Saturday, May 6, 2017

Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome

Reposted from Life Extension

By Michael Downey
An estimated 20 million Americans or more suffer from dry eye syndrome.
This condition occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough quality tears. It’s one of the most common eye conditions seen by physicians.1
Dry eye symptoms include burning, stinging, grittiness, tearing, foreign body sensation, ocular fatigue, and dryness. Dry eye syndrome significantly affects quality of life.1,2
Mainstream solutions for dry eyes are limited. Over-the-counter eye drops, or “artificial tears,” provide only short-term relief.3
Restasis®, a prescription drug approved by the FDA specifically for dry eye syndrome, can cause side effects such as burning, itching, stinging, redness, and blurred vision—the very dry eye symptoms you’re trying to eliminate!4
Japanese scientists have found a better alternative. Maqui berry extract is an oral supplement that safely combats dry eyes by boosting the body’s tear production.5,6 As a result, this berry extract can deliver rapid and long-lasting relief for dry, irritated eyes, while also helping to protect the eyes from long-term damage.
Clinical research demonstrates that a single oral capsule daily relieves dry eye syndrome within 30 days and provides lasting relief—without risky prescription-drug eye-drops’ side-effects.6

Dry Eye Health Risks

Dry Eye Health Risks  
Tears are absolutely essential for protecting the cornea, the front surface of the eye. In addition to providing lubrication, tears help protect the eyes from infection, wash away foreign matter, and deliver critical nutrients. Because the cornea contains no blood vessels, it relies on the aqueous humor (fluid behind the cornea) and an adequate flow of high-quality tears for delivery of nutrients and infection-fighters.7,8
Tears are important to lubricate and nourish the eye, but when these are of poor quality or not produced in sufficient amounts, it leads to a condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or simply dry eye syndrome.2
Insufficient lubrication of the cornea has two critical consequences: discomfort now and eye damage later.
Today, the stinging, itching, inflammation, light-sensitivity, distraction, and difficulty focusing can reduce quality of life. Studies show that eye irritation can become so disturbing that it can even lower scores on standard mental-health scales.9,10
But over time, what started off as a mild irritation can turn into vision impairment. That’s because tears carry antimicrobial defenses that help prevent eye infections. Reduced production or increased evaporation can result in damage to the cornea and the conjunctiva, which is the layer that lines the eyeball and inner surfaces of the lids.1 Scratches and other injuries to the cornea don’t heal well in the presence of dry eye.11 When the cornea becomes damaged, it can ultimately impair vision.7

Increased Prevalence of Dry Eye

The prevalence of dry eye syndrome has been rising both in the US and worldwide, especially among women.1,6,12
This is associated with a variety of risk factors including aging, computers, flat-screen displays, smart phones, contact lenses, vision-correcting and cataract surgeries, and stresses, including stress from ultraviolet exposure.1,13-18

Quality—Not Just Quantity—of Tears

Dry eye syndrome has a number of potential causes.
People with dry eyes generally don’t produce enough tears, their tears evaporate too quickly, or, most critically, they have a low quality of tear film.
Tear film contains three layers—oil, water, and mucous.3 The health of the cornea and conjunctiva require all three layers to be of good quality.
The minute quantity of tears produced daily—normally ranging from under 1 mL to just over 3 mL per eye6—needs to lubricate, nourish, and protect the comparatively large surface area of the eye. If the water element (the middle layer) evaporates too rapidly, the remaining tear fluid becomes excessively concentrated,19-21 which in turn impairs many of the tear film’s critical functions.
In addition, having insufficient tears causes inflammation, which then lowers tear production even further, creating a vicious cycle.19
Two of the most common characteristics of dry eye syndrome are the inadequacy of the water layer of tears produced by the lacrimal glands and insufficient oil production from the meibomian glands.22
It’s no wonder artificial tears fall short when it comes to treating dry eye: they can’t replicate the complex structure of real tears.
That’s what makes research into the effects of maqui berry extract on tear production so exciting. Maqui berry extract safely and quickly boosts the body’s own tear production. As a result, it delivers fast, long-lasting relief for dry, irritated eyes—while also helping to protect the eyes from long-term damage.6
The Three Layers of Lubricating Tear Film
  • The outermost or surface layer of tear film is the oil layer and is produced by glands on the edge of your eyelids called the meibomian glands. It prevents overly rapid tear evaporation.26,27
  • The middle layer is the water layer and is produced by the lacrimal glands. It is an essential component of tear film.28
  • The innermost or bottom layer, directly over the cornea, is the mucin layer. It provides lubrication and protection to the cornea.29

Maqui Berry Extract Protects Eyes and Promotes Tears

Japanese scientists were the first to discover the effects of a standardized extract of maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis).
Maqui is native to a few regions of Chile and southern Argentina,23,24 and contains compounds that help prevent low-grade injury to the lacrimal glands, enhancing their ability to make tears.5 These compounds are called delphinidins, and they fall into the anthocyanin family of plant extracts that are known to fight oxidative damage.
Delphinidins provide two potent eye-protecting activities. First, they shield the eye structures from the constant exposure to reactive oxygen species. Second, they inhibit damage from light stimulation to the eye’s delicate tissues, such as the photoreceptor cells.25
Animal research has also found that delphinidins in maqui berries can restore tear production by the lacrimal glands.5 For this study, scientists created a rat model of dry eye by suppressing the animals’ blink reflex in order to allow excessive evaporation from the eye surface. One group of rats was pretreated with maqui berry extract, while the other served as the control.
In the end, pretreatment with maqui berry extract significantly prevented the loss of tears that was observed in the control group. Despite the suppressed blink reflex, the animals pretreated with maqui berry extract retained clear eyes with no new corneal damage throughout the study. Untreated controls experienced considerable corneal damage from the extended dry-eye periods.5
What You Need to Know
Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome

Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Dry eye syndrome—increasingly common and driven by numerous factors in modern life—causes more than discomfort and over time, it can expose the eye to serious damage.
  • Too little production of either the watery layer, or the oily layer, of tear film results in too-rapid evaporation of tears.
  • Scientists have discovered that a single oral capsule of maqui berry extract taken daily boosts natural, high-quality tear production within 30 days, providing lasting relief and eye protection.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to support the tear-production benefits of maqui berry extract by slowing tear evaporation from the eyes.
  • Taken together, these two nutrients address two of the key underlying characteristics of dry eye syndrome.

