High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You!

A common additive used in a wide range of commercially available processed foods such as soft drinks, salad dressings, cookies and cakes, breads and breakfast cereals has been poisoning people for several decades now. In fact, research studies have shown that it causes metabolic syndrome which in turn contributes a great deal to an increase in body weight and incidence of degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and fatty liver. This additive is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

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Sucrose, or regular table sugar, consists of 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose, whereas HFCS can contain up to 90 percent fructose, almost twice the fructose of common table sugar. In terms of calories, both HFCS and table sugar provide 4 calories per gram, but the issue is the metabolism of excessive amounts of fructose.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup History

In the ninth century, the Japanese invented a sweetener derived from starches. This syrup is being used even today as “traditional sweetener.” In the 17th century, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf, a German chemist, discovered another starch-based sweetener called glucose.

During the times of Napoleonic wars, blockades on sugarcane imports from the West Indies encouraged laboratories to work on development of alternative sweeteners. Dextose or D-glucose was developed in 1801, and in 1811 a Russian scientist created glucose by overcooking potato starch in sulfuric acid.

No further progress was made till the 1950s when the Japanese invented the HFCS. In America, cane sugar continued to be used as the sweetener of choice until the 1970s prior to the introduction of the less expensive sweeteners such as maltodextrin and HFCS that were derived from corn. HFCS was introduced to the food industry after the developmental process was perfected.

Why is HFCS so popular with the food industry?

First and foremost, its sweetness is comparable to that of table sugar. Secondly, it maintains the quality of condiments and drinks for a longer period. Third, it provides a soft, moist texture to baked food such as snack bars and cookies by retaining moisture and resisting crystallization after baking. It is HFCS that gives baked foods flavor and superior browning quality. The sugars present in HFCS get fermented quickly and easily, making it possible to produce sweeter bread. Fourth, it is much cheaper compared to table sugar. Lastly, it is easily added to just about anything. It is generally produced in a liquid form making its incorporation into food and drink products a very simple task for automated equipment that is so common in food production today.

Health Effects of HFCS

The statistics released by the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. show that the average consumption of HFCS has increased from 0.5 pounds per person per year to 60 pounds per person per year over the past four decades.

During the same period, there has been a threefold increase in obesity rates and a seven fold increase in the incidence of diabetes. HFCS may not be singularly responsible for this, but its effect cannot be ignored.

A number of short-term clinical studies have shown that ingesting sweetened beverages is not good for health. Results of one study showed that people gained weight and experienced an increase in blood pressure and inflammatory markers. In another study, scientists observed an increase in visceral fat and triglyceride levels and stimulation of lipogenesis (producing more fat). In yet another trial wherein the effects of water, milk, diet cola and sugar-sweetened cola were compared, the results showed that sugar-sweetened beverage contributed to an increase in liver and visceral fat and elevated triglyceride levels when consumed for 6 months at the rate of just 16 ounce per day (i.e about one soda).

Fructose also increases gut permeability allowing potent bacterial toxins out of the gut and into surrounding immune tissue. This generates an inflammatory response. If this response continues for long periods of time, systemic levels of inflammation begin to rise increasing the risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis and more. And most studies have shown it only takes the fructose present in one soda to produce these adverse effects.

You may use sugar in any form, but it definitely causes obesity as well as other diseases when consumed in pharmacologic doses. HFCS is often a marker of nutrient-deficient, poor quality and disease-causing industrial food products. It should be severely limited in your diet.

Corn Industry’s Marketing Push

The corn processing industry thrives on doubt and confusion. The Corn Refiners Association skillfully uses the print and television media for massive advertising campaigns in order to dispel the fear among people. The industry also asserts through medical doctors’ as well as nutrition experts’ opinion that HFCS is same as cane sugar and it is a “natural” product if used in moderation. They do this for nothing but commercial benefit though they themselves are aware that this is not true. No independent medical or nutrition experts recommend the consumption of HFCS. My experience lecturing at the 2012 Food and Nutrition Convention and Expo was enlightening. The Corn Refiners Association sponsored lecture after lecture on HFCS and how it was not the villain it was made out to be. In fact, they asserted it could be consumed as part of a healthy diet. They also skillfully shifted the focus from HFCS to the epidemic of inactivity in the US, blaming it instead of processed food for the skyrocketing chronic disease rates in this country.

