Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How to Protect Yourself From Mercury Exposure

Mercury (Hg) has long been recognized as a neurotoxicant; however, recent work in animal models has also implicated Hg as an immunotoxicant. While there is presently no evidence to suggest that Hg induces frank autoimmune disease (AD) in humans. But the scientific evidence is mounting that Hg can be a co-factor in autoimmune disease by increasing the risks and severity of AD in the presence of other triggering events, either genetic or acquired.[1] Also, some studies have demonstrated a link between occupational Hg exposure and AD.[1,2,3]

In this article, we will discuss:
  • How do we come in contact with Hg?
  • How to avoid it?

How Do We Come in Contact with Mercury (Hg)?


Exposure to Hg varies among different people, but it is widespread because there are several ways you can come in contact with it:[4]
  • Hg is found in dental amalgam (also called silver fillings), cosmetics, pesticides, and some vaccines.[5]
    • Amalgam, which has been in use in dentistry for 150 years, consists of 50 % elemental Hg and a mixture of silver, tin, copper and zinc.[7]
    • High levels of exposure may also occur with the use of skin lightening creams that contain Hg.
  • As a pollutant which is released into the air from many factories, especially those that burn coal.
    • It then enters our environment and eventually our food supplies (hint: tuna and swordfish).
    • Inorganic Hg can be inhaled from breathing in mercury vapors.
  • Occupational exposure to Hg occurs in gold mining and in the factory process for purifying and making chlorine.
Hg can enter our bodies or blood streams in two forms:
  1. Mercury vapors
    • Dental amalgam is the major source of mercury vapor exposure
      • Studies have shown a direct correlation between the number of amalgam fillings and mercury concentration in the blood and urine.[5]
    • In the body, inhaled inorganic mercury from breathing in mercury vapors can accumulate in and have toxic effects on the nervous system and kidneys
    • Mercury vapors can cross over the blood-brain barrier very easily and accumulate in the brain
  2. Methylmercury
    • Methylmercury exposure is almost exclusively from seafood such as tuna and swordfish.
      • In a recent study, EWG found that almost 30 percent of their participants—who eat at least two meals of seafood, fish or shellfish every week —had too much mercury exposure according to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for pregnant women.[13]
    • Research has shown a direct correlation between the amount of fish consumed and methylercury levels in the blood and hair.
    • This type of mercury is toxic to the brain but doesn't cross over the blood-brain barrier as easily as the inorganic variety; instead, it accumulates in other tissues of the body.
    • When you measure blood levels of mercury, if they are elevated, it is usually from methymercury.

All forms of Hg, once inside your cells, create free radicals, which are molecules that damage enzyme activity, cell membranes, and your DNA (the genetic code inside the cells). Also, pregnant women be warned that:
  • Both forms of mercury pass easily through the placenta from a mother to your unborn child
  • Research has shown that methylmercury is absorbed into the placenta and stored in the fetal brain in concentrations that exceed maternal blood levels

How to Avoid Mercury?


As we know there are different sources and forms for our Hg exposure, now let's get down to the business—How do we avoid it? As discussed in [4], here are Dr. Blum's recommendations:

  • Dental amalgam
    • If you have cavities with silver fillings, then make a plan with your dentist to remove all of them.
    • See [9] for the instructions of safe removal.
  • Fish
    • If you eat lots of fish, choose the less-mercury kind.
    • Check out [10] to see what fish to eat and what to avoid. For example, you should avoid tuna, swordfish, and Chilean sea bass.
  • Occupational exposure
    • Fairly strong associations were seen with self-reported occupational exposure to mercury and among dental workers.[2] So, you should wear quality surgical mask for the protection.
  • Pregnant women
    • You should avoid eating high-mercury fish. To get needed omega-3 fatty acid, you can take mercury-free fish oil supplements.[11]

Note that the health impacts are highly dependent on:
  • Which form of mercury you're exposed to
  • Your level of genetic vulnerability to toxins
If you have suffered any AD,[3] go ahead and buy a copy of Dr. Blum's book[4] to learn how to recover your immune system.[12]

References

  1. Mercury and autoimmunity: implications for occupational and environmental health.
  2. Glinda S. Cooper Et al. Occupational risk factors for the development of systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol 2004;31:1928-1933.
    • This study reveals the potential contribution of occupational exposures (mercury and pesticides) to the development of SLE.
  3. Mercury Exposures and Autoimmune Diseases (Travel to Wellness)
  4. The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum, M.D., M.P.H.
  5. The Pros and Cons of Flu Vaccination (Travel and Health)
  6. Relationship between mercury levels in blood and urine and complaints of chronic mercury toxicity from amalgam restorations.
  7. Amalgam risk assessment with coverage of references up to 2005
  8. Blood-Brain Barrier (Travel and Health)
  9. Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
  10. Seafood Watch 2013 (Travel to Wellness)
  11. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Travel and Health)
  12. Natural Immuninity Plays Important Roles in Your Health (Travel to Health)
  13. Mercury in Seafood (EWG)
  14. Mercury Poisoning Stories
  15. Decades of studies link mercury exposure to color vision loss

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Dangers of Pesticides to Humans

A pesticide is any substance used to control pests (i.e., insects, vegetation, fungi, etc).[1] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved roughly 11,000 pesticides intended for use in agriculture, inside homes, on lawns, in hand soaps, on clothing and other consumer goods.[2-4]

Most pesticides control the pests by poisoning them.[25] In the namesake of protecting our foods, we have almost wiped insects, birds, and other animals out of existence. In an NPR report, it has found that we are so successful in controlling pests that we can see only cornstalks in Iowa corn fields, but nothing else, not even a bee.[5-7,40]

Unfortunately, pesticides can be poisonous to humans as well. Some are very poisonous, or toxic, and may seriously injure or even kill humans. Others are relatively non-toxic. In this article, we will cover what are the harms that pesticides can bring us.