Maqui Berry Validated in Human Studies

Next, scientists designed a study to determine whether maqui berry extract could enhance tear production and improve eye comfort in humans suffering from dry eyes.6
They selected 13 healthy volunteers with moderately dry eyes, according to Schirmer’s test—which is a way to assess the amount of fluid produced by the tear glands and whether it is sufficient to keep the eyes moist.30 All participants took either 30 or 60 mg of maqui berry extract daily.6
After 30 days, both doses resulted in an approximately 50% improvement in tear production.
After 60 days, the 60 mg dose proved compellingly more effective for long-term use, delivering a sustained 45% improvement in tear production—while tear production in the 30 mg dose fell around halfway back toward baseline levels.6
This clarified that 60 mg of maqui berry extract daily can help reverse dry eye conditions, which are associated with burning, eye fatigue, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and other symptoms.6
Surprising Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
In 2016, scientists found that dry eye symptoms are greater in diabetics.31
Another recent study showed that pregnancy can reduce tear production.32
In 2016, BMJ Open published research demonstrating that higher blood levels of mercury were significantly associated with dry eye symptoms.33
Over 85% of HIV patients were found to have dry eye symptoms in another 2016 study, which also named radiation, infection, and smoking as potential causes.34
Other identified causes of dry eye symptoms include birth control pills, menopause, breastfeeding, antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics and blood pressure drugs, decongestants, antianxiety agents, Bell’s palsy, thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, and Sj√∂gren’s syndrome.35
Regardless of the cause, recent studies have discovered that maqui berry extracts and omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent and reverse dry eyes by helping the body naturally maintain both the quantity—and quality—of tears.

Quality-of-Life Improvements

Using the same subjects, the study team conducted quality-of-life measurements.
All patients completed the standard Dry Eye-Related Quality of Life Score (DEQS) test. This is a reliable questionnaire that consists of 15 items related to the influence of dry-eye syndrome on daily life, including its mental aspect. The overall degree of impairment to quality of life is calculated as a score—with a lower score indicating a greater quality of life.
Both dosing groups had a total composite score—eye and daily-life symptoms—of about 40 at the outset of the study. Scores for both groups fell quickly after treatment with maqui berry extract began. Patients taking 30 mg of maqui berry extract daily experienced a reduction (improvement) to a score of almost 22 (from a baseline of 40) in their scores after 30 days. However, their score didn’t drop much further by day 60.6
The score for patients taking 60 mg of maqui berry extract daily dropped to almost 27 after 30 days. In contrast to the lower (30 mg) dose group, the dry eye score of those taking 60 mg of maqui continued to fall after 60 days to an astoundingly low 11 points. This constitutes a 72% improvement in quality-of-life symptoms after just two months!6
This greater long-term improvement in quality of life for those taking 60 mg daily parallels the longer-lasting boost in tear production with the same dose in the same patients in the other part of the study.6
This study underscores maqui berry extract’s clear superiority to eye drops in improving tear fluid production, eye comfort, and quality of life.

Additional Support with Omega-3s

Recent evidence demonstrates that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids can also help improve dry eye symptoms. Different from maqui berry extracts, which increase the body’s production of tears, omega-3s help combat dry eyes by slowing tear evaporation from the eyes.
A 2016 study found that omega-3s—when taken for 12 weeks as part of a formula that also provided vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—reduced a wide range of dry eye symptoms including stinging, conjunctiva redness, scratchiness, blurred vision, and painful and tired eyes. The study author concluded that:
“Oral omega-3 fatty acids supplementation was an effective treatment for dry eye symptoms.”36
In another study on omega-3s by themselves, patients with dry eye syndrome took 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (325 mg EPA and 175 mg DHA) twice a day for three months. Compared to a placebo, the supplemented patients demonstrated on average a nearly 20-fold increase in tear-film breakup time (the time it takes for tears to disperse) and a more than 4-fold improvement in symptom scores.37
Tear-film breakup time is critical because when it is less than the blinking rate, the eyes suffer intermittent but repeated periods of exposure, producing symptoms of dry eye syndrome and—in addition to the discomfort—potentially injuring the eye.1,37,38
A third study confirmed that omega-3s improve tear-film breakup time and also enhance oily tear secretions, as measured by Schirmer’s test.39
These findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids support the meibomian glands, which produce the vital lipid layer of the tear film and prevent overly rapid tear evaporation. Omega-3s, therefore, appear to be the perfect complement to maqui berry extract, which supports enhanced production of the aqueous (watery) layer of the tear film.
Are Your Eyes Dangerously Dry?
Are Your Eyes Dangerously Dry?
The following is a list of possible symptoms that can be indicative of dry eye syndrome:40
  • Eye redness
  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • “Foreign body” sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • “Eyelid heaviness” sensation
  • Eye fatigue
  • Feeling of being distracted by eye dryness and fatigue
  • Difficulty reading, and,
  • Episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods.


Dry eye syndrome is an increasingly common condition that causes discomfort and reduced quality of life in the short-term and that can damage eye tissue in the long-term.
A sufficient amount of tears and a healthy quality of the tear film are essential for protecting the cornea from infection and delivering critical nutrients. Damage and inflammation caused by dry eyes leads to further tear reduction, creating a vicious cycle.
A natural, orally-administered extract of the maqui berry has been shown to soothe eyes from the inside out by stimulating healthy tear production and enhancing eye comfort. For additional support, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to help slow tear evaporation from the eye.
Together, these two nutrients help combat the key characteristics of dry eye syndrome.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


