diabetes

  • Cinnamon

    A Supplement for Diabetes, Body Composition, Cardiovascular Health & Antioxidant Protection

    Don't you just love the smell and taste of cinnamon in a warm, gooey cinnamon bun? As it turns out, the cinnamon may actually provide you with some significant health benefits (although the same can't be said of the gooey bun; sorry). So let's take a closer look at cinnamon.

    Background
    The use of cinnamon for health is not new. In fact, cinnamon bark has been used for several thousand years in traditional Eastern and Western systems of medicine, for such purposes as anorexia, bloating, dyspepsia with nausea, flatulent colic, and spastic conditions of the GI tract.1 Cinnamon also has a history of traditional use in Korea, China and Russia for treating people with diabetes.2

    So what is it about cinnamon that gives it these medicinal properties? The answer is its natural constituents. Specifically, it is the volatile oils (such as eugenol and cinnamaldehyde) as well as the phenolic compounds (such as polyphenol type-A polymers).3,4

    Modern research
    In addition to traditional use, modern research has demonstrated a number of benefits resulting from cinnamon supplementation. These include improvements in blood sugar for type 2 diabetics, improvements in body composition (e.g., increased lean mass), improvements in cardiovascular parameters, and substantial antioxidant properties. Following is a brief overview of this research.

    Improvements in blood sugar
    In research by Khan et al5, subjects with type 2 diabetes who took 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon per day for 40 days lowered fasting blood sugar by 18 to 29 percent. The highest dose produced the most rapid response, although the lowest dose produced the most sustained response over the course of the study.

    A more recent placebo-controlled, double-blind study6 was conducted on 79 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Subjects were given 336 mg daily of a water-soluble cinnamon extract (corresponding to 3g of cinnamon powder) or a placebo for four months. Those using the cinnamon experienced a significant 10.3 percent reduction in fasting blood sugar, compared to a non-significant 3.4 percent reduction in the placebo group.

    In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study by Ziegenfuss et al7, 21 adults with metabolic syndrome (i.e., prediabetes) were given a water-soluble cinnamon extract (500 mg per day) or a placebo for 12 weeks. The results were that 83 percent of those given the extract experienced a significant decrease (about eight percent) in fasting blood sugar, compared to only 33 percent in the placebo group who experienced a decrease.

    Improvements in body composition
    In the aforementioned study by Ziegenfuss et al8, the subjects also experienced a significant alteration in body composition. Their body fat decreased by 0.7 percent, and their muscle mass increased by 1.1 percent. These changes took place without alterations in the diet or physical activity of the subjects.

    Improvements in cardiovascular parameters
    In the previously cited study by Khan et al9, type 2 diabetics who were given 1, 3 or 6 grams of cinnamon a day for 60 days experienced significant drops in triglycerides (23 to 30 percent), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (7 to 27 percent), and total cholesterol (12 to 26 percent).

    In the Ziegenfuss et al10 study, cinnamon resulted in a 3.8 percent reduction in systolic blood pressure. Likewise, other research11 demonstrated that cinnamon was able to reduce systolic blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

    Substantial antioxidant properties
    As stated previously, cinnamon contains polyphenols. This is important since polyphenols are potent antioxidant compounds, which can help to reduce the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.12 According to Webb13, a recent study assessed antioxidant status and oxidative damage in 11 obese, prediabetic subjects given a water-soluble cinnamon extract, compared to10 obese, prediabetic subjects given a placebo. Those who received the cinnamon experienced a 14 percent reduction in markers of oxidative damage, as well as an increase in markers of total antioxidant capacity.

    Cinnamon Safety
    When used orally and appropriately, cinnamon is a safe supplement.14 As a matter of fact, cinnamon has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the United States.15 In pregnancy, cinnamon is likely safe when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods16, but may not be safe when used orally in amounts greater than those found in foods.17

    Cinnamon Dosage
    Based upon the research discussed, an appropriate dose of cinnamon would range between 500-3000 mg daily.

