It’s a controversial topic in the culinary world today — the perception some have that soy is a health food. Soybeans in the pod, you may know, look a little like short, puffy, green peas with peach fuzz on the outside. Representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced a boomerang-like decision on how soy protein should be viewed from now on. In fact, the agency is proposing to revoke its long-held stance that soy protein can lower your heart disease risk. The current claim, which you may have seen on various food packages, reads: “25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Many health advocates claim soy must be good for you because Asian people — arguably one of the healthiest populations on the planet — have eaten it a lot, and have some of the lowest rates of heart disease, cancer and dementia worldwide, so, it appears, the rest of the world should eat soy protein products, too. However, the type of soy traditionally consumed by Asian people differs from that being heavily marketed in the U.S. Soy rose seemingly from nowhere into the American consciousness in the late 20th century. In 1999, the FDA allowed food producers to claim that soy protein was heart healthy, but continuing research has convinced government officials to take a closer look. Incidentally, there are 12 health claims sanctioned by the FDA for packaged foods, including the continued (and false) insistence that saturated fat is the culprit behind heart disease.
A group of independent medical academics challenged a BMJ (British Medical Journal) 20 year follow-up study that claimed favorable results among those using statins as a preventative measure. It was known as the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS), and it was the first trial to demonstrate a significant reduction in cardiovascular events with statin therapy for primary prevention. The critical report challenging the BMJ’s statin-promotion based on the WOSCOPS study was published recently, October of 2017. The challenging trio of medical scientists, led by independent researcher Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD, author of The Cholesterol Myth and Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You, parsed and picked at the study to show it is flawed. They concluded: "The study has serious bias. Many patients stop taking statins. In a study of over 140 000 elderly people, two thirds of those with cardiovascular disease (and even more of those without) had stopped treatment after two years. The question is, therefore, whether the mortality benefit among those with the highest LDL cholesterol is due to statin treatment or to their high LDL cholesterol. The question is relevant because a recent systematic review of 19 cohort studies including 68 094 elderly people (≥60 years) followed for several years found an inverse association between all cause mortality and LDL cholesterol in 92% of participants. In the largest study those with the highest LDL cholesterol lived longer than those taking statins."
Hippocrates, the ancient Greek doctor, is often quoted as saying, "All disease begins in the gut." This includes many diseases not currently associated (by modern medical practitioners) with gastrointestinal (GI) tract issues, although there is a small contingent of progressive practitioners who are recognizing this phenomenon. Dysbiosis is the imbalance of intestinal gut flora or gut microbiome (the symbiotic bacteria occurring naturally in the intestines) that seems to be the foundation of gut diseases: Crohn’s disease, IBD (irritable bowel disease), and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). There has been a steady increase of various gastrointestinal (GI) tract diseases and disorders occurring throughout the U.S. over the past few decades. The popular scapegoat for the rise in GI tract disease is grains, specifically gluten, but much of that blame is misplaced. In this article we will look at common causes of gut dysbiosis, and how one can prevent or even reverse leaky gut disorders.
Health Impact News has reported on many of the disease reversing results of the ketogenic (high fat-moderate protein-low carb) diet. Now, a new study is looking at the positive effects of gut bacteria among those following a ketogenic diet for epilepsy. Even though Johns Hopkins used a ketogenic diet for curing epilepsy over 80 years ago, when medical drugs did not help epilepsy effectively, mainstream medicine continues to rely on new and expensive toxic drugs for epileptic children. The “cocktail” combinations of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed often worsens childhood epilepsy. Health Impact News previously published a report on how a four year old child with refractory epilepsy (not treatable with pharmaceutical medications), was treated at the Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Clinic using a ketogenic diet. At first, the child was also kept on pharmaceuticals. The results were poor until he was taken off the medications; then he began healing completely. A new Chinese study on pediatric epileptic cases may even draw the attention of mainstream medical professionals, due to the results seen in children's gut microbiota structure when following a high-fat ketogenic diet.
It seems to coincide that when fraudulent medical or nutritional dogma promoted by mainstream medicine or government nutritional institutions starts getting exposed in the alternative media, they both double down with the aid of mainstream media, especially if the result of that exposure is lowered sales of statin drugs and processed non-fat foods. This is what is happening with both statin drugs and saturated fat disinformation. But now the empire is striking back. Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Steven Nissen writes: "We are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of our patients to websites developed by people with little or no scientiﬁc expertise, who often peddle ‘natural’ or ‘drug-free’ remedies for elevated cholesterol levels. This 'Internet-driven cult' denies statins’ benefits and whips up fears of side effects, then profits from the resulting confusion by peddling snake oil. The diversion of patients away from evidence-based therapy by advocates of unproven dietary supplements must be vigorously opposed by physician-scientists. Similarly, the claims that cult diets can reverse heart disease have no scientific basis and represent a danger to public health." Dr. Nissen’s viewpoint was also covered in a MedPage Today article titled “CardioBrief: Statin Denialism Is 'A Deadly Internet-Driven Cult,'" where Dr. James Stein (University of Wisconsin) supported Dr. Nissen’s editorial with more vitriol than even Dr. Nissen expressed, stating: "There is a special place in hell for people who use fear tactics and misinformation to promote books and natural health aids, including crazy diets, at the expense of proven medical therapies, rather than as complimentary options under medical direction. I am not sure why Americans are so susceptible to these charlatans."