  1. Gayton JL. Etiology, prevalence, and treatment of dry eye disease. Clin Ophthalmol. 2009;3:405-12.
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  3. Moon SW, Hwang JH, Chung SH, et al. The impact of artificial tears containing hydroxypropyl guar on mucous layer. Cornea. 2010;29(12):1430-5.
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  5. Nakamura S, Tanaka J, Imada T, et al. Delphinidin 3,5-O-diglucoside, a constituent of the maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) anthocyanin, restores tear secretion in a rat dry eye model. Journal of Functional Foods. 2014;10:346-54.
  6. Hitoe S, Tanaka J, Shimoda H. MaquiBright standardized maqui berry extract significantly increases tear fluid production and ameliorates dry eye-related symptoms in a clinical pilot trial. Panminerva Med. 2014;56(3 Suppl 1):1-6.
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  9. Tounaka K, Yuki K, Kouyama K, et al. Dry eye disease is associated with deterioration of mental health in male Japanese university staff. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2014;233(3):215-20.
  10. Le Q, Zhou X, Ge L, et al. Impact of dry eye syndrome on vision-related quality of life in a non-clinic-based general population. BMC Ophthalmol. 2012;12:22.
  11. Cho YK, Archer B, Ambati BK. Dry eye predisposes to corneal neovascularization and lymphangiogenesis after corneal injury in a murine model. Cornea. 2014;33(6):621-7.
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  13. Parihar JK, Jain VK, Chaturvedi P, et al. Computer and visual display terminals (VDT) vision syndrome (CVDTS). Med J Armed Forces India. 2016;72(3):270-6.
  14. Porcar E, Pons AM, Lorente A. Visual and ocular effects from the use of flat-panel displays. Int J Ophthalmol. 2016;9(6):881-5.
  15. Yazici A, Sari ES, Sahin G, et al. Change in tear film characteristics in visual display terminal users. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2015;25(2):85-9.
  16. Azuma M, Yabuta C, Fraunfelder FW, et al. Dry eye in LASIK patients. BMC Res Notes. 2014;7:420.
  17. Bron AJ, Tomlinson A, Foulks GN, et al. Rethinking dry eye disease: a perspective on clinical implications. Ocul Surf. 2014;12(2 Suppl):S1-31.
  18. Foulks GN. Pharmacological management of dry eye in the elderly patient. Drugs Aging. 2008;25(2):105-18.
  19. Yagci A, Gurdal C. The role and treatment of inflammation in dry eye disease. Int Ophthalmol. 2014;34(6):1291-301.
  20. Garcia-Resua C, Pena-Verdeal H, Remeseiro B, et al. Correlation between tear osmolarity and tear meniscus. Optom Vis Sci. 2014;91(12):1419-29.
  21. McCulley JP, Uchiyama E, Aronowicz JD, et al. Impact of evaporation on aqueous tear loss. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2006;104:121-8.
  22. Horwath-Winter J, Schmut O, Haller-Schober EM, et al. Iodide iontophoresis as a treatment for dry eye syndrome. Br J Ophthalmol. 2005;89(1):40-4.
  23. Available at: Accessed March 7, 2017.
  24. Suwalsky M, Vargas P, Avello M, et al. Human erythrocytes are affected in vitro by flavonoids of Aristotelia chilensis (Maqui) leaves. Int J Pharm. 2008;363(1-2):85-90.
  25. Tanaka J, Kadekaru T, Ogawa K, et al. Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) and the constituent delphinidin glycoside inhibit photoreceptor cell death induced by visible light. Food Chem. 2013;139(1-4):129-37.
  26. Benitez-Del-Castillo JM. How to promote and preserve eyelid health. Clin Ophthalmol. 2012;6:1689-98.
  27. Knop E, Knop N, Schirra F. Meibomian glands. Part II: physiology, characteristics, distribution and function of meibomian oil. Ophthalmologe. 2009;106(10):884-92.
  28. Walcott B. The Lacrimal Gland and Its Veil of Tears. News Physiol Sci. 1998;13:97-103.
  29. Schnetler R, Gillan W, Koorsen G. Lipid composition of human meibum: a review. S Afr Optom. 2013;72(2):86-93.
  30. Available at: Accessed March 7, 2017.
  31. Aljarousha M, Badarudin NE, Che Azemin MZ. Comparison of Dry Eye Parameters between Diabetics and Non-Diabetics in District of Kuantan, Pahang. Malays J Med Sci. 2016;23(3):72-7.
  32. Ibraheem WA, Ibraheem AB, Tjani AM, et al. Tear Film Functions and Intraocular Pressure Changes in Pregnancy. Afr J Reprod Health. 2015;19(4):118-22.
  33. Chung SH, Myong JP. Are higher blood mercury levels associated with dry eye symptoms in adult Koreans? A population-based cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2016;6(4):e010985.
  34. Conrady CD, Joos ZP, Patel BC. Review: The Lacrimal Gland and Its Role in Dry Eye. J Ophthalmol. 2016;2016:7542929.
  35. Available at: Accessed March 7, 2017.
  36. Gatell-Tortajada J. Oral supplementation with a nutraceutical formulation containing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a large series of patients with dry eye symptoms: results of a prospective study. Clin Interv Aging. 2016;11:571-8.
  37. Bhargava R, Kumar P, Kumar M, et al. A randomized controlled trial of omega-3 fatty acids in dry eye syndrome. Int J Ophthalmol. 2013;6(6):811-6.
  38. Su TY, Chang SW, Yang CJ, et al. Direct observation and validation of fluorescein tear film break-up patterns by using a dual thermal-fluorescent imaging system. Biomed Opt Express. 2014;5(8):2614-9.
  39. Liu A, Ji J. Omega-3 essential fatty acids therapy for dry eye syndrome: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. Med Sci Monit. 2014;20:1583-9.
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Cholesterol Myth Has Been Busted — Yet Again

Reposted from Dr. Mercola

By Dr. Mercola
For the past four decades, the U.S. government has warned that eating cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs would raise your LDL cholesterol (inappropriately referred to as "bad" cholesterol) and promote heart disease.
Alas, decades' worth of research utterly failed to demonstrate this correlation, and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans1,2,3,4,5 finally addressed this scientific shortcoming, announcing "cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption."6
This is good news, since dietary cholesterol plays an important role in brain health and memory formation, and is indispensable for the building of cells and the production of stress and sex hormones, as well as vitamin D. (When sunlight strikes your bare skin, the cholesterol in your skin is converted into vitamin D.)
Unfortunately, the dietary guidelines still cling to outdated misinformation about saturated fat, wrongly accusing it of raising LDL and contributing to heart disease. Here, science has shown that saturated fat only raises the safe, fluffy LDL particles. It also increases HDL, which is beneficial for your heart.
The guidelines became and are still confusing because the basic premise was wrong. Dietary fat is indeed associated with heart disease, but it's the processed vegetable oils, which are loaded with trans fats and oxidized omega-6 fats, that are the problem, not saturated fats.
The introduction of industrialized, highly processed and frequently heated omega-6 vegetable oils distorted the vitally important omega 6-to-3 ratio, causing metabolic catastrophes. The problem was further exacerbated by replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates, which were incorrectly viewed as a healthier option, thanks to misinformation created and spread by the sugar industry.

Impairs Electrical Storage Potential of Your Cells

Nutrition and biochemistry are clearly important to your health, but so is your body's electrical system. All our membranes are made of fats that are insulators and connected through a conductor. This arrangement sets up a biological capacitor to store electrons — but only if the fats are healthy.
If you consume damaged fats, or worse, heated and hydrogenated oils, the fatty acids in the cell membrane essentially become nonfunctional and unable to store body voltage, thus increasing the risk for disease. This is one of many reasons why it is so vital to eat healthy fats.

Unpublished Research Undermines Decades of Dietary Advice

Ancel Keys was one of the most prominent nutritional researchers of the mid-20th century. He gained enormous professional and influential prominence and his views were widely adopted by professional and public health organizations. His research formed the foundation for all of the low-fat recommendations that followed. Interestingly, some of his own follow-up research actually undermined his hypotheses on cholesterol and saturated fat, but these findings were never published.
Had they been, the cholesterol and low-fat myths might never have gained the same kind of traction. The four decades' old study in question was unearthed by Dr. Christopher E. Ramsden, who specializes in digging up and reevaluating lost studies that challenge mainstream health advice.7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16
Keys, who was largely funded by the sugar industry, is believed to have been responsible for suppressing this damning study, as it doesn't support his original hypothesis. Only parts of the trial's results were ever published, leaving out the controversial finding that replacing saturated fats with vegetable oil had no benefit on mortality. As reported by Scientific American:17
"Ramsden, of the National Institutes of Health, unearthed raw data from a 40-year-old study, which challenges the dogma that eating vegetable fats instead of animal fats is good for the heart. The study, the largest gold-standard experiment testing that idea, found the opposite …
Although the study is more than just another entry in the long-running nutrition wars — it is more rigorous than the vast majority of research on the topic — Ramsden makes no claims that it settles the question. Instead, he said, his discovery and analysis of long-lost data underline how the failure to publish the results of clinical trials can undermine truth."

