Thursday, April 25, 2013

Butter and the Folly of Fake Fats

Butter and the Folly of Fake Fats

JUNE 15, 2011 by Paul Fassa

Butter has been maligned as unhealthy for the past few decades. Fortunately, the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) has disagreed. The WAPF was started many decades ago by Weston Price, DDS. He and his wife traveled to isolated locations and examined the diets of healthy people not influenced by civilization.

Others have discovered the truth about butter and disagree with butter’s bad rap as well. Butter is healthier for you than all the substitutes designed to replace butter, which actually damage your health. Instead of the margarine promo phrase “better than butter”, you might mentally replace that phrase with “butter is better”.

Why Butter is Better

There are three levels of butter: The most healthful level is butter made with the raw milk from grass fed cows. Second best but much more accessible from health food stores and some supermarkets is organic butter made from the pasteurized milk of grass fed cows that are not injected with antibiotics or rBGH. Then there is the mainstream commercial stuff that comes from dairy factories.

As the WAPF states, even this last contaminated version of butter is better for you than margarine. That’s actually how bad margarine is for your health.

Many shun butter because they have been led to believe that eating fat is a bad thing to do. But the low fat diet is unhealthy for almost everyone. For example, children fed reduced fat milks have higher incidents of diarrhea than those on whole milk. The heart disease hype associated with cholesterol has been exaggerated to the point of now being declared a myth. A 1991 Medical Research Council study determined that men eating butter had half the heart disease risk as men eating margarine! Our bodies need the right kinds of fats to operate well.

Natural saturated fats can be converted to carbohydrates and burned in the body as needed. The trans-fatty acid fats contained in hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated processed oils and margarine gets stored as fat because they are not converted to carbohydrate fuel for energy. Furthermore, the free radicals and toxins associated with processing oils remain in the body’s fatty tissues.

Cholesterol is necessary for healthy nerves, especially in the brain and gastrointestinal tract. Butter from grass fed cows is actually rich in minerals and trace minerals. It also contains a lot of vitamins A, D and K2, which helps prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter as well as the linoleic acid help prevent cancerous tumors.

Butter is an excellent source of two anti-carcinogenic fatty acids: butyric acid used by the colon for energy, and lauric acid, a potent antimicrobial and antifungal agent . Butter is a major source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) another potent cancer fighting fatty acid. Levels of CLA are much higher in butter made from grass fed cows than from those coming from factory farms. Butter is one of only a very few fats providing a balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Omega 3 is an important nutrient that is missing from most of our diets. Omega 3 is essential for our health, but our bodies don’t create it. It has to come from outside, from foods or supplements derived from foods.

Omega 3 helps prevent cognitive dysfunction, of which Alzheimer’s is an extreme condition. Omega 3 also inhibits inflammatory conditions that produce stiffness and arthritis. Studies have shown that ADHD, bi-polar conditions, and many other mental or behavioral disorders are the result of low omega-3 in the body.

Central mountainous regions of the world that don’t have access to seafood but use butter have less Incidents of hypothyroidism than areas where people use fake butters and spreads and don’t eat seafood. That’s because there is enough accessible iodine in butter to keep the thyroid gland happy. Healthier heart, better circulation, better bones, even better minds are attributed to the types of nutrients, fatty acids and omega balance that real butter provides.

Try to buy butter produced by grass fed cows free from antibiotics and rBGH (the evil growth hormone). This is the healthiest choice that is available at most stores, thanks to the FDA and USDA’s protection of big dairy and the harassment of ethical small dairies. The very best butter from raw milk is nearly impossible to get unless you have an Amish dairy nearby. But if you can get raw milk or cream, you might try making your own butter.

The Folly of Fake Fats

Much of the overall worsening health conditions in our culture stem from trans-fatty acids in margarine and hydrolyzed heat processed unsaturated cooking and salad oils offered as health substitutes over the past five or so decades.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Beaumont, with the Macular Degeneration Foundation, attributes the widespread use of cheap, processed trans-fatty hydrolyzed oils as the source for greatly increased macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness.

