necessary to produce a 50 Percent reduction in cancer, and that a healthy diet generally supplies this.

I personally take 5000 international units vitamin D. This produces a blood level of about 60 ng/mL, and what the NFL recommends to keep their players healthy, and well within the maximum recommended level of 120 ng/milliliter.

Excessive vitamin D can produce an elevated calcium blood level, and mine is within normal limits. I take the higher dose because of vitamin D’s other effects, such is benefiting the immune system in a time of Conid-19.

I suggest that you get a vitamin D blood level, and also a calcium blood level if you elect to take more of this useful vitamin.

–Dr. C

Read more

RESEARCH: ‘THE SCIENCE OF HEALTHY AGING’ (SCRIPPS)

Although growing older comes with a number of major life changes, science can help inform the things we do in the here in and now to forestall the most serious features of the aging self, promoting healthspan and not just lifespan.

Summer 2021
  • Build Muscle – Muscle mass is one the best predictors of health and longevity. Muscle tissue is known to release its own chemicals called myokines, which can have benefits that span cognition, immunity and anti-cancer activity. By performing regular, resistance-based exercise that prioritizes strength, we can delay the loss of bone density and risk of physical injuries.
  • Vitamin D – Commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is in fact a critical hormone that helps maintain healthy bones, boost our immune system and improve our cardiovascular function. With age, the production of vitamin D in the skin can become less efficient, so if we don’t spend enough time outdoors, our risk of vitamin D deficiency may increase.
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases – One of the most unsettling aspects of aging is the potential for neurodegenerative disease. These conditions are increasingly prevalent in those with diabetes, suggesting that the brain’s blood flow and energy supply may be compromised. Research indicates that regular physical exercise, a healthy whole foods diet and staying intellectually active could at least slow the rate of decline.
  • Mindfulness – As we get older, major arteries can become thicker and less flexible, leading to increased blood pressure and undue strain on the heart. A regular mindfulness practice such as yoga or meditation has been shown to stem the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. By freeing us from this “fight-or-flight” state, this habit can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Stay Social – As social animals, maintaining a strong sense of community and close personal relationships into old age are underestimated contributors to longevity. While social isolation in seniors can result in significant physical and mental decline, research suggests that close loved ones offer important emotional support and behavioral modifications that can overcome periods of high stress.
  • Metabolism – “My metabolism is slowing down!” That’s what we often hear, as the aging body becomes less effective at using energy, placing us at risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. By maintaining our muscle mass and reducing sugar consumption, we can support hormonal health, preserve our metabolism and keep our vitality into those advanced years. As scientists continue to find ways to extend our lives, paying attention to these keys to healthy aging can help increase the quality of those extra years.

Read more

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #43: CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac disease – I know of no disease more rare that is a fixation for more people. Practically everything I see in the processed food area advertises itself as being gluten free, yet celiac disease affects about only one in 100 people.  Even the dogs that I see on my walk are claimed by their owner to be on a gluten restricted diet.

Celiac disease-it’s hard to imagine a more complicated and variable disease. Although Coeliac Disease runs in families with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8, having these markers is not alone sufficient to cause Coeliac Disease. Eating gluten is not even sufficient, but requires an enzymatic change via tTG2 to make gluten fire up the immune system. Testing  for an antibody to tTG2 is one of the better tests for celiac disease, and a drug that blocks tTG2 has recently proven helpful as a treatment for celiac disease.

CD often starts in young children, but the disease can begin at any age. Although gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation, bloating, and bulky, oily stools are typical, even clear-cut cases may have no recognized symptoms at all. In other cases almost any organ can be involved, or the symptoms can be non-specific such as Weight loss, anemia and fatigue.

it is estimated that only about 10% of people with celiac disease are ever proven to have the diagnosis. It Is massively under diagnosed in spite of permeating the popular lore.

A lot of people place themselves on a gluten-free diet and  claim to feel better, but being on a gluten-free diet makes the diagnosis difficult to make; if celiac disease is seriously suspected, the doctor will place the patient on a gluten-containing diet which allows the tests, such as  anti-t-TG2, or villous atrophy of the small bowel to become positive.

Among people who actually have real, valid, proven celiac disease, who have every reason to want to restrict gluten to improve their Disease, 40% of them have great difficulty in adhering to the necessarily draconian gluten free diet.

Even the doctors can have a blind eye to celiac disease, since it is quite rare. A good friend of mine with chronic bloating went to a gastroenterologist who declared her free of disease, without having ruled out celiac disease. One would think that a gastroenterologist  would be tuned in to coeliac disease, given the prominence of gastrointestinal symptoms and pathology.

The patient should be her own advocate.

—Dr. C

Read more

AMERICAN DIET: THE COVID SURGE IN SNACKING (VIDEO)

With Americans stuck at home, snack food has become a valuable commodity for the pandemic stressed consumer. North American sales of savory snacks like chips, popcorn, and pretzels climbed to $56.9 billion in 2020. In stressful times, people turn to snacking for comfort and Covid-19 has transformed kitchens across the U.S. into giant vending machines. So, has Covid-19 put an end to the shift to healthier snacks?