Saturated Fat Vindicated in Largest Most Rigorous Trial of Its Kind

The study,18 conducted from 1968 to 1973, included 9,423 participants between the ages of 20 and 97, making it the largest trial of its kind. The participants were also residents of state mental hospitals and a nursing home, making it one of the most rigorously detailed studies as the meals of every person were carefully logged.
On the average, each patient was followed for about 15 months. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups, receiving either:
  1. A then-standard diet containing 18.5 percent saturated fat from animal fats such as milk, cheese, beef and shortening, and 5 percent unsaturated fat, based on total calories
  2. A diet in which 50 percent of the saturated fats were replaced with vegetable oil (a mainstay in today's processed foods) and corn oil margarine (total 9 percent saturated fat and 13 percent unsaturated fat)
After analyzing the data, Ramsden and his team found that vegetable oils lowered total cholesterol levels by an average of 14 percent after one year. However, this lower cholesterol did not result in improved health and longevity, which is the conventional belief. Instead, the research showed that the lower the cholesterol, the higher the risk of dying!
For every 30 point drop in total cholesterol there was a 22 percent increased chance of death. In the 65 and older category, those who received vegetable oil experienced roughly 15 percent more deaths compared to seniors in the saturated fat group. The vegetable oil also did not result in fewer cases of atherosclerosis or heart attacks.
On the contrary, autopsies revealed both groups had similar levels of arterial plaque, but 41 percent of the vegetable oil group showed signs of at least one heart attack compared to just 22 percent of those in the saturated fat group. According to the authors:
"Available evidence from randomized controlled trials shows that replacement of saturated fat in the diet with linoleic acid [vegetable oil] effectively lowers serum cholesterol but does not support the hypothesis that this translates to a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease or all causes."

Why Vegetable Oils Are so Bad for Your Health 

Later this year I will post my interview with Dr. Cate Shanahan, author of "Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food,"19 in which she delves into the profound harms done by processed vegetable oils in the modern diet. To learn more, keep your eyes open for that interview.
According to Shanahan, vegetable oil is your brain's worst enemy, attacking it "at seven distinct vulnerability points using seven distinct strategies. All seven strategies are at work in causing autism and other childhood neurologic disorders." This includes:
  • Promoting gut inflammation and leaky gut. This inflammation often causes heartburn, which can serve as a red flag. Unfortunately, many misattribute heartburn to spicy foods rather than the more significant culprit, namely vegetable oils
  • Disrupting the regulation of blood flow through the arteries in your brain and depleting your brain of antioxidants
  • Turning your immune system against you by affecting your white blood cells (immune system cells), causing disease and nerve degenerating reactions
  • Attacking the nerve cellular architecture. "Vegetable oils cause an overload of oxidative reactions inside the cell, leading to the accumulation of intracellular trash. When this affects our white matter, we lose our mobility. When it affects our gray matter, we lose our personalities and our connections to the world," Shanahan explains in her book20
  • Impairing brain development through mutagenic effects on DNA and altered epigenetic expression
Other reasons why vegetable oils cause heart disease and other health problems include the following:
  • Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, when taken in large amounts, cannot be burned for fuel. Instead, they're incorporated into your cellular and mitochondrial membranes, where they are highly susceptible to oxidative damage. As a result, your metabolic machinery is damaged. Vegetable oils made from genetically engineered (GE) crops (as most are) have additional health risks, as they tend to be loaded with toxic herbicide residues like Roundup.
  • While your body needs some omega-6, most get far too much of it compared to omega-3, and this lopsided ratio can also have adverse health consequences.
  • When heated, vegetable oils tend to oxidize. According to Dr. Fred Kummerow,21 who has researched lipids and heart disease for eight decades, oxidized cholesterol is the real culprit that causes heart disease. By triggering inflammation, it promotes the clogging of arteries and associated cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks.

Many Studies Have Debunked the Saturated Fat Myth

Several other studies have also demonstrated that replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils is a bad idea. While the benefits for cardiovascular mortality and risk-factor reduction have been mixed, none of these trials showed that restricting saturated fats reduced total mortality:
Recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study: In 2013, Ramsden's team analyzed four trials looking at the effects of replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils. Replacing saturated fats with linoleic acid-rich vegetable oils increased mortality risk from all causes, including coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease22
The Oslo Study (1968): A study of 412 men, aged 30-64 years, found eating a diet low in saturated fats and high in polyunsaturated fats had no influence on rates of sudden death23
L.A. Veterans Study (1969): A study of 850 elderly men that lasted for six years is widely used to support the diet-heart hypothesis. No significant difference was found in rates of sudden death or heart attack among men eating a mostly animal-foods diet and those eating a high-vegetable oil diet. However, more non-cardiac deaths, including from cancer, were seen in the vegetable oil group24
London Soybean Oil Trial (1968): This study of nearly 400 men that lasted for two to seven years found no difference in heart attack rate between men following a diet low in saturated fats and high in soybean oil and those following an ordinary diet25
The U.S. Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT): Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, this is another study that is highly misleading. It compared mortality rates and eating habits of over 12,000 men, and the finding that was widely publicized was that people who ate a low saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet had a marginal reduction in coronary heart disease. However, their mortality from all causes was actually higher26
A 2013 editorial published in the BMJ described how the avoidance of saturated fat actually promotes poor health in a number of ways. As stated by the author, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital in London:27
"The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades. Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risk ...
The aspect of dietary saturated fat that is believed to have the greatest influence on cardiovascular risk is elevated concentrations of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Yet the reduction in LDL cholesterol from reducing saturated fat intake seems to be specific to large, buoyant (type A) LDL particles, when in fact it is the small, dense (type B) particles (responsive to carbohydrate intake) that are implicated in cardiovascular disease.
Indeed, recent prospective cohort studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk. Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective."
A 2014 meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (which included data from 76 studies and more than a half-million people) found that those who consume higher amounts of saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who consume less. Moreover, those who ate higher amounts of unsaturated fat, including both (healthy) olive oil and (unhealthy) corn oil — both of which are recommended over saturated fats — did not have lower incidence of heart disease28
A 2015 meta-analysis published in the BMJ also failed to find an association between high levels of saturated fat in the diet and heart disease. Nor did they find an association between saturated fat consumption and other life-threatening diseases like stroke or type 2 diabetes29
In summary, industrially processed, highly refined vegetable oils do not reduce your risk of dying from heart disease. Put another way, saturated fats do not increase your risk of dying from heart disease either. Moreover, reducing cholesterol is not necessarily a sign of improved health; it may actually increase your risk of death. As noted by Ramsden:30
"One would expect that the more you lowered cholesterol, the better the outcome. But in this case the opposite association was found. The greater degree of cholesterol-lowering was associated with a higher, rather than a lower, risk of death."