A study published this month (September 2017) by researchers from the Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, at the University of Calabria in Rende, Italy, and from the Department of Health Sciences at the University Magna Graecia in Catanzaro, Italy, looked at the anti-cancer activity of lauric acid, the main fatty acid found in coconut oil. While coconut oil continues to get slandered in the U.S. by those with close ties to the pharmaceutical industry, research mainly outside the U.S. continues to show how healthy coconut oil can be, dispelling the common saturated-fat-is-bad myth still being promoted in the U.S. The study title is: "The lauric acid-activated signaling prompts apoptosis in cancer cells," and it was published in the journal "Cell Death Recovery." The study looked at the effects of lauric acid in both breast cancer and colon cancer: "The saturated medium-chain fatty-acid lauric acid (LA) has been associated to certain health-promoting benefits of coconut oil intake, including the improvement of the quality of life in breast cancer patients during chemotherapy. As it concerns the potential to hamper tumor growth, LA was shown to elicit inhibitory effects only in colon cancer cells. Here, we provide novel insights regarding the molecular mechanisms through which LA triggers antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in both breast and endometrial cancer cells." Coconut oil is nature's richest source of lauric acid, by far, comprising almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil. Human breast milk comes in a distant second at around 6% lauric acid. Lauric acid has a rich and long history of fighting pathogens, and has been a popular food preservative for many decades. Perhaps the most significant observation documented in this study was the ability of lauric acid to target cancer cells but not affect healthy cells, unlike most chemotherapy drugs: "Lauric Acid inhibited the viability of both cancer cell types without altering the growth of MCF-10A normal breast epithelial cells, thus suggesting its specific potential to trigger antiproliferative effects in malignant cells."
If you have been visiting Health Impact News, you may have noticed the notion that arterial inflammation is what’s behind heart disease, not cholesterol from saturated fats. A clinical human trial recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine in August of 2017 may tip a few more in the medical field into accepting the current awareness that inflammatory damage is a major cause of heart and cardiovascular disease, and cholesterol is trying to patch up the damage before the vessel begins to leak or rupture. Cholesterol is actually a vitally useful “waxy” compound for many parts of our bodies, especially the brain. Lowering cholesterol is misguided, and usually causes terrible side effects. Upon releasing the study and after its publication, the lead researcher Dr. Paul Ridker, MD, asserted: "These findings represent the end game of more than two decades of research, stemming from a critical observation: Half of heart attacks occur in people who do not have high cholesterol. For the first time, we’ve been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk."
A ketogenic diet — which is very low in net carbohydrates and high in healthy fats — is key for boosting mitochondrial function. Healthy fats also play an important role in maintaining your body's electrical system. When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats called ketones that burn far more efficiently than carbs, thereby creating fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and secondary free radicals. Ketones also decrease inflammation, improve glucose metabolism and aid the building of muscle mass. The benefits of a cyclical ketogenic diet are detailed in my latest bestselling book, "Fat for Fuel." While the book was peer-reviewed by over a dozen health experts and scientists, a new large-scale international study (known as the international Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology, or PURE, study) adds further weight to the premise that high intakes of healthy fats — especially saturated fats — boost health and longevity.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined medically as macrovesicular steatosis, or abnormal retention of lipids (fats) sufficient and large enough to distort or replace the nuclei of liver cells among those who consume less than 20 grams (.7 ounces) of alcohol per day. NAFLD, unknown prior to 1980, has become our largest liver health issue nationally and throughout most industrialized nations. Fatty liver disease affects metabolism and usually manifests as obesity and insulin resistance, which are direct co-factors for type 2 diabetes. It can also progress to inflammation of the liver, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), leading to cirrhosis. Ironically, a saturated fat (virgin coconut oil) may prove to be the safest and most effective treatment for NAFLD according to a study published recently (September 2017) in the Journal of the Science and Agriculture of Food. The study, “Virgin coconut oil reverses hepatic steatosis by restoring redox homeostasis and lipid metabolism in male Wistar rats,” noted in its background statement that more nutraceutical offerings are being sought for reversing fatty liver disease. The researchers also noted that earlier studies had demonstrated virgin coconut oil could help prevent NAFLD. This new study intended to see if virgin coconut oil could also reverse existing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Whenever parasites are mentioned it is usually considered a third world or developing nation issue. Phrases such as “lovely place, nice people, but don’t drink the water” are common jokes that have some basis in truth. Although our culture is programmed to think all illnesses are derived from viruses and some bacteria, the USA also has its share of parasite issues. The CDC openly admits this in a May 2017 report on its website: "Outbreaks of a parasitic infection linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds are increasingly being reported to CDC, with twice as many outbreaks in 2016 as in 2014." Notice the word "outbreaks" is used, not "cases." The outbreaks recorded from a few states with using a recently installed tracking system involved hundreds of cases reported, overflowing into the thousands range. This specific parasite invasion was from the microscopic Cryptosporidium, aka Crypto, which has a capacity for surviving prescribed pool chlorine content requirements. The chlorine levels in municipal tap water can’t handle this parasite either. There was a neti-pot scare a few years ago when a few folks died from a brain eating amoeba after using their neti-pot with tap water or swimming in fresh water lakes of ponds during summer months. So maybe it’s time to focus a bit more on parasites instead of viruses that sometimes don’t really exist and are usually more difficult to spread than parasites?