    References

    1. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J (eds). Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
    2. Kim SH, Hyun SH, Choung SY. Anti-diabetic effect of cinnamon extract on blood glucose in db/db mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2006 104:119-123.
    3. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J (eds). Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
    4. Webb D. A scientific review: Cinnamon and its role in diabetes. Sarasota, FL: Integrity Nutraceuticals International; n.d.
    5. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003; 26:3215-8.
    6. Mang B, Wolters M, Schmitt B, Kelb K, Lichtinghagen R, Stichtenoth DO, Hahn A. Effects of a cinnamon extract on plasma glucose, HbA, and serum lipids in diabetes mellitus type 2. European Journal of Clinical Investigation 2006; 36:340-344
    7. Ziegenfguss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, Landis J, Anderson RA. Effects of a Water-Soluble Cinnamon Extract on Body Composition and Features of the Metabolic Syndrome in Pre-Diabetic Men and Women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2006; 3(2):45-53.
    8. Ziegenfguss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, Landis J, Anderson RA. Effects of a Water-Soluble Cinnamon Extract on Body Composition and Features of the Metabolic Syndrome in Pre-Diabetic Men and Women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2006; 3(2):45-53.
    9. Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan M, et al. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2003; 26:3215-8.
    10. Ziegenfguss TN, Hofheins JE, Mendel RW, Landis J, Anderson RA. Effects of a Water-Soluble Cinnamon Extract on Body Composition and Features of the Metabolic Syndrome in Pre-Diabetic Men and Women. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2006; 3(2):45-53.
    11. Preuss HG, Echard B, Polansky MM, Anderson R. Whole Cinnamon and Aqueous Extracts Ameliorate Sucrose-Induced Blood Pressure Elevations in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2006; 25(2):144-150.
    12. Shobana S, Naidu KA. Antioxidant activity of selected Indian spices. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2000; 62(2):107-110.
    13. Webb D. A scientific review: Cinnamon and its role in diabetes. Sarasota, FL: Integrity Nutraceuticals International; n.d.
    14. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
    15. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Premarket Approval, EAFUS: A food additive database. Available at: vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/eafus.html.
    16. FDA. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Premarket Approval, EAFUS: A food additive database. Available at: vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/eafus.html.
    17. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
  • Coconut Water May Help Diabetes

    Here's a surprise. Brand new research published in the February 2015 Journal of Medical Food suggests that coconut water improves diabetes. The catch is that it was a rat study, not a human study. Nevertheless, many animal model studies extrapolate to humans so don't dismiss the research just yet okay?! The rats in the study got diabetes from a potent compound called alloxan. Even though alloxan has only been proven to induce diabetes in rats, I'm bothered by the fact you're eating alloxan every single day without knowing it! Alloxan is a potent compound that destroys beta cells in rats. The question is can it do that to humans?

    Alloxan is pervasive in our food supply and there's a ton of research correlating its ability to induce diabetes in clinical trials, that's why it's used in all the studies. Trust me, they are not giving all these lab rats a plate of muffins, they are using "alloxan monohydrate" and injecting it. Then the rats get diabetes, and testing begins. Alloxan is a by-product of the flour-bleaching process that makes flour "white." You can make a choice to buy unbleached or whole wheat flour, instead of white flour that might be contaminated.

    Let me be clear, I may not like that we eat alloxan in white flour products, but it has never been tied to diabetes in humans, just critters. What should you do if you just got diagnosed with diabetes? First, eliminate carbohydrates, in particular the white flour products that have alloxan. Second, clean out your pantry and become acquainted with real food again. Third, grab a copy of my diabetes book, I tell you secrets that you deserve to know, like how statin drugs can raise blood sugar and what to do!

    Next and this is very important, you can eat nutrient-rich foods that support healthy blood sugar and counter alloxan-induced damage. Some good nutrients include vitamin C, vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6 and folate. Zinc helps with vision and skin. Lipoic acid is a supplement that helps with nerve pain. Chromium may help balance blood sugar levels.