Do yourself a favor and avoid HFCS. While the corn and sugar industry continues to deceive, they are killing thousands of Americans to make a dollar. It rings eerily similar to Big Tobacco of the 50s and 60s. You don’t want to find out too late that money and corporate interest mislead you into believing it was safe when the research is clear now.

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5 Things You Aren’t Taking For Your Migraines (But Should Be)

Before you read any further, consider signing up for Dr. Vreeland’s FREE webinar scheduled for March 24th, 2015 at 7:30PM. It’s called ‘Stop Your Migraines Naturally!’ Learn all the keys to reducing your migraines naturally and effectively.

Register here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB55DC88874639

Migraine IIMigraine headaches can be debilitating. People who get them know this. Many of those who suffer also know treatment to prevent migraines can be ineffective. According to the statistics, more than 1 in 5 adults over the age of 18 will report having migraines (1). With that many people experiencing migraine headaches, it’s shocking to know that less than half of those with migraines are being treated effectively (2). Clearly, an alternative approach is necessary.

The symptoms of migraines can be completely life altering and include (3):

  • žIntense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head.
  • žHypersensitivity to light, sound, and smell.
  • žNausea
  • žA variety of autonomic, cognitive, emotional, and motor disturbances including sweating or cold hands, paresthesia, temporary paralysis (hemiparesis), dizziness, vomiting, aphasia, or confusion.

Headaches may last as long as 3 or more days, and many sufferers experience chronic migraines in which one migraine is followed by another, then another. This leads to an almost unending cycle of pain.

However, there is hope. And it’s not in the form of toxic medications that may you feel sleepy, foggy, dull, or not like yourself. They are natural and they work. Here are the 5 things you should be taking to reduce your migraines.

1. Butterbur

Butterbur (Petastis hybridus) is a perennial shrub that has lilac-pink flowers and can grow up to three feet high. It is found throughout Europe, as well as in parts of Asia and North AmericaButterbur has been used for hundreds of years to treat aches and pains, including headache. Butterbur appears to act by influencing the inflammation associated with migraine. In another study group daily consumption of Petasites extract at a dose of 75mg, twice per day was demonstrated to decrease the frequency of migraine attacks by 48%, compared to the placebo group (p = 0.00102) (4). In a separate study migraine frequency improved in greater than or equal to 50% of the Butterbur group, while improvement in the placebo group was only 15% (5).

It is very important to note Butterbur from differing manufacturers varies in the quantity of the targeted active phytochemical group called petasins. A high quality Butterbur will possess distinguishable quantities of the six different petasins, including 3-desoxy-neopetasol, isoperasin, neo-petasin, petasin, neo-S-petasin and S-petasin.

2. Feverfew:

(Tanacetum parthenium) Feverfew is a daisy-like perennial, herbaceous herb. The name feverfew is derived from the Latin word febrifugia, meaning “fever reducer,” and was traditionally used as an antipyretic. Its use is long and storied with the 17th Century English herbalist Culpeper writing of the effectiveness of this herb for headache and uterine disorders (6). Feverfew, in doses of 50-100mg daily, has been shown to be effective for migraine prevention, reduction of nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound (7-9).

3. Riboflavin:

Referred to as vitamin B2, or vitamin G, is a water-soluble B-vitamin. It is heavily involved in the energy production pathways in the brain. This is, perhaps, the mechanism by which taking high dose riboflavin works to reduce migraine headaches. By increasing the brain’s efficiency with respect to energy, it is better able to reduce or prevent neurons (cells in the brain) from becoming over excited. Migraines are thought to be caused by a hyper-excitable brain. Reducing this hyper-excitability is key for some in reducing migraine frequency and severity. Prophylactic treatment with riboflavin (400mg/day) was demonstrated to both reduce migraine attack frequency and to attenuate the use of abortive anti-migraine therapy (10).