Potential Dangers of Pesticides


Speaking the least, pesticides can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, or mouth. In addition, exposure to them may result in the following:[1, 8-15]
  • Reproductive effects
    • Effects on the reproductive system or on the ability to produce healthy offspring
  • Teratogenic effects
    • Effects on unborn offspring, such as birth defects
  • Carcinogenic effect
    • Produces cancer in living animal tissues
    • Chemicals used in agriculture could be responsible for the high incidence of cancer in farm workers such as cancers of the lip, stomach, brain, prostate, connective tissue, lymphatic, and hematopoietic system.
  • Oncogenic effects
    • Tumor-forming effects (not necessarily cancerous)
  • Mutagenic effects
    • Permanent effects on genetic material that can be inherited.
  • Neurotoxicity
    • Poisoning of the nervous system, including the brain
    • Researche have asserted a connection between exposure to high levels of pesticides and the development of ADHD[45]
  • Immunosuppression
    • Blocking of natural responses of the immune system responsible for protecting the body

Although the answers are still not clear, the scientific evidence is quickly mounting that pesticide use is associated with the development of serious adverse health effects. One mechanism that pesticides can wreak havoc on our health is via DNA methylation.

DNA Methylation[16-23]


Although pesticides are subject to extensive carcinogenicity testing before regulatory approval, pesticide exposure has repeatedly been associated with various cancers. This suggests that pesticides may cause cancer via nonmutagenicity mechanisms. The present study provides evidence to support the hypothesis that pesticide-induced cancer may be mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms.[21,47]

Epigenetics[16,44,47] is the study of heritable changes in gene activity which are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence. Examples of mechanisms that produce such changes are DNA methylation and histone modification, each of which alters how genes are expressed without altering the underlying DNA sequence.

Scientists from Northwestern University have examined seven commonly used pesticides (i.e., fonofos, parathion, terbufos, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, and phorate) in vitro and found evidence suggesting pesticides may modify gene promoter DNA methylation levels, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to pesticide-induced carcinogenesis.[21]



Who Are the Most Vulnerable?


Pesticides are prevalent and exist in abundance in our foods and environments. For example, they have been found in the least suspected food items such as rice[27] and red wine.[28]

People exposed to higher levels of pesticides as part of their job – for example in industry or in farming - may be at slightly higher risk of certain cancers, particularly leukemia and lymphomas.[8] Besides agricultural workers and farmers, children are also vulnerable to synthetic pesticides. Their internal organs are still developing, they consume more food and drink per pound of body weight, and they spend much more time playing on floors or lawns, right where the chemicals settle and accumulate.[35] That's why AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) makes recommendations to reduce children's exposure to pesticides.[30,31]

How to Reduce Exposure to Pesticides?


Health risks of pesticide can be simply put as:
  • RISK = TOXICITY x EXPOSURE.
As we cannot control toxicity, we can only reduce our risk by reducing the exposure of pesticides from two sources:
  • Foods
  • Environments.

To reduce the exposure of pesticides from foods, go get the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce from EWG (Environmental Working Group). You can find which food items are the most dirty (i.e., loaded with more pesticides) and which items are the least dirty. For the dirtiest food items, buy organics. Also, follow the washing advice in [36] to reduce the pesticide residues on your foods (however, you cannot wash off systemic pesticides).[29]

Pesticides applied on residential lawns migrate indoors. A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that residues from outdoor pesticides tracked in by pets and on people's shoes can increase the pesticide loads in carpet dust by as much as 400 times.[37] Another study shows that concentrations are often higher in house dust than in the soil that surrounds the house, even on farms.[33] Once inside homes where they're not subject to the normal degradation caused by sunlight and rain, pesticides can persist for years.

To reduce pesticide exposure from your living environment, reduce using pesticides on your lawns or gardens. Try IPM (Integrated Pest Management):[35]
  • Deciding what pest levels are acceptable to you
  • Preventing pests by working with Mother Nature
  • Ensuring that all the plants you want to keep are healthy
  • Identifying and monitoring pests
  • Taking control steps
  • Cultivating pest-repelling plants
  • Calling in the bug patrol:
    • Ladybugs
    • Green lacewings
    • Parying mantis
    • Syrphid flies
  • Bringing in birds
  • Maintaining and adding to diversity
  • Seeking out alternatives to synthetic poisons
  • Using biological pesticides
Also, before you step inside your house, take off shoes and leave them outdoors. If you have pets, wash their feet before let them go inside.