    Now back to coconut water, we know it is an awesome electrolyte replenishment drink! But it's not just great for people with diarrhea or those who sweat. Thanks to new research, we see that coconut water reduces blood sugar levels as well as hemoglobin A1c levels (in alloxan-induced diabetic rats). It stops the glycation process that elevated blood sugar causes. That's good because glycation ages you faster and here, something so natural and tasty impedes the "rusting" in your body. Change your diet back to a more pristine and straight-forward diet. Do you want to keep eating a known poison or not? That's what it boils down to. For more information about natural cures for diabetes, visit www.DiabetesSummit.net a free, online event where you can listen to 40 world leading experts (including me) talk about diabetes and give you free advice.

  • Curcumin and Curry Spice Help Diabetes and Cancer

    As the snowy cold weather begins to roll into Colorado, I crave warmer, heartier meals like chili, stews and brisket. Juicing kale and celery when it's 4 degrees outside doesn't cut it. So at this time of year, garlic and curry go in everything I eat. Let's talk curry today. Penang, red or green curry, it's all good with me! Curry sounds like it's one spice, but it's actually a blend of spices, and it always contains some turmeric spice.

    Turmeric comes from the ginger family. This yellow-orange spice was first used as a dye until its medicinal properties were uncovered. Our research today proves turmeric positively benefits hundreds of health conditions, making it a healthy and tasty sprinkle for any dish. Do I want it right now? Yes please!

    You can buy the spice called turmeric all by itself if you don't like curry. Supplements of turmeric are sold everywhere. And you'll also find "curcumin" which is one potent extract of turmeric.

    Curcumin may prevent or improve age-related cognitive decline, dementia, and mood disorders. This is not wishful thinking, it's true. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial observed 60 adults between the ages of 60 and 85. After about one hour of their curcumin dose, these adults enjoyed a higher attention span and better memory than those who swallowed the dud pill, the placebo. After four weeks of curcumin supplements, memory, mood, alertness, and contentedness were considerably better in the participants.

    Curcumin is a hot supplement, not spicy hot, but "hot" in the sense that research is conducted frequently. I found more than 900 published research papers pertaining to curcumin's anti-cancer activity. One of these papers found that curcumin has the ability to make some cancer cells commit suicide. Basically, curcumin programs the cell to die! That's a good thing, you want those cancer cells to go bye-bye! Technically, we call this "apoptosis." Cancers that are resistant to multiple chemotherapeutic agents seem to still respond to curcumin, at least in mouse studies. Because of curcumin's long-term record of safety and low risk of side effects, I think it's a great natural adjunct to many protocols, especially for breast and prostate cancer. It's a strong anti-inflammatory.

    Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association, published a study about curcumin's ability to prevent pre-diabetic patients from becoming full-blown diabetics. Results after 9 months showed 100% success! No one progressed. Further, curcumin-treated patients had better pancreatic beta cell function and higher adiponectinin. Excellent! You know, I'm a pharmacist and I'll tell you there isn't one drug behind the counter that competes.

    Curcumin is the 'Kardashian' of herbs. It's spicy, notorious, and a little goes a long way if you know what I mean. Too much is not good, it's a laxative. Most importantly, curry, and curcumin are considered effective and safe by most physicians. I'd ask about supplementing with it if you have inflammatory conditions, especially autoimmune ones like rheumatoid, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's and psoriasis.

  • DiaMetrix Blood Sugar Support

    DiaMetrix® is a natural product that also supports cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and weight management health.

    Do You Know A Diabetic?

    DiaMetrix™ is the only blood sugar health supplement that works and is supported by a Gold Standard, randomized, double-blind clinical trial. An independent study shows that DiaMetrix lowers blood sugar and also supports healthy cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and weight management.