Statins Revisited

The cholesterol myth has been a boon to the pharmaceutical industry, as cholesterol-lowering statins — often prescribed as a primary prevention against heart attack and stroke related to high cholesterol — have become one of the most frequently used drugs on the market. In 2012, nearly 28 percent of American adults over the age of 40 reported using a statin.31
Updated cholesterol treatment guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013 made another 9.3 million Americans eligible candidates for the drug. However, researchers have repeatedly warned the cardiovascular risk calculator32 used may be overestimating your risk by anywhere from 75 to 150 percent.33 This means even healthy people at low risk for heart problems are being turned to statins.
What's worse, the guideline also removed the recommendation to use the lowest drug dose possible. Instead, the sole focus is on statin-only treatment at higher dosages. The guidelines also ignore the density of the lipoproteins (the LDL and HDL). Large fluffy LDL particles are not harmful. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially cause problems as they can squeeze through the lining of your arteries. If they oxidize, they can cause damage and inflammation.
This means you could potentially have an LDL level of 190 but still be at low risk as long as your LDLs are large, and your HDL-to-total cholesterol ratio is above 24 percent. As mentioned earlier, saturated fat not only increases your HDL, it also increases large, fluffy LDLs, which is what you want.

Two Leading Cholesterol Guidelines Differ in Their Recommendations

Now, researchers have revisited the cholesterol guidelines, noting there are significant differences between the two leading guidelines in the U.S.34 In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its own cholesterol treatment guidelines, which suggests statins should not be used unless the patient has at least one other risk factor (such as high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking) in addition to having a 10 percent risk on the cardiovascular risk calculator.
Under these guidelines, an estimated 17.1 million Americans are candidates for a statin, compared to the 26.4 million covered by the American College of Cardiology/AHA guidelines. The differences between the two guidelines have caused a great deal of debate among experts.
Which one's better? As Michael Pencina, a professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and lead author of the study told CNN:35 "There's generally confusion on who should be getting statins. I don't think we have the perfect guideline yet."
In my view, the number needed to treat offers compelling clues to the overall uselessness of statins. According to an analysis by the USPSTF, published last year:36
  • 100 people need to take a statin as a primary preventive for five years in order for one or two people to avoid a heart attack, and none will actually live longer
  • 250 people need to take a statin for up to six years in order to prevent a single death from any cause
A 2015 report37 published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that "statistical deception created the appearance that statins are safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease."
By using relative risk reduction, the trivial benefits of statins are amplified. If you look at absolute risk, statin drugs benefit a mere 1 percent of the population. As noted by the USPSTF, this report found that out of 100 people treated with the drugs, one person will have one less heart attack.

Statins Do Not Reduce Mortality, and Can Seriously Harm Your Health

Other studies38 have also found that statins provide no reduction in mortality when used preventatively — even in at-risk groups. This strongly suggests statins have even less of a benefit among those already at low risk of heart disease. Recent research39 has also confirmed that high cholesterol is not linked with heart disease in the elderly, prompting the researchers to conclude that reducing cholesterol levels with statin drugs is "a waste of time."
Indeed, Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D. and senior scientist at MIT, believes heart disease is a cholesterol deficiency problem, which is essentially the converse of the conventional paradigm. Still, her hypothesis appears to be supported by studies showing people with higher levels of cholesterol actually live longer than those with lower levels.
Aside from being a "waste of time" and not doing anything to reduce mortality, statins also carry with them a list of over 200 side effects and clinical challenges, including:40,41
Increased risk of diabetes (there are several mechanisms for this, including increasing insulin resistance and raising your blood sugar) Acute liver diseaseMuscle pain, tenderness or weakness
Rhabdomyolysis (a condition involving the death of muscle fibers), Acute kidney failureChronic liver dysfunction
Reduced ketone production.42 Ketones are water-soluble fat nutrients important for tissue health.
They're also important molecular signaling molecules
Depletes your body of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including CoQ10 and vitamin K2, both of which are important for cardiovascular and heart healthImpaired fertility and reduced sex drive.
Importantly, statins are a Category X medication, meaning they cause serious birth defects, so they should NEVER be used by a pregnant woman or women planning a pregnancy
Increased risk of cancer. Long-term statin use (10 years or longer) more than doubles women's risk of two major types of breast cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma43Nerve damage. Research has shown statin treatment lasting longer than two years causes "definite damage to peripheral nerves"44Reduced muscle and nervous system coordination 
Diarrhea and/or constipationDizzinessHeadache
Central nervous system toxicityAbdominal painCataracts
Decreased heart function45Endocrine dysfunctionMemory loss

Making Sense of Your Cholesterol Levels and Assessing Your Heart Disease Risk

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As a general rule, cholesterol-lowering drugs are not required or prudent for the majority of people — especially if both high cholesterol and longevity run in your family. Also keep in mind that your overall cholesterol level says very little about your risk for heart disease.
For more information about cholesterol and what the different levels mean, take a look at the infographic above. As for evaluating your heart disease risk, the following tests will provide you with a far more accurate picture than your total cholesterol or LDL level alone:
HDL/Cholesterol ratio
HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24 percent
Triglyceride/HDL ratio
You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2
Large LDL particles are not harmful. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially be a problem, as they can squeeze through the lining of your arteries. If they oxidize, they can cause damage and inflammation.
Some groups, such as the National Lipid Association, are now starting to shift the focus toward LDL particle number instead of total and LDL cholesterol, in order to better assess your heart disease risk.
Once you know your particle size numbers, you and your doctor can develop a more customized program to help manage your risk
Your fasting insulin level
Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar.
The insulin released from eating too many carbs promotes fat accumulation and makes it more difficult for your body to shed excess weight. Excess fat, particularly around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease
Your fasting blood sugar level
Studies have shown that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl had a nearly 300 percent increased higher risk of having coronary heart disease than people with a level below 79 mg/dl
Your iron level
Iron can be a very potent oxidative stress, so if you have excess iron levels you can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should monitor your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much above 80 ng/ml.
The simplest way to lower them if they are elevated is to donate your blood. If that is not possible you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy and that will effectively eliminate the excess iron from your body

Monday, May 1, 2017

How to Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Reposted from Dr. Mercola

By Dr. Mercola
Great Britain, like the United States, has seen a remarkably rapid rise in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes over the last decade. According to a recent BBC News1 report, more than one-third of British adults are now pre-diabetic.
In 2003, 11.6 percent of Britons had pre-diabetes. By 2011, that figure had more than tripled, reaching 35.3 percent. Researchers warn that this will lead to a massive avalanche of type 2 diabetics in upcoming years, which will have serious consequences for health care and life expectancy.
In the United States, nearly 80 million people, or one in four has some form of diabetes or pre-diabetes. What's worse, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and teens has also skyrocketed.
The most recent data,2, 3 reveals that, between 2001 and 2009, incidence of type 1 diabetes among children under the age of 19 rose by 21 percent. Incidence of type 2 diabetes among children aged 10-19 rose by 30 percent during that same timeframe!