4. CoQ10:

Similar to the above mechanisms with respect to energy management in the brain, taking CoQ10 may assist in managing brain hyper-excitabilty. As a component of the electron transport chain, CoQ10 participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy as ATP, and thus functions as a necessary component in cellular energy production. Ninety-five percent of the body’s energy is produced in this manner. In addition to CoQ10’s assistance in cellular energy production, it also functions as an antioxidant. CoQ10 has been proposed as a prophylactic for migraines, especially in children and women of childbearing age (11). In an open label investigation (non-blinded) one study demonstrated that CoQ10 at a dose of 150mg/day was effective as a migraine preventive (12).

5. Polyphenolic-like Compounds:

Say what? Exactly. All you need to know here is these compounds are antioxidants that prevent damage to many tissues in your body. We get them from many places including fruits, vegetables, spices, and others. Migraines as well as headache duration has been correlated to oxidative/antioxidative parameters, thus antioxidants are thought to be beneficial in migraines. Accordingly, “the hypothesis of oxidative stress in migraine is supported by various studies.”(13-16). Nutritional compounds, specifically antioxidant compounds like polyphenolic-like compounds, may assist in mitigating the effects that this stress may play in migraine pathology.

So, now what? Where do you get these wonderfully natural compounds to prevent your headaches? Dr. Vreeland has designed a comprehensive migraine support formula called MygranX. While the above ingredients may all be widely available, no one has combined them into one effective product until now. In conjunction with Biotics Research Corporation, Dr. Vreeland has designed and tested MygranX. It is exceptionally effective. Biotics Research has found the most potent and effective raw ingredients possible when making MygranX. Some patients report up to a 90% reduction in their migraines! Almost all patients who take MygranX have achieved some form of relief. It is very easy to take. Just 1 capsule in the morning and evening is effective for most.

MygranX

MygranX

MygranX is available only through healthcare professionals. You will need to contact your functional medicine specialist to gain access to MygranX. You may also contact Dr. Vreeland at the Vreeland Clinic.

References:

  1. Headache. 2013 Mar;53(3):427-36
  2. N Engl J Med 2002, 346:257-270.
  3. Pain. 2013 Jul 25. pii: S0304-3959(13)00389-8
  4. Neurology. December 28, 2004 63(12): 2240-2244.
  5. Eur Neurol. 2004 51:89–97.
  6. http://loadbalanced.naturalstandard.com/index-abstract.asp?create-abstract=feverfew.asp&title=Feverfew.
  7. Cephalalgia 2002;22:523-32.
  8. Cephalalgia 2005;25:1031-41.
  9. Neurology. 2012 Apr 24;78(17):1346-53.
  10. European Journal of Neurology. 2004 11:475–477.
  11. Neurology. 2005 64:713–715.
  12. Cephalalgia. 2002 Mar;22(2):137-41.
  13. Cephalalgia. 2004 24:37-43.
  14. Cephalalgia. 1997 17:580-584.
  15. Cephalalgia. 1994 14:215-218.
  16. Cephalalgia. 2003 23:39-42.

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8 Pictures That Perfectly Describe Leaky Gut (and how to fix it)!

Our gut has many functions. Changes in the balance of bacteria, leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth and other factors may affect how your GI system works. This may have systemic consequences.

Our gut has many functions. Changes in the balance of bacteria, leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth and other factors may affect how your GI system works. This may have systemic consequences.

Increasingly, chronic disease is being seen as stemming from altered gut function. Follow the arrows to see what the risks for chronic disease are. All of the factors that increase chronic disease risk adversely affect gut function too.

Increasingly, chronic disease is being seen as stemming from altered gut function. Follow the arrows to see what the risks for chronic disease are. All of the factors that increase chronic disease risk adversely affect gut function too.

The bacteria in our gut is EXTREMELY important and there is lots of it. If it becomes unbalanced, all symbiotic functions are lost.

The bacteria in our gut is EXTREMELY important and there is lots of it. If it becomes unbalanced, all symbiotic functions are lost.