    For more information visit us at: www.DiaMetrixHealth.com or call 800.892.9794

  • Macronutrients Part 2 - Carbohydrates and Fiber

    Carbohydrates are the most abundant biomolecules on our planet and in our food supply. They exhibit some of the largest differences in their metabolism by different members of the animal kingdom. At one extreme, herbivores can almost completely break down dietary plant material with the help of beneficial bacteria that dwell within their gastrointestinal tract; at the other extreme, true carnivores can’t process most dietary carbohydrates. Humans fall somewhere in between; we derive a great deal of nutrition out of some dietary carbohydrates, but are unable to process others.

    In our diets, digestible carbohydrates consist of sugars and starches, while the indigestible carbohydrates are the fibers and resistant starches1. Dietary sugars are predominantly monosaccharides (sugars consisting of a single unit, such as glucose and fructose) or disaccharides (sugars consisting of two monosaccharides linked together, such as sucrose and lactose). Starches are long chains (polymers) of many linked monosaccharide molecules, usually glucose.

    Monosaccharides are the preferred form by which sugars are absorbed from the intestines, therefore, starches and disaccharide sugars (sucrose, lactose) must be broken down by digestive enzymes before assimilation. Starches are fairly easily digested by the action of pancreatic enzymes, while disaccharide sugars are degraded by enzymes that dwell on the surface of the small intestines. The familiar lactose maldigestion (“lactose intolerance”) experienced by many individuals actually results from the lack of one of these intestinal enzymes (lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose).

    Fibers and resistant starches are carbohydrates as well. Like starches, fiber is composed of polymers of linked monosaccharide sugars. Unlike starches, however, fibers and resistant starches are not used as a source of calories; humans lack the necessary enzymes to break down resistant starches and fibers, therefore, they are not absorbed. Some soluble fiber and resistant starch is broken down by intestinal bacteria, the rest passes through the gastrointestinal tract intact.

    The majority of dietary carbohydrates are obtained from plant sources (fruits, vegetables, grains). In contrast to animal tissues, which are held together by mostly proteins, plants cells are held together by cellulose and lignin, two types of dietary fiber. The edible portions of plants are usually those that contain large amounts of storage carbohydrates, such as the kernels of grains (which store starches) or fruits (which store sugars). Smaller amounts of carbohydrates are found in animal products; carbohydrates constitute only about one percent of the mammalian body2.

    ROLES OF DIETARY CARBOHYDRATES AND FIBER IN NORMAL METABOLISM
    Although they do not have the diversity in human metabolism as do proteins, dietary carbohydrates and fibers still have a number of fates:
    Fuel Source and Fuel Storage.

    As versatile as humans are in obtaining energy from a variety of macronutrients, the preferred energy source in our metabolism is the carbohydrate glucose. Under normal conditions, the brain uses glucose as an energy source almost exclusively, and most other tissues rely heavily on it. To accommodate the body’s need for glucose, most sugars and starches can be converted into glucose as they are absorbed and distributed amongst various tissue following a meal. Additionally, some amino acids from digested protein can also be converted into glucose (in true carnivores like cats, this is where most glucose comes from).

    Unlike other cellular energy sources (amino acids and fatty acids), glucose can be converted into energy in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic glycolysis). This makes glucose a critical source of quick energy during times when oxygen is scarce, such as during intense exercise.

    Glucose can also be stored for later usage, in the form of glycogen (“animal starch”). Glycogen is abundant in the liver, which stores about a day’s worth of glucose in order to provide enough energy to fuel the brain during periods between meals. Glycogen is also used to store glucose for use in muscles, which rely on it for quickly generating energy. If the dietary intake of carbohydrates exceeds what is needed for immediate energy and glycogen reserves, then the excess is converted to fat for long-term storage.

    Precursors to other biomolecules. Carbohydrates are used to make other important biomolecules. These include: glycosaminoglycans (such as chondroitin, keratin, and hyaluronic acid), important constituents of joints and connective tissues; nucleic acids (DNA and RNA are partially constructed from the sugar ribose); as well as other amino acids and fatty acids for making new cellular proteins and cell membranes.