Meanwhile, the former most common cause of blindness, diabetes, is on the rise among younger people. Many health experts from various medical fields attribute this diabetes epidemic to both increased cheap oils and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Diabetes type 2 is often reversed by simply eliminating these artificially produced fake foods from the diet. That means reading labels and curbing those yum-yum impulses, which gets easier to do as you get healthier.

Clogged arteries and obesity have expanded along with the increase of processed and fast foods that use bad oils and contain HFCS. Nevertheless, the food industry, weight loss diet freaks, and nutritionally uneducated MDs continue to promote fake low fat foods and artificial sweeteners as healthy options.

As early as the 1950s, bio-chemist Johanna Budwig, creator of the Budwig Diet for cancer, trashed the trans-fatty toxic oils that were taking over the market place at that time. She claimed the cooking oil industry censured her for that. Dr. Budwig’s diet includes pure cold pressed flax seed oil mixed with quark or cottage cheese.

Not as well known or acclaimed as her cancer curing diet was the ground breaking research Dr. Budwig did categorizing different types of fats. This was uncharted territory until she did that research in Germany in order to determine which fats could easily oxygenate cancer cells and kill them. So she knew what she was talking about when she trashed the trans-fats.

Why the Negative PR Campaign on Butter Succeeded

Diet fads have promoted aspartame and margarine as healthy choices. The overweight and not so slim obsessed with becoming skinny were manipulated into diets with only weight loss in mind. That popular movement had its foundation in medical disinformation, based mostly on saturated fat nonsense. That nonsense was compounded by the cholesterol scare.

Abstaining from saturated fats was promoted as a healthy choice. Butter, coconut oil, and palm oil were all given bad press. Most doctors, uneducated with real nutritional health science, went right along with this disinformation. Yet all three of those saturated fats promote good health.

This trend was accelerated by corporate greed in the processed food industry. Corporations could righteously insert those cheaper to produce with long shelf life trans-fatty oils into packaged goods or sell them as healthy cooking and salad oils. But now it turns out that those oils cause long term health damage, including obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and even cancer.

The bottom line is simple in concept but more difficult to engage successfully and consistently at first. Simply follow the advice given by Dr. Budwig more than 50 years ago: Eat only natural real foods; avoid synthetic or fake plastic foods, especially margarine. Enjoy good quality butter to your heart’s content.

Sources for this article with more information include:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Proprioception - Making Your Body Smarter

Proprioception - Making Your Body Smarter

Chiropractic Care Helps Your Body Be Smarter
Your body's awareness of where it is in three dimensions is critical to your ability to function effectively in the world. This awareness depends on proprioceptors. These specialized nerve endings are part of your nervous system - your body's master system.
Nerve signals are transmitted from proprioceptors in joints and muscles, along nerve pathways, to spinal nerves. Spinal nerves connect to the spinal cord, and from there signals are transmitted to the brain. But spinal nerves are a potential bottleneck to the free flow of information. These nerves may become irritated or inflamed, blocking accurate information from reaching the brain and accurate instructions from reaching the rest of the body.
Chiropractic care helps keep your body free of nerve interference. By correcting spinal misalignments, chiropractic care helps remove nerve interference and ensures a free flow of information from the brain, to the spinal cord, to all the body's cells, and back again. Optimal health and well-being are the result.
We usually don't think of our bodies in terms of their being "smart." For example, we walk to the corner store without giving a single thought to the complex mechanics involved in getting there and back. But behind the scenes there's plenty going on and your body's "IQ" has a lot to do with your success in accomplishing everyday tasks.