References

  1. Toxicity of Pesticides (Cornell University)
  2. Superficial Safeguards: Most Pesticides Are Approved by Flawed EPA Process (Natural Resources Defense Council)
  3. Pesticide Reregistration Status (EPA)
  4. A Loophole For Pesticides Puts Public’s Health At Risk (EWG)
  5. Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee (NPR)
  6. Pesticide toxicity to bees (Wikipedia)
  7. Pesticides Applied to Crops and Honey Bee Toxicity
    • Relative to other insect genomes, the honey bee genome is markedly deficient in the number of genes encoding detoxifica­tion enzymes.
    • Bee colony numbers have declined by 45% over the past 60 years.
  8. Pesticides and Cancer (Cancer Research UK)
  9. Pesticide Exposure May Contribute to ADHD (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  10. Pesticides on Oncology.com
  11. Banned Pesticide DDT Is Still Killing California Condors
  12. Pesticides used in South American GMO-based agriculture: A review of their effects on humans and animal models
  13. Birth defects caused by glyphosate, Andres Carrasco (Talked at UC Irvine)
  14. Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling
    • The direct effect of glyphosate on early mechanisms of morphogenesis in vertebrate embryos opens concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to GBH in agricultural fields.
  15. Pesticides and Food: Health Problems Pesticides May Pose (EPA)
  16. Epigenetics (Wikipedia)
  17. Methylation subtypes and large-scale epigenetic alterations in gastric cancer
    • Cancer-specific epigenetic alterations were observed in 44% of CpGs, comprising both tumor hyper- and hypomethylation.
    • Our results provide insights into the epigenetic impact of environmental and biological agents on gastric epithelial cells, which may contribute to cancer.
  18. Jones PA, Laird PW: Cancer epigenetics comes of age. Nat Genet 21:163-167, 1999
  19. Jones PA: The DNA methylation paradox. Trends Genet 15:34-37, 1999
  20. Epigenetic analysis of stomach cancer finds new disease subtypes (Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School)
    • Many of the methylation alterations were associated with significant changes in gene expression, suggesting that the methylation alterations may be functionally important in the development of gastic cancer.
  21. DNA methylation alterations in response to pesticide exposure in vitro
    • The present study provides evidence to support the hypothesis that pesticide-induced cancer may be mediated in part by epigenetic mechanisms.
  22. DNA Methylation and Cancer (Journal of Clinical Oncology)
  23. Singal R, Wang SZ, Sargent T, et al: Methylation of promoter proximal-transcribed sequences of an embryonic globin gene inhibits transcription in primary erythroid cells and promotes formation of a cell type-specific methyl cytosine binding complex. J Biol Chem 277: 1897-1905, 2002
  24. Nation's Pediatricians Warn Against Pesticides in Food (EWG)
  25. Pesticide (Wikipedia)
  26. Systemic Pesticides: Chemicals You Can’t Wash Off
  27. Arsenic in Rice (FDA)
  28. 滅芬諾 (Methoxyfenozide) 農藥 found in red wine (News; in Chinese)
  29. You cannot wash off systemic pesticides
  30. AAP Makes Recommendations to Reduce Children's Exposure to Pesticides (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  31. Nation's Pediatricians Warn Against Pesticides in Food (EWG)
  32. Sustaining the Earth by G. T. Miller
  33. R. Lewis et al., "Measuring and Reducing Exposure to the Pollutants in House Dust," American Journal of Public Health 85 (1995): 1168.
  34. Pesticide Action Network--Advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide
  35. The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz
  36. Four Important Cleaning Tasks In Your Morning Routine (Travel to Health)
  37. R. Renner, "Curse This House," New Scientist, iss. 2289, May 5, 2001.
  38. 蔬果上残余农药 如何影响我们的健康 (in Chinese)
  39. Pesticides (Diabetes and the Environment)
  40. The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear
    • A major cause is farming with Roundup, a herbicide that kills virtually all plants except crops that are genetically modified to survive it.
  41. Black Raspberries Protectively Regulate Methylation of Wnt Pathway Genes in Precancerous Colon Tissue
    • Black raspberries inhibit colonic ulceration and, ultimately, colon cancer partly through inhibiting aberrant epigenetic events that dysregulate Wnt signaling.
  42. The Hidden Truth About Peanuts: From Food Allergies to Farm Practices
    • It is common to see a conventional peanut crop sprayed with some type of pesticide every 8-10 days during the growing season.
    • Most of the peanuts consumed in the U.S. are now one of the most pesticide-contaminated snacks we eat.
  43. Toxic pesticides from GM food crops found in unborn babies
    • The research suggested the chemicals were entering the body through eating meat, milk and eggs from farm livestock which have been fed GM corn.
  44. Team reprograms social behavior in carpenter ants using epigenetic drugs
    • Epigenetic regulation has been observed to affect a variety of distinct traits in animals, including body size, aging, and behavior.
  45. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides
    • Scientists' findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. 
  46. Outside Variants Wired into Epigenetic Circuits That Can Boost Disease Risk
  47. Unexpected role for epigenetic enzymes in cancer

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Health Effects of Element Fluorine (F)

Most countries in modern-day Western Europe have opted out of artificially fluoridated water, dismissing the practice for what it really is: mass medication.[1,14,35] This includes: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland,[2] Scotland,[3] Iceland, and Italy. A 2003 survey of over 500 Europeans from 16 countries concluded that "the vast majority of people opposed water fluoridation".[4,32]

Mekorot, Israel's national water company also states, "In the South of the country, it is unnecessary to add fluoride because it is found naturally in the water."[5] Yes, Fluorine (F) is the 24th most abundant element in the universe and the 13th most abundant within the Earth's crust.

In this article, we will examine the positive and negative health effects of Fluorine.

What's Fluorine?


Fluorine is the lightest halogen and the most electronegative element. Fluorine doesn't hang around for long in the environment— it normally exists as negatively charged fluoride ions in combination with other elements.[15] It requires great care in handling as it is extremely reactive and poisonous. While a few plants and bacteria synthesize organofluorine poisons, fluorine has no metabolic role in mammals.

What Is "F" Used for?


The fluoride ion, when directly applied to teeth, is claimed to reduce decay based on some scientists. For this reason, it is used in toothpaste and water fluoridation, which are also recommended by U.S. Public Health Service, CDC and ADA.  However, water fluoridation was materialized not really due to the true concern for the public dental health, but because the greedy businessman wanting to dump a waste by-product from the manufacturing of aluminum.  Read [35] for the history of it.

What Are the Issues?


Soluble fluorides are moderately toxic. Chronic excess fluoride consumption can lead to skeletal fluorosis, (note that it's not just dental fluorosis) a disease of the bones that affects millions in Asia and Africa.[6,7] Based on a report[9] of National Research Council, it cites severe dental fluorosis (i.e., teeth appear discolored and sometimes pitted) can result from fluoride overdose. Severe dental fluorosis has been found in about 10 percent of children in communities with water fluoride concentrations at or near 4ppm.
That's why each water district tries its best to maintain an optimal fluoride level. For example, SFPUC (the San Francisco Public Utilities) has a CDHS (California Department of Health Services) approved fluoridation control range of 0.8 – 1.5 mg/L, with an optimal fluoride level of 1.0 mg/L.

However, fluoride poisoning and fluorosis are still prevalent.[6,25] The main reasons include, but not limited to:
  • Ingestion of fluoride-containing toothpaste[1]
  • Malfunction of water fluoridation equipment
    • It has occurred several times, including an Alaskan incident that sickened nearly 300 people and killed one.[8]
  • Inhalation of fluoride dusts/fumes
    • Use of coal as an indoor fuel source is still a common practice in China[16]
    • The 1783 eruption of the Laki volcano in Iceland is estimated to have killed approximately 25% of the Icelandic population, and 50–80% of livestock, as a result of fluorosis and sulfur dioxide gases.
  • Drinking water with naturally occurring levels of fluoride in excess of the recommended safe levels
    • In India, the most common cause of fluorosis is fluoride-laden water derived from deep bore wells.
  • Consumption of fluoride from the drinking of tea[17,25]
    • In Tibet, excessive consumption of poor-quality pu-erh tea is reported to cause fluorosis.

Other health risks of "F" include:[14]
  • Sodium fluoride can compromise cellular health and result in adverse thyroid function and adverse neurological effects.[7,13,30,31]
  • Fluoride was theorized to make people more docile and easy to control, and thus it was added to water supplies in occupied regions and POW camps by Nazi's.

Recommendation


We're not just getting fluoride from our tap water and tooth brushing. Bottled water often contains fluoride, as do sodas, juices, and many foods manufactured using fluoridated water. Between all of these sources, you can easily exceed the recommended dose of daily fluoride consumption (i.e.,  not more than 6 milligrams per day)[22] and start to see negative health effects. To avoid fluoride overdose, read [18] for the tips of getting fluoride out of water.