Conventional Medicine Has It All Wrong...

Statistics such as these point to two very important facts. First, it tells us that diabetes cannot be primarily caused by genetics, and secondly, it literally screams that something we're doing, consistently and en masse, is horribly wrong, and we need to address it.
In this case, that "something" is a seriously flawed diet and lack of physical activity. Unfortunately, Dr. Ron Rosedale wrote in 2005, doctors cause diabetics to D.I.E from their flawed prescriptions, which stem from a basic lack of insight into the root cause of this disease. D.I.E., here, is a clever acronym for "Doctor Induced Exacerbation," which does indeed include early death.
Conventional medicine has type 2 diabetes pegged as a problem with blood sugar rather than the underlying problem of improper insulin and leptin signaling. The reality is that diabetes is a disease rooted in insulin resistance4 and perhaps more importantly, a malfunction of leptin signaling, caused by chronically elevated insulin and leptin levels.
This is why the medical community's approach to its treatment is not getting anywhere. Treating type 2 diabetes with insulin is actually one of the worst things you can do...
Recent research has come to the same conclusions that Dr. Rosedale warned us about nearly a decade ago, which is that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin can lead further to the development of type 1 diabetes.
And, not only are conventionally-trained doctors wrong about the cause of the disease, but they continue to pass along seriously flawed nutritional information as well, which allows the disease to increase to epidemic proportions.

Definitions of Terms

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of causes and treatments for diabetes, let's clarify the difference between type 1 and type 2, and the emergence of what some are now referring to as "type 3" diabetes. The terms "pre-diabetes" and "metabolic syndrome" also need to be explained.
Pre-diabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance, is a term used to describe an earlier state of progressing insulin resistance. It is conventionally diagnosed by having a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125 mg/dl.
Pre-diabetes is very easy to turn around. Simply swapping processed foods for whole organic foods lower in sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates combined with a few minutes of daily exercise will quickly put you on the road to reversing this condition.
Metabolic syndrome. As your insulin resistance progresses, your liver makes too much sugar and fat, and your skeletal muscles are less able to burn them and make glycogen, which is how glucose is stored in your muscles and liver. In turn, there is an increase in sugar and fats in your bloodstream which leads to high triglyceride levels and increased body fat--especially abdominal fat, and higher blood pressure.
Having 3 or more of a group of symptoms caused by insulin (and now we also know leptin) resistance -- high triglycerides, low HDL, higher blood glucose and blood pressure, and increased belly fat—is referred to as metabolic syndrome (in the past it was called Syndrome X).
Type 1: insulin-dependent diabetes. Traditionally, type 1 diabetes develops before the age of 20. It used to be relatively uncommon, but as noted above, its incidence is rapidly rising.
Type 1 diabetes is classically an autoimmune disease in which your immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of your pancreas, resulting in an inability to produce any significant insulin which that, if left untreated, will cause death in days to weeks from a hyperglycemic coma.
This deficiency of insulin is why type 1 is called "insulin-dependent" diabetes. There is currently no known way to completely reverse this.
However recent research suggests glimmers of hope. For example, Columbia University scientists claim that by turning off a particular gene, human gut cells can be converted into cells that produce insulin in response to dietary sugar.5, 6
Type 2: non-insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is producing some insulin, in fact usually too much, but is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly. This is an advanced stage of insulin resistance, which is typically caused by a diet that is too high in sugars and sugar-forming foods.
When you have inadequate insulin signaling, sugar cannot get into your cells and instead builds up in your blood. While anyone can get type 2 diabetes, you are typically considered at highest risk if you are overweight, sedentary, if you are a woman who had gestational diabetes, have family members with type 2 diabetes, or have metabolic syndrome. However, all of these really have the same underlying root of insulin and leptin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes represents the vast majority of all diabetics, and contrary to conventional medical and media teaching, it's nearly 100 percent curable7 through lifestyle changes alone (if these are instituted before conventional medical therapy/drugs kills the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin, causing type 1 diabetes too; see below).

Study Confirms: 'Insulin Therapy May Do More Harm Than Good'

A study published in the June 30, 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine8 concluded what Dr. Rosedale has been saying for two decades, that insulin therapy in type 2 diabetic patients may indeed do more harm than good. As reported by Medical News Today:9
"In the US, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when hemoglobin A1c levels reach 6.5 percent or higher. The higher A1c levels are, the greater the risk of other health problems. Sometimes the condition can be managed through changes in diet, but other patients with type 2 diabetes may need medication - such as insulin or metformin - to help lower their blood sugar levels, and ultimately, reduce the risk of diabetes complications.
But the researchers of this latest study... claim that the benefits of such treatment - particularly for people over the age of 50 - may not always outweigh the negatives. 'In many cases, insulin treatment may not do anything to add to the person's quality life expectancy,' says study co-author John S. Yudkin... 'If people feel that insulin therapy reduces their quality of life by anything more than around 3-4 percent, this will outweigh any potential benefits gained by treatment in almost anyone with type 2 diabetes over around 50 years old.'
For example, they estimate that a person with type 2 diabetes who begins insulin therapy at age 45 and lowers their hemoglobin A1c levels by 1 percent may experience an extra 10 months of healthy life. But for a patient who starts treatment for type 2 diabetes at age 75, they estimate the therapy may only gain them an additional 3 weeks of healthy life. The researchers say this prompts the question - is 10-15 years of pills or injections with possible side effects worth it?"