Proprioception is one of those background physical processes that make up your body's total IQ. Proprioceptors are specialized nerve endings located in your muscles and joints that inform your brain about your body's position in three-dimensional space. You're able to write legibly because proprioceptors are sending instantaneous data about the angles of the small joints of your fingers and wrists as your pen moves across the page. You're able to run on the beach because proprioceptors are continuously sending signals to your brain about the changing shape of the uneven surface of the sand.1

Without these specialized nerve endings, we'd never be able to hit a baseball, throw a Frisbee, or drive a car. But proprioceptors can be smart or less than that. It all depends on how well-trained they are. One person out for a stroll might trip over a crack in the pavement and suffer a badly sprained ankle. Another person might trip over the same crack, even badly turning over their ankle in the process, and keep on walking without even a trace of a limp.

The difference between injury and non-injury is the level of proprioceptor training, and this level usually is related to whether you're doing regular exercise.2 Exercise trains your muscles and joints to adapt to varying kinds of stresses (weight-bearing loads) throughout a variety of positions (the full range of motion of those joints). As a result, trained proprioceptors can withstand a high degree of stress (such as a sudden twisting of an ankle). The untrained ankle, possibly the ankle of a person who hasn't done much walking, running, or bike riding in the last 5 years, will be damaged by an unusual and unexpected stress. The result is an ankle sprain of varying severity and possibly a broken ankle.

Similarly, it is well known that older adults experience more frequent falls than do younger adults. Part of the explanation involves proprioception.3Many older adults don't engage in regular exercise. Proprioceptive function decreases, changes in level or surface aren't recognized quickly by the person's feet and ankles, and the person falls.

It's easy to see that the effort to maintain your body's IQ is time very well spent. The fastest way to boost this skill set is by doing regular exercise. All kinds of exercise provide benefit, so the best exercises are the ones that have some interest for you personally. Optimally, a person is doing both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. As always, the key to long-term health and wellness is consistency.

1Wong JD, et al: Can proprioceptive training improve motor learning? J Neurophysiol 2012 Sep 12 [Epub ahead of print]
2Ferreira ML, et al: Physical activity improves strength, balance and endurance in adults aged 40-65 years: a systematic review. J Physiother 58(3):145-156, 2012
3Howe TE, et al: Exercise for improving balance in older people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev  2011 Nov 9(11):CD004963.

Your Personal Health Insurance Policy

Your Personal Health Insurance Policy

Chiropractic Care and Your Personal Health Insurance Policy
When we talk about lifestyle and good health, we usually only consider exercise and nutrition. A third area - rewarding and fulfilling relationships and interests - may be added as an afterthought. But a fourth area - chiropractic care - is in fact the key to gaining the benefits from all the other lifestyle areas and activities.
Chiropractic care focuses on how your body is doing its job. This "job" is to link harmoniously all the various separate physiological activities - to make sure all your body's systems are working well together. The responsibility for this harmony lies with the nerve system, the master system that ties together the functioning of your heart and lungs, your stomach and other digestive organs, your endocrine system, and your immune system. By identifying and correcting misalignments in the spinal column, chiropractic care helps ensure that your nerve system is functioning optimally. When your nerve system is doing its job, the rest of your body has the opportunity to produce the maximum health available. As a result, chiropractic care helps you get the most out of all your other activities and helps you gain and retain good health.
Everyone is aware of the extremely high cost of most health care services. These costs can be measured not only in cash outlays, but also in time spent at a doctor's office. Waiting times can often be an hour or more for a comprehensive physical examination at a family physician's or internist's office. If you have a problem that requires same-day attention, the waiting time at a local hospital emergency room is open-ended and can easily range into several hours or more.
Those fortunate enough to have health insurance are able to buffer some of the monetary expenses. But even with an individual or family health insurance policy, annual out-of-pocket costs continue to rise steeply as monthly premiums, co-payments, and deductibles increase substantially year-over-year. For example, during the past five years monthly premiums for many policies have increased 15% or more annually. This means that monthly payments in 2013 would be approximately double those paid in 2008. Twice the cost for the same coverage. That's a tough situation. Of course, the fees don't stop at the monthly premium. Many policies have deductibles in the range of $5000 or more. 
Thus, if we want to enjoy good financial health as well as good physical health, we might consider getting a "personal" health insurance policy. Such a "policy" requires more effort than that involved in writing a check. Your personal health insurance policy involves taking action in the two main lifestyle areas of diet/nutrition and exercise. A third lifestyle area, often ignored, involves personal well-being. This area includes building increasingly positive family relationships and friendships and developing a broader set of interests beyond one's favorite television stations and websites.
It is now well-established that lifestyle matters greatly to one's long-term health and well-being.1,2 Numerous studies have shown that one in three Americans have one or more chronic diseases - diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The personal and family costs, the financial costs, and the costs to society of chronic disease are high. By establishing habits of good nutrition, regular vigorous exercise, and rewarding relationships and activities, we help prevent these major health problems.3 By engaging in healthy lifestyles, we are taking action that will reap many rewards for ourselves and our families down the years.
The only requirement to begin receiving the benefits of improved health is the willingness to get started. Even if you haven't done any regular exercise for many years, or if you can't remember the last time you ate a serving of broccoli, fennel, or kale, you can still start the journey to better health today. And if you begin, it's very possible that you'll look back after 12 months, 6 months, or even 3 months and be very glad you did.