In [12], dentists like Dr. Cole suggest brushing teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. If you drink tea in the morning like I do, consider reducing brushing to once a day. If you only do it once, bedtime is best, since that is when your mouth salivates less, allowing cavity-causing substances to take hold. If you skip brushing after meals, try the following alternatives:
  • Rinsing your mouth with water
  • Chewing gums
    • But, do avoid gums containing aspartame sweetener;[20] choose the ones containing xylitol[21]
    • Also, see [23] for the reasons that Dr. Mercola is against gum chewing.
    • Based on [36]. chew your gum not longer than 30 seconds if you do.
  • Flossing teeth
  • Scraping tongue 
  • Oil pulling or swishing[28]

If you have infants in the households, try breast-feeding your kids as much as possible. If you choose feeding them with infant formula, do follow ADA's advice:
Mixing your infant formula with nonfluoridated water

References

  1. Fluoridation by Countries (Wikipedia)
  2. Fluoride plan goes down the drain (BBC News)
  3. "European citizens' opinions on water fluoridation", Community Dent Oral Epidemiol., 2008 April;36(2): 95–102.
    • Many felt dental health was an issue to be dealt with at the level of the individual, rather than a solution to be imposed en masse.
  4. Sláva a pád jedné preventivní metody (Medical Tribune CZ)
  5. Merkorot (Israel National Water Co.): FAQ
    • Natural groundwater contains fluoride in varying levels.
  6. Shin, Richard D.; Silverberg, Mark A. (2013). "Fluoride Toxicity.Medscape.
  7. Reddy, D. (2009). "Neurology of endemic skeletal fluorosis".Neurology India 57 (1): 7–12.
  8. Gessner, B. D.; Beller, M.; Middaugh, J. P.; Whitford, G. M. (1994). "Acute Fluoride Poisoning from a Public Water System". New England Journal of Medicine 330 (2): 95–99.
  9. "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards," National Research Council, March 22, 2006.
  10. Water Fluoridation (Mid-Peninsula Water District)
  11. "Fluoride and Infant Formula: Frequently Asked Questions," American Dental Association,
  12. Timing Your Teeth Brushing
  13. Effect of Fluorine on Thyroidal Iodine Metabolism in Hyperthyroidism
  14. The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz
  15. Stinky rocks hide Earth’s only haven for natural fluorine (Nature)
  16. Skeletal fluorosis (Wikipedia)
  17. Naveen Kakumanu, M.D., and Sudhaker D. Rao, M.B., B.S. (2013-03-21). "Skeletal Fluorosis Due to Excessive Tea Drinking". New England Journal of Medicine.
  18. How to Get Fluoride Out of Water
  19. ADA (American Dental Association)
  20. Aspartame is, by far, the Most Dangerous Substance on the Markeet that is Added to Foods (Dr. Mercola)
  21. Xylitol (WebMD)
  22. World Health Organization. Environmental Health Criteria 227, Fluorides, Geneva: W.H.O.; 2002. p.14-6
    • Skeletal fluorosis is caused by prolonged intake of excessive amounts of fluoride through water, food or both. The optimum upper safe limit is not more than 6 milligrams per day.
  23. 7 Important Reasons to Properly Chew Your Food (Dr. Mercola)
  24. Fluoride, Fluorine, Minerals, Supplements - Dr. Weil
    • High amounts of fluoride over several years can cause brittle bones.
  25. Dr. Mercola Interviews Jeff Green About Fluoride Toxins
    • If you don't use any  filter in your water system, your body is the filter.
    • Most of fluorides are accumulated in your bones.
    • (At 43:40 mark) A combination of nutrients like Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and Vitamin C can bind free fluoride ions and help to excrete fluoride from your body more effectively.
  26. Transatlantic trade: How chlorine-washed chicken prevents greater U.S.-E.U. trading
  27. Effect of water fluoridation on the development of medial vascular calcification in uremic rats.
    • Fluoride replaces the hydroxyls of hydroxyapatite, thereby improving the strength of tooth enamel, but this process can also occur in other active calcifications. 
  28. 擺脫牙周問題的口腔排毒­法 (oil pulling in Chinese)
  29. US Government Admits Americans Have Been Overdosed on Fluoride
  30. 6 Toxins that Destroy Your Thyroid
    • BPA, Bromine, Perchlorate, Pesticides, PFCs, Fluorides
  31. Water Fluoridation Promotes Thyroid Impairment, Study Warns (Dr. Mercola)
  32. An Inconvenient Tooth - Fluoride Documentary
  33. What You Need to Know About Your Thyroid Health (Dr. Mercola)
  34. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity
    • Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants—manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
    • A meta-analysis of 27 cross-sectional studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water, mainly from China, suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations
  35. Is the Government Poisoning You?
  36. This is what happens to your stomach when you chew gum for more than 30 seconds

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Truth about Cholesterol

Is cholesterol really the bad guy? The answer is yes-and-no: it depends. In this article, we will discuss the myths and facts of cholesterol.

Is Cholesterol Really the Bad Guy?


In [1], Dr. Dwight Lundell said:
As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.
In a nutshell, here are his statements:

What Was Wrong?Heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol (hint: statins) and a diet that severely restricted fat intake.
What Is the Answer?Inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease.[1,16] Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes.

What is Cholesterol?


Cholesterol[3,6] is a lipidic (or fatty), waxy steroid found in the cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma. Here are the facts of cholesterol:
  • Body needs cholesterol
    • For its structural role in the cell membrane—to maintain membrane permeability and fluidity
    • As a precursor for the biosynthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, and the adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone[4]
    • No cholesterol, no sex
      • As a precursor for synthesizing the sex hormones progesterone, estrogens, and testosterone and their derivatives.[4]
    • For muscle mass buildup
      • The research at TAMU revealed that following relatively vigorous workouts, individuals who had the most muscle mass gain also had the highest LDL cholesterol levels.[20]
    • For skin protection
      • In the skin, cholesterol is secreted by glands just below the surface to protect against dehydration and the wear and tear of sun, wind, and water.[3]
    • For healing wounds and protecting against infections.[5]
  • Almost every cell in the body manufactures cholesterol
    • In vertebrates, the liver typically produces greater amounts than other cells.
    • Even you eat foods with little cholesterol ingredients, you body will still manufacture at least 1,000 mg of pure cholesterol each day.
  • Cholesterol may act as an antioxidant[7]
    • It can stand in to perform an antioxidant function when certain vitamins and minerals are in low supply.
      • However, cholesterol is damaged in the process, and oxidized cholesterol is bad for the body.
      • That's why getting antioxidants in a steady supply throughout the day is important. Let your vitamins and minerals protect you from free radicals so they can allow your cholesterol to play all of its other life-saving roles.