New Kid on the Block: Type 3 Diabetes, or 'Brain Diabetes,' May Be Responsible for Alzheimer's Disease and Glaucoma

A growing body of research suggests there's a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of both Alzheimer's disease and glaucoma,10 via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes. Alzheimer's disease was tentatively dubbed "type 3 diabetes" in early 2005 when researchers learned that the pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin. Your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of your brain cells.
A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer's disease. Researchers have now discovered that insulin does far more than simply regulating blood sugar. Your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones. In fact, Dr. Rosedale believes that it is the constant burning by the brain of glucose that is primarily to blame for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders
Insulin is actually a "master multitasker" that helps with neuron glucose-uptake, and the regulation of neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning. This is why reducing the level of insulin in your brain impairs your cognition. Other research11 shows that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than expected—particularly gray matter. This kind of brain atrophy is yet another contributing factor for dementia. "Brain diabetes" may also be responsible for glaucoma, according to recent research. As reported by Medical News Today:12
"Researchers [in India]... have proposed a new mechanism of glaucoma which suggests that diabetes can occur in the brain and may be the cause of many neurodegenerative disorders including glaucoma... an irreversibly blinding disorder with almost 65 million sufferers worldwide. There is no cure...
The recent paper titled 'Glaucoma: Diabetes of the brain - a radical hypothesis about its nature and pathogenesis', published in Medical Hypotheses... explore glaucoma and related neurodegenerative diseases from many perspectives and come up with a multifaceted and internally coherent concept of glaucoma being 'the diabetes of the brain.'"
It's becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunts its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.
Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Indeed, mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step you can take to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Root Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

Contrary to type 2 diabetes, type 1 is not may not be rooted in insulin and leptin dysfunction caused by excessive sugar (and carbohydrate) consumption. However, over the past several years, research has given us important clues about its predisposing conditions. Two important ones that you have more or less complete control over are:
Vitamin D deficiency. Research suggests that sun avoidance may play a major role in the development of insulin dependent diabetes. The further you move away from the equator the greater your risk of being born with, or developing type 1 diabetes. A major key to preventing type 1 diabetes in children is to ensure that pregnant mothers have optimal vitamin D stores. There is also strong evidence that this can decrease your child's risk of autism. Once your child is born, ensuring he or she gets optimal sun exposure (and/or wise use of oral vitamin D supplementation) could virtually eliminate the risk for type 1 diabetes.
Abnormal gut flora. An excessive focus on a germ-free environment is another potential contributing factor that impairs immune function. In 2008, animal research13 suggested that beneficial bacteria could protect against the development of type 1 diabetes. There is a good deal of evidence that a contributor to the rising rates of type 1 diabetes is raising our children in too sterile an environment. Many parents religiously use antibacterial soaps and keep their children away from the natural dirt, germs, viruses and other grime of childhood.14
Antibiotics, which kill all of the good and bad bacteria in the gut, are also overused in childhood. The lesson here is, it's okay to let your child get dirty. Use plain soap and water for washing. Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, and feed them naturally fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut.15

Root Causes of Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity. This makes it easily preventable and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs. One of the driving forces behind type 2 diabetes is excessive dietary fructose, which has adverse effects on all of metabolic hormones—including two key players: insulin and leptin.
There is no question in my mind that regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of insulin/leptin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer's. It's important to realize that even though fructose is relatively "low glycemic" on the front end, it actually reduces the receptor's affinity for insulin, leading to chronic insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar on the back end. So, while you may not notice a steep increase in blood sugar immediately following fructose consumption, it is likely changing your entire endocrine system's ability to function properly behind the scenes...
Another major cause of type 2 diabetes is the consumption of the vast amount of glucose derived from the high carbohydrate diet that has been recommended for the last half century by conventional medical and media recommendations. All carbohydrates that are not fiber will be quickly metabolized into sugar, and it makes little sense to eat large amounts of sugar to keep your blood sugar lower.
The misconception of the cause of diabetes may be the biggest problem. Conventional medicine describes diabetes as a disease characterized by elevated blood sugar. This "dysregulation of blood sugar control" is typically explained as "an inability of your body to produce enough insulin." To control diabetes with that view, it would be rational to prescribe insulin or drugs that raise insulin to counteract the elevated blood sugar. The reality however is that type 2 diabetes is NOT the result of insufficient insulin production. It's actually the result of too much insulin being produced on a chronic basis primarily from eating the high carbohydrate, low fat diet recommended by the ADA and AHA to prevent and treat this.
This overwhelms and "deafens" your insulin receptors, hence the term "insulin resistance." It's the chronically elevated insulin levels that make your body "resistant" to understanding the signals sent by the insulin. This also occurs with leptin. It's really important to realize that T2 diabetes is not caused by elevated blood sugar or "insulin deficiency" per se. The root cause is insulin and leptin resistance which is why prescribing insulin is one of the WORST things you can do for type 2 diabetes, as it will actually worsen your insulin and leptin resistance over time. You do not need more insulin. You need to restore the sensitivity of your insulin and leptin receptors by keeping their levels low!
If you're still having trouble understanding why taking insulin is a terrible choice in type 2 diabetes consider this; when your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy (sugar) into storage. A small amount is stored as a starch called glycogen, but the majority is stored as fat. Therefore, insulin's primary role is not to lower your blood sugar, but rather to store this extra energy as fat for future needs when food may not be available. The fact that insulin lowers your blood sugar is merely a "side effect" of this energy storage process. Taking more insulin just makes you fatter!
Your body's cells become desensitized to insulin, leptin, and other hormones, by being overexposed to these hormones—be it by eating food that causes excessive secretion, or by injection. Diabetes treatments that concentrate merely on lowering blood sugar by adding insulin therefore tend to worsen rather than remedy the actual problem of metabolic miscommunication.
As Dr. Rosedale has previously stated: "Type 2 diabetes is brought on by constantly having too much insulin and leptin circulating secondary to the same diet that has been recommended to treat diabetes and heart disease, a high carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Then giving these diabetics more insulin is adding gasoline to the fire. Doctors couldn't be doing more harm if they tried."

Leptin—An Oft-Ignored KEY Player in Type 2 Diabetes Development

While much conventional advice centers around insulin, leptin is another hormone that plays an integral role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Leptin is produced in your fat and other cells, and one of its primary roles is regulating your appetite and body weight. Leptin tells your brain when to eat, how much to eat, and most importantly, when to stop eating. Leptin also instructs your brain as to what to do with the available energy.
Now remember, when your blood sugar becomes elevated, insulin is released to direct the extra energy into storage—the majority of which is stored as fat, and leptin is produced in these fat cells. The more fat you have, the more leptin is produced. Furthermore, as the sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat releases further surges in leptin. This is why I typically talk about insulin and leptin resistance, as they work in tandem. Moreover, leptin is largely responsible for the accuracy of insulin signaling and whether or not you become insulin-resistant. If you're insulin resistant, you're more than likely leptin resistant as well, especially if you're overweight or obese.
Because when you develop leptin resistance, your brain can no longer hear leptin's signals, resulting in chronic hunger, overeating, inability to properly burn fat and, typically, obesity. Insulin resistance, and ultimately type 2 diabetes, follow suit. Just as with insulin, the only known way to reestablish proper leptin signaling is through proper diet. High consumption of carbohydrates, especially fructose, are again the prime culprit and the root cause of leptin resistance. Lack of exercise and abnormal gut flora also contribute and/or exacerbate insulin and leptin resistance. Leptin's importance in blood glucose control and diabetes is powerfully illustrated by recent studies that show its ability, even in low doses, to lower blood glucose in both type 1 and 2 diabetics, and this is an exciting new potential treatment.