    Stimulation of digestion. Fiber, despite its non-nutritive value, still has evolved important roles in human physiology. The bulk of insoluble fibers helps digested food to move more easily through the intestines and be readily eliminated from the body. Soluble fibers and resistant starches can provide a source of energy for intestinal bacteria, which themselves provide a number of health benefits, including the stimulation of immunity, protection from pathogenic bacteria, and enhanced absorption of minerals from the diet. Prebiotics, a subset of soluble fiber, have gained attention in recent years in their ability to be selectively fermented by gut flora for a diversity of potential health-promoting benefits3.

    SPECIFIC HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARBOHYDRATES AND FIBER
    Many of the health benefits realized by modifying carbohydrate intake involve altering patterns of consumption: reducing intake of sugars, and increasing intake of fiber. For example, recent emphasis on increased intake of whole grains (which contain significantly more fiber, phytonutrients, and protein than do refined cereal flours) has resulted from several studies which suggest that its consumption may reduce the risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease4. Fiber intake, in particular, has been the subject of thousands of studies in humans and animals, in part for its ability to successfully reduce the risk of several diseases by different mechanisms:

    Reducing Chronic Low-level Inflammation. In contrast to the conspicuous inflammation that is characteristic of an injury or infection, chronic low-level inflammation can progress unnoticed. This potentially silent affliction has been associated with the progression of several diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and kidney diseases. In an analysis of 7 studies on the relationship between weight loss and inflammation, increased fiber consumption correlated with significantly greater reductions in C-reactive protein (CRP), one indicator of low-level inflammation5. In these studies, daily fiber intakes ranging from 3.3 to 7.8 g/MJ (equivalent to about 27 to 64 g/day for a standard 2000 kcal diet) reduced CRP from 25–54 percent in a dose-dependent fashion. The Women’s Health Initiative Study also found significant inverse relationships with dietary soluble and insoluble fiber (over 24 g/day) and certain markers of chronic inflammation6.

    Promoting Healthy Blood Pressure. It is not clear how dietary fiber reduces blood pressure, but many studies have observed this trend. Fiber, when taken with a meal, may by reducing the glycemic index of foods and lowering the response of insulin following a meal (insulin may play a role in blood pressure regulation). Soluble fibers may also increase mineral absorption (such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium; all important for healthy blood pressure) by feeding intestinal flora, which lowers intestinal pH and establish a favorable acidic environment for mineral absorption7. Whatever the cause, at least thirty randomized, controlled clinical trials examined the effects of fiber in both hypertensive and normotensive patients. Across all participants, increased fiber intake demonstrated modest average reductions in systolic (1.13–1.15 mm Hg), and diastolic (1.26–1.65 mm Hg) blood pressure89. Amongst hypertensive patients, the average blood pressure reductions were much larger: A significant average reduction in both systolic (-5.95 mm Hg) and diastolic (-4.20 mm Hg) blood pressure was observed over 8 weeks in trials where hypertensive participants increased their daily fiber intake9.

    Promoting Healthy Levels of Blood Lipids. High-fiber diets have been associated with lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease (10). When included as part of a low-saturated fat/low cholesterol diet, dietary fiber can lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 5–10 percent in persons with high cholesterol, and may reduce LDL-C in healthy individuals as well10. Dozens of controlled clinical trials have shown the cholesterol-lowering potential of dietary fibers including soluble oat fiber, psyllium, pectin, guar gum, b-glucans from barley, and chitosan3,12,13.