What is Inflammation?


By itself, cholesterol does not cause heart disease and stroke. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. It's what inflammation does to cholesterol that causes arterial plaques.[11]

Inflammation is simply our body’s natural defence to a foreign intruder (i.e., bacteria, toxin or virus).[1] The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects our body from these bacterial and viral intruders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or western diets the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation.

Summary


In this article, we have shown you that cholesterol is an essential nutrient. Driving your cholesterol levels down too far can cause serious health problems.

On the other hand, atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Inflammation in general are almost never the presence of too much cholesterol—rather they are too little of many other compounds: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.

Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped. As noted in previous section, chronic inflammation is harmful while acute inflammation is beneficial. To become healthy is to avoid chronic inflammation. As Dr. Dwight Lundell pointed out, the culprits of chronic inflammation is our western diets:[1,8]
What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.
Without much ado, I would refer you to read [1] for the causation of heart diseases:
Western diets -> High blood sugar -> Glycation -> Chronic inflammation -> Heart diseases

Remember this—Avoiding heart disease begins and ends with following a healthy lifestyle, not with pharmaceuticals. Poisoning your cells' ability to make cholesterol isn't the best way to avoid heart disease.  Finally, as Dr. Mercola has warned :[18]
  • Trans fat, not saturated fat, raises your heart disease risk

Photo Credit

  • 2healthcare.net

References

  1. World renowned heart surgeon speaks out on what really causes heart disease (Dr. Dwight Lundell)
  2. The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz
    • Every patient is different, and every case of heart disease involves a multitude of factors, from diet to activity level to lifestyle, as well as the genetic diversity of the human race.
  3. U. Erasmus, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill (Burnaby BC, Canada: Alive Books, 1993).
  4. Hanukoglu I (Dec 1992). "Steroidogenic enzymes: structure, function, and role in regulation of steroid hormone biosynthesis.". J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 43 (8): 779–804.
  5. U. Ravnskov, "High Cholesterol May Protect Against Infections and Atherosclerosis," QJM Internaltional Journal of Medicine 96 (2003): 927-34.
  6. Cholesterol (Wikipedia)
  7. Smith LL (1991). "Another cholesterol hypothesis: cholesterol as antioxidant". Free Radic. Biol. Med. 11 (1): 47–61.
  8. Western Diets and Western Diseases (Travel and Health)
  9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Travel and Health)
  10. 10 Things You Didn't Know About Cholesterol (Everyday Health)
  11. Check out "Pathology of Atherosclerotic Plaque" of this article
  12. David Seaman: Inflammation From Our Diet Is Killing Us Slowly (a must-watch video)
  13. Statin Drugs and Diabetes
    • Statin drugs can increase women's risk of diabetes by 48%
  14. The Little-Known Vitamin Essential to Your Health
    • Vitamin K2 deficiency can cause calcium-buildup, which can increase the risk of calcification of the arteries and hence the heart disease.
  15. High Cholesterol Tied to Prostate Cancer's Return in Study
    • But expert doesn't recommend taking statins to prevent recurrence
  16. The Real Cause of Heart Disease
  17. The Overlooked Health Risks of Very Low Cholesterol
  18. New Scientific Analysis Confirms Saturated Fats Have No Link to Heart Disease
  19. The incredible cholesterol-lowering benefits of the Avocado
  20. Bad Cholesterol Not As Bad As People Think, Study Shows (TAMU)
  21. Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but magnitude of effect depend on food type
    • Research has shown that consuming flaxseed daily can help to reduce bad cholesterol.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Natural Immuninity Plays Important Roles in Your Health

Naturally acquired immunity can result from either passive or active immunization.[1]
  • Naturally acquired passive immunity
    • Immunity is transferred from mother to fetus through placental transfer of IgG or colostral transfer of IgA.
  • Naturally acquired active immunity
    • Occurs when a person is exposed to a live pathogen, and develops a primary immune response, which leads to immunological memory.
    • This type of immunity is “natural” because it is not induced by deliberate exposure.
In this article, we will discuss the following topics:
  1. The importance of natural immunity
  2. What can cause depressed immunity?
  3. Natural immune boosters

Importance of Natural Immunity


Excellent health is not merely how you feel at the moment. It is also how resistant your immune system is to microbes and how resistant you are to cancer. When children are born, they develop natural immunity to a large variety of microorganisms that they breathe, eat, and touch. The immune responses initiated by cells lining their airways, skin and intestines are very important in creating "memory" and protection against the microorganisms they naturally come into contact with every day.

Today we are exposed to more dangerous infections from around the world than ever before.[4] We are routinely in airports and jets crowded with world travelers who have come in contact with exotic and newly created microbes, and we are in schools and hospitals with bacteria circulating that have developed antibiotic resistance.[14,16,32]
That's why we need to have well-functioning immune systems, especially natural immunity; otherwise, the consequences can be devastating:[3]
  • A mild infection can hang on for weeks; worse yet, it can develop serious consequences such as heart damage or nerve paralysis, or it can blossom into a difficult-to-treat bacterial infection such as a life-threatening pneumonia.
  • Tumors may grow out of control
    • Our immune system also protects us from developing cancer.
      • There is a lot of evidence that tumors can elicit an immune response.[2]
      • The same white blood cells and other immune system components that are utilized to fight infection are also used to recognize our own human cells as they become abnormal and to remove them before they can evolve into a tumor or cancer.

What Can Cause Depressed Immunity?