These disease have all been linked to changes in the balance of bacteria in the gut

These disease have all been linked to changes in the balance of bacteria in the gut

The gut forms an important barrier between what's inside the intestines and what gets absorbed. Those blue structures highlighted by the orange arrows are tight junctions. They hold the cells together do nothing can squeeze between them and pass into the local blood supply unchecked. This is a very important function.

The gut forms an important barrier between what’s inside the intestines and what gets absorbed. Those blue structures highlighted by the orange arrows are tight junctions. They hold the cells together do nothing can squeeze between them and pass into the local blood supply unchecked. This is a very important function.

All of these factors can lead to breakdown of the tight junctions and leaky gut. NSAIDs are pain relievers like Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc. SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

All of these factors can lead to breakdown of the tight junctions and leaky gut. NSAIDs are pain relievers like Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc. SIBO is an acronym for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Additionally, low exercise levels is a stressor under the category of physical stress. 

LPS are toxic structures located on the surface of the bacteria in the gut. When bacteria die, they are free to potentially enter our bloodstream. This would happen through a leaky gut. If this occurs your body's response is inflammatory. This inflammation alters your energy levels, your mood, and eventually increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases.

LPS are toxic structures located on the surface of the bacteria in the gut. When bacteria die, they are free to potentially enter our bloodstream. This would happen through a leaky gut. If this occurs your body’s response is inflammatory. This inflammation alters your energy levels, your mood, and eventually increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases.

Start in the upper left corner of the diagram and follow the arrows to see how a leaky gut leads to disease.

Start in the upper left corner of the diagram and follow the arrows to see how a leaky gut leads to disease.

Fixing the problem – follow these steps to fix your leaky gut

  1. Get advanced stool testing done to properly evaluate your GI health.
  2. Eat a paleo-inspired diet full of vegetables, healthy proteins, and healthy fats.
  3. Avoid food sensitivities.
  4. Consume fermented foods regularly.
  5. Supplement according to your needs. This might include nutrient repletion, probiotics, whey protein, anti-inflammatory herbs like curcumin, or fish oil.
  6. Exercise vigorously 3-4 times per week.
  7. Eliminate artificial sweeteners, do not overuse NSAIDs, antibiotics, or alcohol, manage your stress, and manage your stress.

If you do all of that, your can heal your leaky gut and feel better than you ever thought you could!

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A new take on artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are supposed to be good for you. Go ahead, ask your doctor or a dietitian. They’ll tell you they are a great way to get your sweet fix without any consequences. When compared to full sugar soda they’re supposed lower your caloric intake, they reduce your risk of being overweight, they reduce your risk of diabetes, they reduce your risk of heart disease and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, that’s not what the recent research is showing.

Non-caloric artificial sweeteners are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. They were introduced over a century ago as means for providing sweet taste to foods without the associated high energy content of caloric sugars, yet supporting scientific data on safety and efficacy remain sparse and controversial. While some data has shown they boost blood sugar very little, other evidence has linked them to type 2 diabetes and weight gain. These are the conditions they were created to prevent. The question then is how do artificial sweeteners create physiologic change capable of making us unhealthy? A new study is providing some input.

Most artificial sweeteners pass through the human gastrointestinal tract without being digested by the person consuming them, thus directly encountering the intestinal microbiota (bacteria), which plays central roles in regulating multiple physiological processes. These artificial sweeteners alter the balance of the bacteria present in our gastrointestinal tract, thus adversely affecting many of these important processes.

This new study titled Artificial Sweeteners Induce Glucose Intolerance by Altering the Gut Microbiota, has demonstrated that consumption of commonly used artificial sweeteners drives the development of glucose intolerance (high blood sugar) through changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Further, the use of antibiotics eliminates these effects. This confirms the bacteria play a central role in the metabolic changes. Now, I’m not saying we should all be on antibiotics. This study used antibiotics to confirm the theory that artificial sweeteners adversely affects physiology through changes in the intestinal microbiome. This is not a viable option in real life as this can have severe consequences long term.