DR. C’S COMMENTS:

Snacking with its  concomitant weight gain has increased with Covid. Of course Snacking didn’t originate with Covid, and it has long been common in Overweight people.  Snacks are engineered to taste terrific, which means containing a lot of fat, sugar, and salt, easily be over done. Good nutrition  is an afterthought to snack companies.

The Small volume of snacks, eaten frequently, Does not cause the satiation that comes with regular meals.

In my opinion, one of the major mechanisms by which TIME RESTRICTED EATING causes weight loss is by its prohibition of snacks. In the narrow window of time that you’re allowed to eat, you are hungry and eat regular food which tends to be of higher quality. Your stomach is full. You feel full and are not tempted to snack. Sugary drinks and snacks are bad for health.

HEALTH: ‘WHAT INFLUENCES GUT MICROBIOME’ (VIDEO)

The microbiota is a dynamic community that evolves through the lifetime of an individual, being influenced by multiple factors. Nutrition is essential in the process of establishing a healthy gut microbiome, with a key role of breastfeeding in early months, and important role of diverse diet to stimulate maturation of diverse gut microbiome.

Prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics are key tools to boost the development of an age-appropriate microbiota and its related benefits, like healthy immune development and a basis for a resilient microbiota throughout life.

DOCTORS PODCAST: MEDICAL & TELEHEALTH NEWS (MAR 2)

A bi-weekly podcast on the latest medical, science and telehealth news.

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #35: HIP FRACTURES

Hip fracture is an iconic bugaboo of old age. It is a chronic condition in the sense that its complications, such as Depression, blood clots and pneumonia often extend long beyond the healing process.

Predisposing factors include old age and associated risk factors like osteoporosis, sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength), poor vision, poor balance and hazards in the home.

FALLING is the usual agency that produces the fracture. At the risk of being ostracized, I will point out that thousands of injuries sustained by walking or tripping over dogs (and cats) occur every year.

In my small “hilltop” group of friends, there was 1 fatality, 1 shoulder fracture-dislocation, 1 hip fracture, and 0 acknowledgements of animal causation. Members of the family are immune to blame.

Treatment of hip fracture involves surgery with pins, or the more cost-effective Hip replacement. PREVENTION is critical. Osteoporosis must be prevented by exercise, Calcium, vitamin D, and avoidance of certain medication like Corticosteroids.

Balance should be developed by exercises. Vision problems, such as cataracts,should be corrected. Muscle mass should be preserved by diet and exercise, and the home cleared of throw-rugs and obstacles removed.

Just yesterday, a friend wearing socks (reducing friction?) fell down some stairs after stepping over a dog-gate. She is scheduled to have her elbow pinned. Have I mentioned SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE RECENTLY?

–Dr. C.

HEALTH: ‘TOP FIVE DIETS’ RANKED – “KEEP IT SIMPLE”

January 6, 2021

Every year, as millions of people around the world forge new resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight, US News & World Report releases a conveniently timed ranking of the best diets. A panel of experts in obesity, nutrition, diabetes, heart disease, and food psychology rigorously rate each of 39 diets on seven criteria:

  • Likelihood of losing significant weight in the first 12 months
  • Likelihood of losing significant weight over two years or more
  • Effectiveness for preventing diabetes (or as a maintenance diet)
  • Effectiveness for preventing heart disease (or for reducing risk for heart patients)
  • How easy it is to follow
  • Nutritional completeness
  • Health risks (like malnourishment, too-rapid weight loss, or specific nutrient deficiencies)

1. Mediterranean diet

Emphasis on fruits, veggies, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, fish and other seafood. Eggs, cheese, and yogurt can be eaten in moderation. Keep red meats and sugar as treats.

2. DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet — TIE

Eat lots of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Avoid saturated fats and sugar.

2. Flexitarian diet — TIE

Be a vegetarian most of the time. Swap in beans, peas, or eggs for meats, and consume plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You can look up more details because there’s actually a full meal plan involving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks to add up to a total 1500 calories per day. But feel free to also just swap in flexitarian meals ad hoc.

4. Weight Watchers

The first actual paid program on the list, WW uses a points system to guide dieters towards foods lower in sugar, saturated fat, and overall calories while consuming slightly more protein. There are a variety of paid WW plans, with the lowest being about $20 per month.

5. Mayo Clinic diet — TIE

A two-part system, with part one (‘Lose it!’) involving adding a healthy breakfast (i.e. fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats) plus 30 minutes of exercise per day. You’re not allowed to eat while watching TV or consume sugar except what’s naturally found in fruit. Meat is only allowed in limited quantities, as is full-fat dairy. The second phase (‘Live it!’) is basically the first phase but with more flexibility. You aren’t realistically going to cut out sugar forever, and the Mayo Clinic diet acknowledges that. So the long term plan involves lots of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. Less saturated fats and sugar.

Read more