Impaired natural immunity may result from poor nutrition, the overuse and dependency on medication and many other factors:
  • Poor nutrition
    • Poor nutrition not only makes us more susceptible to viruses but significantly impacts the length and severity of an illness.
    • It has been known for years that malnutrition interferes with various physical barriers or immune responses, making the body more vulnerable to attach from microbes, including viruses.
    • If you are deficient in virtually any known vitamin or mineral, research has shown that your defense functions can be negatively affect.
    • Dr. Beck's work at UNC[11] has pointed out the importance of host nutrition in not only optimizing the host immune response, but also in preventing viral mutations which could increase the viral pathogenicity.
    • A phytochemically deficient diet is largely responsible for a weak immune system.
      • When diets are low in consumption of green and yellow vegetables, viral illness takes a more serious form.
      • Populations with a much higher intake of vegetables have much lower rates of cancer, and the longest-living populations throughout history have been those with the highest intake of vegetables in the diet.[8]
  • Medication
    • Couple our nutrient-poor diet--and the resultant immune system weaknesses, leading to frequent illness—with the use and overuse of medicaitons, including antibiotics,[5,30] vaccines, and immunosuppressive drugs for autoimmune diseases, and we have a good reason for the explosion in cancer rates over the last 70 years.
    • Exposure to more medical care, more drugs, more vaccines, and more doctors does not beget Super Immunity[3]
      • In fact, medical care is part of the problem, not the solution.
      • The use of antibiotics is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.[5]
      • The first pharmacology lecture Dr. Fuhrman heard in medical school-the professor emphasized, "Make no doubt about it: all drugs are toxic and can even hasten one's dealth. They should be used only after careful consideration of the risk-to-benefit ratio, because they all have considerable and serious risks.
  • Stress[26]
    • Too much stress eventually inhibits the functioning of disease-fighting white blood cells and suppresses the immune response, leaving us susceptible to infection and disease.
  • Season Change
    • Winter season when sunshine is scarce (hint: Vitamin D).
  • Toxins
    • See [29].


Immune System Boosters


Natural immunity is acquired at our early ages. As a matter of fact, immunity can be transferred from mother to fetus through placental transfer of IgG or colostral transfer of IgA. A mounting body of research also suggests that exposing infants to germs may offer them greater protection from illnesses such as allergies, asthma and other autoimmune diseases during adulthood.[17-20]
Just as a baby's brain needs stimulation, input, and interaction to develop normally, the young immune system is strengthened by exposure to everyday germs so that it can learn, adapt, and regulate itself, notes Thom McDade, PhD, associate professor and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research at Northwestern University.[20]

If you are adults, you can still find many ways to boost your immune system:
  • Hand washing
    • As many as 80 percent of infections are transmitted via contact like sneezing, coughing or touching surfaces that have been sneezed or coughed on. To diminish some of the exposure risks, you can protect yourselves with handwashing and other proper hygienic measures, such as not touching your face without washing first.
  • Sleep[21]
    • Getting your 7 to 9 hours a night means your body can repair and heal itself and ward off infections.
  • Exercise[22]
    • Getting your blood pumping regularly can increase the activity of a type of white blood cells that attacks viruses.
    • Exercise is the pump to the lymphatic system as heart is the pump to the cardiovascular system.
  • Zinc[23]
    • Zinc interferes with viruses gaining full access to our cells.[15]
    • Zinc is necessary for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes and plays a vital role in an enormous number of biological processes.
  • Garlic[24]
    • It is believed that garlic has immune-boosting properties that may reduce cancer cell growth and help the body fight off diseases such as colds or the flu.
  • Water
    • Without sufficient moisture, immune system cells can't optimally work. So, it's important to stay hydrated.[15]
  • Skipping happy hour
    • Alcohol suppresses both the part of the immune system that protects you from coming down with something and the part that fights off the germs already in your system.[15]
  • Laughter
    • While there's much that's still not well understood about the process, it seems that certain immune cells are produced by a big belly laugh.[15]
  • Massage
    • While there's been little research into exactly how it works, massage certainly increases circulation, which may help promote the general "state of wellness in the body.[15]
  • Healthy diet (We are what we eat)[3,12-13]
    • To have normal immune function we require hundreds of additional phytochemicals in addition to vitamins and minerals.[3]
    • Phytochemicals (plant-chemicals or phytonutrients)
      • Phytochemicals are compounds that maximize cell function, thus enabling the healing properties of immune cells, which include:
        • alpha-lipoic acid, flavonoids, bioflavonoids, polyphenols and phenolic acids, quercetin, rutin, anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, allium compounds, allyl sulfides, glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, lignans, and pectins
        • A combination of these compounds is more effective than a single agent, even in a high dose.
    • See [25] for a list of immunity-boosting foods from Dr. Oz.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy[34]

Conclusions


Without doubt, nutrition plays the most important role of our healthy immune systems.  Pathogens can adapt themselves to the host (our body) and becomes dangerous and multiplies as a result of the host's disease-promoting environment. In most cases, however, pathogens would remain harmless when they are exposed to a healthy, well-nourished body.

The most effective artillery we have to protect ourselves against the potentially damaging effects of influenza and other infectious disease is nutritional excellence.  Life is not without risks, and of course optimal nutrition cannot prevent all microbial diseases and all cancers.  At minimal, optimal nutrition can boost our natural immunity.  And immunity, when optimized, can ward off infection; and if infection does occur, it is much more likely to have a harmless outcome.

As discussed in [27], fever is a protective mechanism.  When our body temperature reaches 101.3 oF (38.5oC), the immune system shifts into a state of alarm.  At this temperature, the level of immune chemicals in the bloodstream doubles, and immune defenses throughout the body increase.  Within 6 hours, almost every major defense within the immune system doubles its efforts.[28] As advised by Dr. Gorter, don't reach out for medication unless you have worsening symptoms which involve labored breathing, persistent fever above 103 degrees for three days, abdominal pain, changes in behavior or mental status, and persistent diarrhea or vomiting.