1Thorgeirsson T, Kawachi I: Behavioral Economics: Merging Psychology and Economics for Lifestyle Interventions. Am J Prev Med 44(2):185-189, 2013
2Anderson AS, et al: Promoting changes in diet and physical activity in breast and colorectal cancer screening settings- an unexplored opportunity for endorsing healthy behaviours. Cancer Prev Res 2013 Jan 16 (Epub ahead of print)
3Mitra A, et al: Mechanistic studies of lifestyle interventions in type 2 diabetes. World J Diabetes 3(12):201-207, 2012

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chiropractors Seeing More Children

Chiropractors Seeing More Children

An article published on March 5, 2013 in the Medill Reports - Chicago, from Northwestern University reports how more children are going to chiropractors. The article titled, "Chiropractors crack necks, backs and ankles - increasingly among children" , by Kristin Callahan, reports on the trend toward chiropractic for this younger demographic.

The author of the article starts by noting, "With the demand for complementary and alternative treatment increasing, more people are considering the use of chiropractic care for children and newborns." The article also reports that according to a 2010 study done by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, (ICPA) chiropractic is the most popular form of alternative (non-medical) care for children.

The most recent data available in the ICPA study showed that an estimated 86 million pediatric visits were made to chiropractors throughout the United States, Canada and Europe in 2007. Dr. Sean Curry, a Chicago area chiropractor explained, "My most rewarding visits are with kids because they don’t have a lot of scar tissue build up, they respond to care the quickest and the fastest."

The article points out that one of the most common reasons that children are brought to the chiropractor is recurring ear infections. “These kids have gone through the medical protocol and have plateaued,” said Dr. Jeanne Ohm, a Pennsylvania chiropractor and CEO of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. “They are not functioning at a level the parents would like -- that’s when they go see a chiropractor.”

The article author reported on the growing trend toward chiropractic as well as the growing number of Doctors of Chiropractic. She reports, "In 2012, there were 70,000 chiropractors and 778,000 physicians in the United States. Every year there are more than 4,000 chiropractic graduates from 30 educational institutions, and due to increasing enrollment, the number of American chiropractors is expected to rise to 145,000 by 2015."

The article also notes that in a recent study in Montreal, Quebec fewer than half of the patients who went to chiropractors told their medical doctors that they were going. Some people fear being chastised by their medical doctor who may incorrectly think chiropractic adjustments are too forceful or can harm children. Dr. Robert Braile, a chiropractor from Georgia and former president of the International Chiropractors Association dismisses any thoughts of danger for children, "Chiropractic adjustments for children or infants are specific, scientific and safe." He continued, "A medical professional would not prescribe the same strength drug for an infant that they would for a 200 pound man. In the same light the adjustment that I give to a newborn is not the same as the one I give to an adult.