    Soluble fibers lower cholesterol by several potential mechanisms (3). They may directly bind cholesterol in the gut, preventing its absorption. The high viscosity of soluble fiber and its ability to slow intestinal motility may help to limit cholesterol and fat uptake as well. Fiber can also increase satiety, which can limit overall energy intake14,15. Lowering Uric Acid. Elevated blood uric acid (hyperuricemia) is a risk factor for kidney disease, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes; it is also a primary cause for gout16. Fiber intake may lower blood uric acid levels. A significant inverse relationship between fiber intake and hyperuricemia risk was established by analyzing dietary fiber intake data from over 9000 otherwise healthy adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999–2004. Based on these data, participants with high fiber diets (over about 19 grams fiber/day for the average 2000 kcal diet) had a 55 percent reduction in hyperuricemia risk compared to those on lower fiber diets (<9.2 g fiber/day)17. While these mechanisms for this reduction is unknown, dietary fiber may reduce the absorption of purines from the diet, one of the inciting factors for hyperuricemia.

    HOW MUCH CARBOHYDRATES AND FIBER SHOULD I BE GETTING?
    The amount and composition of carbohydrates in the “ideal” diet is amongst the most heavily debated topics in nutrition. There are scientifically-substantiated merits to both the “low-carb” and “low-fat, high-carb” diets in terms of reducing disease risk and maintaining a healthy body mass index (these will be discussed in greater detail in a future article). The common ground between the two schools of thought is that the average Western diet probably contains too little fiber, and too much refined grains and added sugar. A low-fiber/high-sugar diet, when coupled with excessive caloric intake, has been associated with significant increases in the risk for a number of ailments, including obesity, insulin resistance/type II diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

    As mentioned previously, the benefits of dietary fiber are numerous. The average daily fiber intake in the American diet, based on data from 2007–2008 NHANEs survey, is about half of the 28 grams/day recommendation by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Significant numbers of people consume even less than the national average. The highest intakes of dietary fiber are associated with the lowest disease risks; for several observational studies, the greatest risk reductions required intakes exceeding the IOM recommendations.

    In contrast, the American diet contains no shortage of refined grains or sugars. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates average grain consumption at about 33 percent more than 6 oz./day recommended in its Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Most of this grain is refined; the same group estimates Americans consume only one-third of the recommended 3 oz./day of whole grains18,19.

    Analysis of data from the last NHANEs survey (2007–2008) determined that Americans consume an average of 120 grams/day of total sugars (about 30 teaspoons), most of which are added sugars. This amounts to approximately 480 kilocalories of energy per day. Most of these sugars come from sweetened carbonated beverages (~37 percent); other top sources include desserts and fruit drinks (fruitades and fruit punches). While arguments can be made that it is the added fructose or corn syrup are particularly dangerous to health (there is evidence that supports and refutes this hypothesis), or that sugar is additive and contributes to overeating (animal models may support this claim), added sugar clearly contributes a significant amount of calories to the average diet, and in many cases displaces essential nutrients20,21.

    To read the series on Macronutrients:

    References:

    1. Fardet A. New hypotheses for the health-protective mechanisms of whole-grain cereals: what is beyond fibre? Nutr Res Rev 2010 Jun.;23(1):65–134.
    2. Engelking L. Textbook of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry. Updated 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Academic Press; 2011.
    3. Brown L, Rosner B, Willett WW, Sacks FM. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Jan.;69(1):30–42.
    4. Higgins JA. Whole grains, legumes, and the subsequent meal effect: implications for blood glucose control and the role of fermentation. J Nutr Metab 2012;2012:829238.
    5. North CJ, Venter CS, Jerling JC. The effects of dietary fibre on C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker predicting cardiovascular disease. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009 Aug.;63(8):921–33.
    6. Ma Y, Hébert J, Li W, Bertone-Johnson E. Association between dietary fiber and markers of systemic inflammation in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Nutrition 2008;
    7. Greger J. Nondigestible carbohydrates and mineral bioavailability. J Nutr 1999.
    8. Streppel MT, Arends LR, van t Veer P, Grobbee DE, Geleijnse JM. Dietary fiber and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med 2005 Jan.;165(2):150–6.
    9. Whelton SP, Hyre AD, Pedersen B, Yi Y, Whelton PK, He J. Effect of dietary fiber intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. J. Hypertens 2005 Mar.;23(3):475–81.
    10. Badimon L, Vilahur G, Padro T. Nutraceuticals and atherosclerosis: human trials. Cardiovasc Ther 2010 Aug.;28(4):202–15.
    11. Anderson J, Randles K. Carbohydrate and fiber recommendations for individuals with diabetes: a quantitative assessment and meta-analysis of the evidence. J Am Coll Nutr 2004.
    12. AbuMweis SS, Jew S, Ames NP. -glucan from barley and its lipid-lowering capacity: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr 2010 Dec.;64(12):1472–80.
    13. Baker WL, Tercius A, Anglade M, White CM, Coleman CI. A meta-analysis evaluating the impact of chitosan on serum lipids in hypercholesterolemic patients. Ann Nutr Metab 2009;55(4):368–74.
    14. Brighenti F, Casiraghi M, Canzi E. Effect of consumption of a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal containing inulin on the intestinal milieu and blood lipids in healthy male volunteers. Eur J Clin Nutr 1999; Pages 726–33.
    15. Li S, Guerin-Deremaux L, Pochat M, Wils D, Reifer C, Miller LE. NUTRIOSE dietary fiber supplementation improves insulin resistance and determinants of metabolic syndrome in overweight men: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2010 Dec.;35(6):773–82.
    16. Zhu Y, Pandya BJ, Choi HK. Prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2008. Arthritis Rheum 2011 Oct.;63(10):3136–41.
    17. Sun SZ, Flickinger BD, Williamson-Hughes PS, Empie MW. Lack of association between dietary fructose and hyperuricemia risk in adults. Nutr Metab 2010;7(1):16.
    18. Grotto D, Zied E. The Standard American Diet and its relationship to the health status of Americans. Nutr Clin Pract 2010 Dec.;25(6):603–12.
    19. U. S. Department of Agricuture USDOHAHS. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. 2011 Jan.;:1–112.
    20. Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Sugar and fat bingeing have notable differences in addictive-like behavior. Journal of Nutrition 2009 Mar.;139(3):623–8.
    21. Berner LA, Avena NM, Hoebel BG. Bingeing, self-restriction, and increased body weight in rats with limited access to a sweet-fat diet. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2008 Sep.;16(9):1998–2002.

  • Moducare: For a strong immune system

    Moducare® is a patented blend of plant sterols and sterolins, and the only sterol/sterolin product clinically proven to be effective in immune modulation. Moducare can be considered an adjunct to help shift immune responses to a more balanced state. It enhances the activity of various immune cells and increases the killing ability of specialized cells, called Natural Killer cells, responsible for immune surveillance. Moducare also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the effects of stress on the immune system by managing the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Moducare is well-tolerated, with no known interactions with either prescribed medications or natural supplements. Plus, long-term studies have found that it has no significant negative side effects.

    Human Research Proves Plant Sterols Action
    We call sterols the forgotten nutrient because although thousands of research studies have been preformed on this nutrient, it has not been given the recognition it deserves.

    Over 4,000 published studies to date have examined phytosterols and 140 of these studies are double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials. Rheumatoid arthritis, cervical cancer, diabetes, immune function, prostate problems, HI V, herpes, hepatitis C, allergies, stress-induced immune suppression, chronic fatigue, tuberculosis, breast cancer, and high cholesterol are only some of the diseases where sterols and sterolins have been shown to be extremely effective.

    Plant sterols and sterolins are essential for modulating (balancing) the immune system, enhancing it if it is under active, and reducing it when it is over stimulated. They perform the balancing act very effectively. Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D., has shown in his research that plant sterols and sterolins are effective in enhancing an under active immune system and/or decreasing an overactive one. This happens without the side effects associated with pharmaceutical substances such as interferon, prednisone or methotrexate. Sterols and sterolins have been evaluated in a 25,000-person safety study and found to have no side effects, no drug interactions, and no toxicity. It is safe for children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. Only those who have had an organ transplant cannot take plant sterols because they may stimulate rejection.