Photo Credit


References

  1. Microbiology and Immunology On-Line Textbook: USC School of Medicine
  2. Tumor Immunology On-Line Textbook: USC School of Medicine
  3. Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, MD
  4. The global infectious disease threat and its implications for the United States. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE 99-17D). January 2000. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/nie/report/nie99-17d.html
  5. Velicer CM, Heckbert SR, Lampe JW, et al. Antibiotic use in relation to the risk of breast cancer. JAMA 2004; 291(7): 827-35.
  6. Are You Fever Phobic? (Travel and Health)
  7. Boggs DA, Palmer JR, Wise LA, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake in relation to risk of breast cancer in the Black Women's Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 2010; DOI:10.1093/aje/kwq293. Gullett NP, Ruhul Amin AR, Bayraktar S, et al. Cancer prevention with natural compounds. Semin Oncol 2010; 37(3): 258-81.
  8. Healthy at 100, by John Robbins.
  9. Liu RH. Potential synergy of phytochemicals in cancer prevention: mechanism of action. J Nutr 2004; 134(12 Suppl): 3479S-3485S.
  10. Peterhans E. Oxidants and antioxidants in viral diseases: disease mechanisms and metabolic regulation. J Nutr 1997; 127: 962S-965S.
  11. Beck MA. Antioxidants and viral infections: host immune response and viral pathogenicity. J Am Coll Nutr 2001; 20 (5 Suppl): 384S-388S, discussion 396S-397S.
  12. Roman GC. An epidemic in cuba of optic neutopathy, sensorineural deafness, peripheral sensory neuropathy, and dorsolateral myeloneuropathy. J Neurol Sci 1994; 127:11-28.
  13. Domingo E. Newly emerging viral diseases: what role for nutrition? J Nutr 1999; 127:958S-961S.
  14. Achievements in public health, 1900-1999: control of infectious diseases, MMWR 1999; 48(29): 621-29.
    • The emergence of antibiotics resistance in many organisms is reversing some of the therapeutic miracles of the last 50 years and underscores the importance of disease prevention.
  15. The Best Immunity-Boosting Breakfasts
  16. Documentary: Rise of the Superbugs (Dr. Mercola)
  17. Are Dogs More Protective For Children’s Health? (Travel and Health)
  18. Hepatitis A and Allergic Diseases (Travel and Health)
  19. Can Parasites Heal the Gut? (Travel and Health)
  20. Is Dirt Good for Kids? (WebMD)
  21. Enjoy Good Night Sleep and Live Longer (Travel and Health)
  22. Exercise and Its Benefits (Travel and Health)
  23. Did You Get Enough Zinc Lately? (Travel and Health)
  24. Garlic—a Vegetable, a Condiment, and a Medicine (Travel and Health)
  25. Dr. Oz's 12 Natural Immunity Boosters
  26. Stress and How to Diffuse It (Travel and Health)
  27. Are You Fever Phobic? (Travel and Health)
  28. Fighting Cancer — A Nontoxic Approach to Treatment by Robert Gorter, MD, PhD and Erik Peper, PhD.
  29. Toxins Are Everywhere — I'm Not Kidding (Travel and Health)
  30. Do Antibiotics in Animal Feed Pose a Serious Risk to Human Health? (Dr. Mercola)
  31. Does adding routine antibiotics to animal feed pose a serious risk to human health? (BMJ)
    • It will get worse. Ten times more cases of meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus occurred in US children’s hospitals in 2008 than a decade earlier.
  32. Meningitis: What Is The Dangerous Infection Spreading At Princeton And UC Santa Barbara?
  33. Immune System Basics (University of Arizona)
  34. Thom SR, Bhopale VM, Velazquez OC, Goldstein LJ, Thom LH, Buerk DG. Stem cell mobilization by hyperbaric oxygen. American Journal of Physiology. 2006;290(4):H1378–H1386.
  35. Major Advantages of Massage Therapy
  36. Antimicrobial Shoes and Clothes?
    • Dr. Francine Yep says "no thanks" and saves your money.
  37. CRE bacteria: What you should know
  38. The New Science of Disease Recovery (good)
  39. Dr. Kurt: why I will never choose to vaccinate my own son and any future kids my wife and I have
  40. Your birth year predicts your odds if flu pandemic were to strike

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Smoothie Recipes for Better Health

Eight years ago, Dr. Tom Wu[1] has introduced me to the Naturopathy. Since then, I have started my morning fruit-and-veggie routine as described below:

In this article, I will discuss smoothie recipes for better health, but not for better taste.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Four Important Cleaning Tasks In Your Morning Routine

"I personally try to eat about 85 percent of my food raw", said Dr Mercola[1]. In this article,
Drink Your Fruit-and-Veggie Smoothies in the Morning
I have shown you one way to increase raw-food update in your diets.

However, there are caveats with raw-food eating—food-borne diseases and pesticides. In this article, I will show you four important cleaning/cleansing steps to protect and improve your health:
  • Pipe cleaning
    • Water pipe
    • Food pipe
  • Surface cleaning
    • Food surface
    • Skin surface

Pipe Cleaning


There are two types of pipes which are covered here:
  1. Water pipe
  2. Food pipe (i.e. Human Digestive Tract)
"When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking," suggests Mid-Peninsula Water District.

The first thing in my morning is the food preparation routine. In this routine, I always flush our tap for at least 2 minutes. However, instead of wasting away precious water resource, I use that water in food cleaning. For example, I usually rub the surface of carrots in the tap stream. Then place carrots in a container for further cleaning (see next section).


While we sleep in the evening, our organs still work hard to repair our cells and detox our bodies. For example, new research shows that a recently discovered mechanism that removes waste products from the brain is mainly active during sleep.[3] As suggested in [2], drinking fruit-and-veggie smoothies in the morning helps hydrate your digestive tract and aids your colon in the elimination of fecal matter. So, that's our second cleaning and probably the most important one in your morning routine.[2,7]

Surface Cleaning


There are also two kinds of surface cleaning involved in my morning routine:
  1. Food cleaning
  2. Skin cleaning
Forget about removing systemic pesticides.[9]  As shown in many reports, you cannot simply remove them by washing. However, for raw-food preparation, we still want to reduce the health hazards posed by the following pathogens and toxins as much as possible:
  • Bad germs (i.e., E coli., Salmonella, etc.)[4]
  • Pesticide residues on the surface of fruits or veggies
In my morning routine, I wash our fruits or veggies in the following steps:
  1. Rubbing hard-skinned foods under the tap stream
  2. Soaking foods in water with baking soda[4,5,11]
    • After 5-10 minutes, pour away the water. Note that we usually use this water for our indoor or outdoor plants.
    • Add water again and then throw away this water too.
  3. Soaking foods in water with salt and vinegar (or lemon juice)[5,8]
    • After 2-5 minutes, pour away the water. Note that this water is not good for plants. For water conservation, you can save it later for dish washing.
    • Add a bit more water and make sure all water are drained.
Baking soda is alkaline and is a good surface washing agent. Based on some reports, it was said that pesticides are acidic. So, it makes sense to wash your fruits and veggies with baking soda first. Salt and vinegar are also good washing agents. To remove baking soda residues, we choose to use acidic liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice to achieve the task.