The exact mechanism through which these adverse physiologic changes occur is not completely understood, but it appears to be related to a change in the composition certain types of bacteria. It creates a problem known as dysbiosis (unbalanced growth of bacteria). This dysbiosis results in the same bacterial profile known to be associated with diabetes, obesity, and over-extraction of calories from food.

So, artificial sweeteners create the same problem they are intended to prevent? Yes. So what do you drink, you say? Water. Water is the perfect hydrating liquid. If you are very physically active, a rehydrating drink with electrolytes and some carbohydrate replacement is fine during an intense workout. If you want to have something sweet, have a real soda. But do it only VERY infrequently!

Want to know more? Sign up for our FREE WEBINAR called “Chronic Disease Hates Your Guts!” November 11th at 7PM. We’ll discuss the importance of a healthy gastrointestinal systems as it relates to the most common complaints in medical practice. You don’t want to miss this!

Register here: 

http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB50D98687463D

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Depression – not just a disorder of the mind

Robin-Williams-robin-williams-32089778-2798-2798

The Robin Williams tragedy has highlighted depression and the terrible consequences it can have. It has also highlighted that most with depression are improperly treated. Only 30% achieve remission with one treatment, and only 70% with 4 cumulative treatments. Clearly there is need for better treatments. But what if the treatments just aren’t that effective? Perhaps medicine is treating the wrong thing? Recent study has shown an enormous publication bias when it comes to the efficacy of antidepressants. Studies that show positive outcomes are much more likely to be published and even studies that aren’t positive are, in the author’s opinion, are published in a way that make them appear positive. Imagine the effect that might have on the prescription habits of doctors. Again, a new, more comprehensive approach is necessary.

More and more information is linking depression with inflammation. This inflammatory load causes changes in neurotransmission leading to depression in susceptible individuals. Inevitably, some are going to experience mood so low they see suicide as the only way out. A big piece of the depression-inflammatory link is gastrointestinal health. Yes, your gut and your brain are connected and it can affect you mood. Here is a summary of how it occurs.

Bacterial load in the gut is immense. There are more bacterial cells in your gut than there are cells in the rest of your body. This collective load of bacteria can be considered an inner organ. Just as disruptions in the function of other organs in your body can affect brain function, disruptions of this “organ” can affect your mood. The balance of the bacteria is key. A shift that allows overgrowth can cause many symptoms. Some of them may be gastrointestinal, some of them dermatological, some of them might cause fatigue, some might cause mood change. And here’s how.

There is a toxin on the surface of many of the bacteria in our gut. It’s called lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS should stay in the gut where it belongs. However, when it gets out of the gut it causes a potent immune response. This immune response is inflammatory. Over time, inflammatory load builds and builds to a point where it begins to cause systemic levels of inflammation to rise. Once this has happened, this inflammation begins to break down the blood brain barrier (BBB). The BBB is critical for keeping our brain in an isolated and controlled environment. With its breakdown, inflammatory chemicals circulating in the blood stream gain access to the brain and can begin to alter neurotransmitter levels, including serotonin. Eventually, these changes in neurotransmission result in altered synaptic plasticity and, literally, alters the way your brain is wired. This is reversible and can be improved, but only if the right treatments are applied. For many, the right treatment is not  antidepressant medication. Unfortunately, they don’t know the above information either and they’re left to suffer. A new paradigm is starting to unfold in mental health – one that addresses overall health of the individual to get results rather than simply altering neurotransmitters with drugs that, arguably, don’t work. 

Here are some good references for the information above if you’re a glutton for punishment :)

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

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The Knock On Niacin – Big Pharma At It Again

Two new reports recently came out that said niacin, vitamin B3, is not effective for the prevention of heart disease or stroke. And, in fact, it might be dangerous. The studies also concluded that it might be so dangerous is shouldn’t be recommended at all. This is not an uncommon response when nutrients are studied, especially ones that reduce the market share for billion dollar statin medications.