    Plant sterols and sterolins also increase the number and action of natural killer cells (our cancer fighters) and increase our DHE A levels naturally. They are also able to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and the proinflammatory immune factor, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TN F-a). Interleukin-6 and (TN F-a) are increased in autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, over exercising, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. Reduction of this inflammatory agent is the key to halting symptoms and pain. This is exactly what plant sterols and sterolins do.

    Sterols—Great Stress Busters
    Chronic stress is so negative that it can promote and exacerbate most disease. Numerous studies have linked our ability to deal with stress to our susceptibility to the common cold as well as more serious diseases such as cancer. Adults who have recently lost a loved one or have been divorced or separated tend to have the highest cancer rates. Unrelieved stress gradually weakens and suppresses our immune system, causing disease. Stressful situations promote the release of cortisol, the stress hormone which in turn causes the secretion of a negative immune factor interleukin-6. Abnormal levels of IL-6 are associated with osteoporosis, autoimmune disease, asthma, inflammatory diseases including arthritis, and more. We know that phytosterols are effective in reducing IL-6, cortisol and other negative immune factors. They also improve DHEA, a hormone known to help fight the effects of stress.

    An overview follows of a few of the outstanding studies published.

    Sterols Lower Cholesterol
    The rapid cholesterol-lowering effects of phytosterols have been reported in over 400 studies. Beta-sitosterol is very similar in structure to cholesterol except that it has an extra ethyl group on the side chain. Due to this similarity, it interferes with the absorption of the cholesterol found in our foods as well as the cholesterol produced by the body. By including phytosterol-rich foods or supplements containing sterols, we can normalize cholesterol much faster than with the common cholesterol-lowering drugs.

    Sterols Halt Hepatitis C
    Hepatitis C is now occurring in epidemic proportions. Over four million North Americans are infected with hepatitis C. Liver specialists are overwhelmed as they struggle to deal with the increase in the incidence of this disease. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in North America. Physicians using sterols and sterolins to treat hepatitis C have already shown that with 90 days of the sterols and sterolins treatment liver enzymes and viral load normalize.

    Sterols, Heart Disease and DHEA
    A team of Canadian researchers discovered that an error in the regulation of certain immune cells that fight bacterial infections may be implicated in heart attacks and strokes. In a study published in the International Journal of Immunopharmacology, plant sterols and sterolins are shown to improve the ability of the immune system to fight bacterial infections. Sterols and sterolins, not antibiotics, may be the way to treat bacterial-induced heart disease.

    Prostate Problems Eliminated
    Urologists in Germany have been using plant sterols and sterolins for over two decades for the treatment of enlarged prostate. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 200 patients with an average age of 65 and with BPH, subjects were given sterols and sterolins for six months. The treatment group showed a rapid reduction of the symptoms mentioned above and an increase in peak urinary flow and a decrease in inflammation. When does a health food product become mainstream? Do 4,000 medical studies constitute good scientific evidence of a nutrient’s effectiveness? We believe plant sterols and sterolins will change the way we treat disease in the future. Instead of treating symptoms, we will get directly to the source of the symptoms and repair the cause of the disease.

  • The Special Nutritional Needs of Those Over 55

    Solving the Mystery of the Multivitamin Part IV

    This article is the fourth in the series that began with “Solving the Mystery of the Multivitamin.” The focus now shifts to reasons for taking a multivitamin/mineral as we enter the second half of life and, more importantly, the overall approach to nutrition that should inform any anti-aging program. Readers will discover that some, but not all of the gender-specific nutritionaln needs covered in earlier articles become less meaningful in later life. As individuals approach 60, overall physiology changes in ways that tend to lead to a convergence of nutritional requirements.