Instead of using vinegar, I usually choose lemons (or limes). So, in step 3 above, you can cut open a lemon and squeeze its juice into the soaking water. After that, don't throw away your lemon yet. You can use the remaining lemon to clean up your skins (i.e., face and hands). Using lemon to clean up your face or wash your hands can help your skin healthy in two ways:

  • Healthy skin should be slightly acidic
  • Lemon contains high amounts of Vitamin C


Personal Experience


For over 8 years now, I have been practicing the above cleaning tasks in my morning routine. These cleanings or cleansing can help you:
  • Protect against food contaminants
  • Start your morning with a healthy diet
  • Deep clean and nourish your skins
Without hesitation, I will strongly recommend you doing the same. As John Robbins[10] said,
"May all be fed. May all be healed. May all be loved."

References

  1. When You Heat Natural Plant-Based Foods You Can Get Cancer-Causing Acrylamide
  2. Drink Your Fruit-and-Veggie Smoothies in the Morning (Travel to Health)
  3. Sleep helps 'detox' your brain
  4. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
  5. Baking Soda
  6. Cleaning Never Tasted So Good (EWG)
  7. HOW TO CLEAN OUT THE COLON NATURALLY WITH FOOD (LiveStrong.com)
  8. What Does It Take to Clean Fresh Food? (NPR)
  9. You cannot wash off systemic pesticides
  10. Healthy At 100 by John Robbins
  11. A Little about Baking Soda, Baking Soda Book
    • Baking soda is nature's most versatile cleaning product, a natural substance that has been used around the world for nearly 150 years to remove odors, soften water, dissolve dirt and grime, scrub soap scum, and even unclog drains.
  12. 錯誤的蔬果清潔,越洗越毒 (in Chinese) 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Drink Your Fruit-and-Veggie Smoothies in the Morning

"I personally try to eat about 85 percent of my food raw", said Dr Mercola[1]. Maybe it is also wise for us to strive to get as much raw food in our diet as possible . You can read [2] for more information on "Raw Foods and Healthy Living."  One way to achieve that goal is to drink fruit-and-veggie smoothies.[3]

Starting from 2006, I have been drinking my fruit-and-veggie smoothies in the morning. This morning juice will flush your large intestine and provide you with vitamins and minerals that are essential for your good health.[8] As a result, my metabolic syndrome[13] disappeared years ago as shown below:

Health Benefits of Drinking Fruit-and-Veggie Smoothies in the Morning


After a good night sleep, your body becomes dehydrated. Adding fruit-and-veggie smoothies in the morning can help hydrate your digestive tract and aid your colon in the elimination of fecal matter. For years, I have been annoyed by hemorrhoid due to long-hour's sitting in front of computer. However, after introducing my morning smoothie routine, my bowel movements[6,8] become regular in the morning and thus relieve my hemorrhoid symptoms.

As discussed in [4], vegetables and fruits contain lots of minerals (i.e, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Cobalt and Copper). So, they are alkalizing foods. Ideally, human blood pH should be slightly alkaline, at about 7.35 to 7.45.  Morning smoothie can help bring your blood pH to that healthy range.

However, as most vegetarians can testify, most of them yearn for sweets in the afternoon. As shown in [4], sugar, flour and grains are acid-forming foods. So, that's one of our body's mechanisms to keep the acid-alkaline balance by taking some acid-forming foods after taking some alkalizing foods.

After my morning smoothie routine, I have found that I feel hungry regularly around 11:30 am. This has prepared me for a full meal at noon time.  As centenarian Frances shared her health tips with us at age 101[5]. One of her secrets is that she eats her heavier protein-based meal for lunch and enjoys a light chicken soup and fresh bread in the evening.

This health tip is really important—our body produces the most digestive juice around noon time. Therefore, our biggest daily meal should be the lunch. Because your morning smoothie, you have emptied your bowels and raised your blood pH higher (i.e. more alkaline). This has prepared you for a heavier protein-based meal which provides you more acid-forming ingredients.


Avoid a Heavy Dinner


After my morning smoothie and heavy protein-based lunch, I often feel hungry again around 3 pm. This is the time that I enjoy whole fruits, nuts, and occasional sweets. As a surprised side effect, I have found that I don't yearn for my dinner anymore. As centenarian Frances do, I just take a light dinner in the evening. This has made my family members wonder why I don't eat much in the evening. They have described that I have become god (成仙了? 不吃不喝的) because I don't seem to eat anything in the evening.

Eating at the appropriate times throughout the day will help to maximize satisfaction and keep hunger at bay. To nurture healthy eating habits, following my example, start your morning with fruit-and-veggie smoothies. This will help your body go through the following cleansing cycles daily:
  • Detoxification
    • Nutrients absorption -> Body Repair and detoxification[11-12] -> Body wastes Elimination 
  • Blood acid-alkaline balance
    • More alkalizing foods -> More acid-forming foods -> Healthy acid-alkaline balance
Know when and how we eat can make a huge difference[9,10]. In this daily routine, I have also lost weight around 20 pounds.  Here I have shared with you my 8 year's personal experience. At my physical examine of this year (i.e., 2013), I can proudly tell you that all my bio-markers are in the healthy range.  Cheers!

References

  1. When You Heat Natural Plant-Based Foods You Can Get Cancer-Causing Acrylamide
  2. Raw Foods and Healthy Living (Travel and Health)
  3. "Juiceman's Power of Juicing" by Jay Kordich
  4. Acid-Alkaline Balance (Travel and Health)
  5. Health Tips From People Who've Lived 100-plus Years
  6. Constipation and Its Remedies
  7. What Does It Take to Clean Fresh Food? (NPR)
  8. HOW TO CLEAN OUT THE COLON NATURALLY WITH FOOD (LiveStrong.com)
  9. Eat less live longer (Travel and Health)
  10. The Best Times to Eat for Weight Loss
  11. Sleep helps 'detox' your brain
    • The glymphatic system clears away toxins or waste products that could be responsible for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.
    • In this study, the team conducted a series of new experiments on mice and found that the glymphatic system is nearly 10 times more active during sleep. 
  12. Is carbonyl detoxification an important anti-aging process during sleep?
  13. What Is the Metabolic Syndrome?
  14. Could You Have Type 2 Diabetes?
  15. Four Important Cleaning Tasks In Your Morning Routine (Travel to Health)