Two studies recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that while niacin does reduce triglycerides, raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, it did not reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Big PharmaI have several problems with the new information that’s been plastered all over the media recently about the recent studies:

Problem #1:

While two studies were performed, the largest of the two was funded by Merck Pharmaceuticals. It had over 25,000 participants while the other study, funded by the NIH, had just over 3,000 people. Merck clearly has an interest in driving down the sales of niacin as it would likely increase the sales of their cholesterol lowering drugs Zocor and Zetia. As an added note, niacin sales have tripled since 2002. Wouldn’t it be a perfect time to get a study that shows it’s dangerous or ineffective?

Problem #2:

These published trials do not reflect the clinical experience of doctors around the country who’ve been recommending niacin for decades. Research and a doctor’s clinical observations are often different. Which one do you believe?

Problem #3:

These trials focused on high-risk patients, almost all of whom were already taking statins and had low LDL levels. Would you see more benefit in clinical trials if these patients had different lipid profiles, or in those who did not already have heart disease? The populations they studied were already being treated intensively. It’s unlikely they were going to benefit by just one more treatment (niacin in this case).  As a matter of fact, in the Merck funded study they clearly state they cannot say whether niacin might be beneficial for patients at even higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke or those with higher LDL levels.

Problem #4:

Statins are particularly ineffective with potentially serious side effects, yet we don’t see reports on the news telling us to stay away from them. This is likely the powerful pull Big Pharma has on media and medicine. A full 98% of people who take statins see no benefit. Zero percent avoid death by taking a statin and only 1.6% avoid a survivable heart attack, and 0.4% are helped by preventing a stroke. Compare that to the side effects where 2% develop diabetes and 10% develop muscle damage as a result of taking that statin and the numbers don’t add up.

I think the real lesson of these studies (both on niacin and ones published on statins) is that inflammation, not necessarily the cholesterol itself, is the problem. If you address those factors, you will live a long, cardiovascular disease-free life.

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Health Doesn’t Come In A Pill

PillsWe live in an instant gratification society. It permeates every aspect of our lives. From the way we consume our news with 24 hours news networks or online surfing, to the way we gossip with Facebook, our desire for things to be done now(!) is staggering.

The same applies to our health. We want results, and we want it yesterday. The problem? There is no quick fix for anything in terms of your health. We’ve become accustomed to seeing the ads on TV that promise results with just one simple pill per day. We’re so accustomed to it, we’re starting to believe it. Heck, some people believe it so much, they demand it! Unfortunately, health doesn’t come in a pill.

But my doctor promises me that if I take my high blood pressure medication, my statin, and my baby aspirin just once per day, I’ll live a long, healthy life!

Yes, yes. That is a comforting thought isn’t it? The problem is it isn’t true. Check out this information:

Statins: For those who took statins for at least 5 years with no history of heart disease:*

  • 98% saw no benefit
  • 0% were helped by being saved from death
  • 1.6% were helped by preventing a heart attack
  • 0.4% were helped by preventing a stroke
  • 2% were harmed by developing diabetes
  • 10% were harmed by muscle damage

Aspirin: For those who took it daily for a year with no history of heart disease:*

  • 99.94% saw no benefit
  • 0% were helped by avoiding death
  • 0.05% were helped by preventing a non-fatal heart attack
  • 0.01% were helped by preventing a non-fatal stroke
  • 0.03% were harmed by developing a major bleeding event

Blood Pressure Medications: For those who took them for mild hypertension:*

  • 100% saw no benefit
  • 9% were harmed by medication side effects and stopped the drug

(*Statistics gathered from www.thennt.com)

Isn’t it amazing that you’re more likely to be harmed by these medications than you are to be helped? So, given that these drugs are so popular and prescribed so widely, why don’t they work? Health doesn’t come in a pill. Our medical model is flawed and flawed greatly. There are too many factors to assume one can take a pill and live longer or healthier. And most medical doctors receive very little, if any, training in nutrition.

You must fuel your body properly. This means a healthy diet and exercise. Those things work. Those things take time and effort. Obviously, time and effort don’t fit with our current lifestyle of “I want it now.” We need to change our lifestyle.

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