New Warning: Insulin Can Rapidly Produce Type 1 Diabetes in Type 2 Diabetics

Please understand that medications and supplements are not the answer for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes drugs fail to address the underlying problem, and many, like Avandia, can have dangerous side effects. Avandia is linked to 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared with other treatments. Instead, type 2 diabetes is best controlled by restoring your insulin and leptin sensitivities. This is done by eliminating grains and sugars—especially fructose—from your diet, getting plenty of healthy fats, exercising, and sleeping well. Further details on this will be provided below, in the treatment section.
As noted earlier, recent research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism16 confirms what Dr. Ron Rosedale has stated for the last two decades, which is that insulin treatment can provoke otherwise reversible type 2 diabetes to progress into type 1 insulin deficient and therefore insulin-dependent diabetes. The study found that giving genetically engineered recombinant insulin to type 2 diabetics with certain genetic susceptibility can trigger their bodies to produce antibodies that destroy their insulin producing cells (pancreatic islet cells). You may not realize that all human insulin, the type typically used, is GMO or genetically modified which might be responsible for this autoimmune reaction.
Basically, it triggers an autoimmune disease response, producing a condition in which you have both type 1 and type 2 diabetes simultaneously. The average time of type 1 diabetes onset was 7.7 months. One study participant developed type 1 diabetes in just over one month! According to the authors, acute deterioration of blood glucose control after administering insulin is a warning sign of this problematic side effect. According to this study, the genes predisposing you to this autoimmune-type response to insulin are:
  • Type 1 diabetes high risk HLA class II (IDDM1), thought to play a role in about half of all type 1 diabetes cases
  • VNTR genotype (IDDM2), which is believed to predispose you to type 2 diabetes
This is yet another way conventional diabetic treatment pushes diabetics into premature death... Research17 published last year revealed that treating type 2 diabetes with insulin more than doubled patients' risk of all-cause mortality. It also leads to:
Twice as many myocardial infarctions 1.4 time more strokes2.1 time more neuropathy1.4 times more cancer
1.7 time more major adverse cardiac events3.5 times more renal complications1.2 times more eye complications2.2 times more deaths
Another study published in Diabetologia18, 19 in May of this year, found that diabetic cancer patients also have a significantly elevated risk of death. Diabetic patients using insulin at the time of their cancer diagnosis had a four times higher mortality rate one year after cancer diagnosis, compared to non-diabetic patients, or those who did not use insulin to control their diabetes. While this was an observational study, which means it cannot establish causality, it is worth noting nonetheless.
Dr. Rosedale has also said; "All of these increased rates of chronic diseases caused by taking insulin may be because it is doing exactly the opposite of what has been shown in many studies to reduce cancer, total mortality, and extend lifespan; reducing insulin. In fact, T2 diabetes is often considered to be a model of accelerated aging because of the high insulin. In other words, treating diabetics by overly raising insulin, either with drugs or insulin itself, is only further accelerating their aging, associated chronic diseases, and death, and should be considered malpractice."

Warning #2: Beware of Future Diabetic Vaccines

As noted by,20 these findings also raise serious warnings against diabetic vaccines:
"[T]here are a number of trials underway to produce vaccines containing insulin intended to induce a 'tolerogenic immune response' and therefore ameliorate autoimmune type 1 diabetes. Clearly, however, their findings run contrary to this expectation, revealing that it is possible that introducing exogenous forms of insulin may stimulate the opposite reaction and induced autoimmunity against the hormone, or the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing it."
It also raises questions about the safety and effectiveness of synthetic insulin. Virtually all of the insulin sold in the US is synthetic, synthesized from recombinant DNA technology, which differs considerably from natural animal-derived insulin. Interestingly, it could be that it's the "inactive" ingredients or additives, such as polysorbate 20, that produce an exaggerated immune response in susceptible individuals—similar to that encountered with vaccines. Sayer Ji also notes that:21
"Furthermore, synthetic insulin does not have the same conformational state – i.e. it does not assume the same complex folded form – of natural human insulin, or more closely related pig insulin. This presents a 'recognition' problem from the perspective of the immune system which may identify the foreign protein as 'other' generating acute or sustained autoimmune reactions to it as a result...
Research22 dating back to the early 1980s compared synthetic E. Coli derived insulin with porcine (pig) derived insulin in diabetic children and found that porcine insulin was more effective at lowering HbA1 values (a marker of damage associated with elevated blood sugar), superior at reducing fasting glucose concentrations, and less antibody reactive to insulin than synthetic insulin. While pig derived insulin has its limitations, especially considering there are limits to how much can be produced, clearly it is more appropriate than synthetic versions if it is true that the latter is incapable of reproducing the same therapeutic outcome for diabetics."

How to Prevent and Treat Insulin/Leptin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Now that you have an understanding of the root causes of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, it's time to outline a program to reverse this condition. Remember, type 2 diabetes is curable, and in the vast majority of cases does not require any form of medication.
The following nutrition and lifestyle modifications should be the foundation of your diabetes prevention and treatment plan. Also, make sure to monitor your FASTING insulin level. This is every bit as important as monitoring your fasting blood sugar. You'll want your fasting insulin level to be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the greater your insulin resistance and the more aggressive you need to be in your treatment plan, especially when it comes to altering your diet.
Swap out processed foods, all forms of sugar—particularly fructose—as well as all grains, for whole, fresh food. A primary reason for the failure of conventional diabetes treatment over the last 50 years has to do with seriously flawed dietary recommendations. Fructose, grains, and other sugar forming starchy carbohydrates are largely responsible for your body's adverse insulin reactions, and all sugars and grains—even "healthful" grains such as whole, organic ones—need to be drastically reduced.
If you're insulin/leptin resistant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or are overweight, you'd be wise to limit your total fructose intake to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has resolved. This includes about 80 percent of Americans. For all others, I recommend limiting your daily fructose consumption to 25 grams or less, to maintain optimal health.
The easiest way to accomplish this is by swapping processed foods for whole, ideally organic foods. This means cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. Processed foods are the main source of all the primary culprits, including high fructose corn syrup and other sugars, processed grains, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and other synthetic additives that may aggravate metabolic dysfunction.
Besides fructose, trans fat (NOT saturated fat) increases your risk for diabetes23 by interfering with your insulin receptors. Healthy saturated fats do not do this. Since you're cutting out a lot of energy (carbs) from your diet when you reduce sugars and grains, you need to replace them with something. The ideal replacement is a combination of:
Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein. Substantial amounts of protein can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. When selecting animal-based protein, be sure to opt for organically raised, grass-fed or pastured meats, eggs, and dairy, to avoid potential health complications caused by genetically engineered animal feed and pesticides.
Most Americans eat far too much protein, so be mindful of the amount! I believe it is the rare person who really needs more than one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Those that are aggressively exercising or competing and pregnant women should have about 25 percent more, but most people rarely need more than 40-70 grams of protein a day.
To determine your lean body mass, find out your percent body fat and subtract from 100. This means that if you have 20 percent body fat, you have 80 percent lean body mass. Just multiply that by your current weight to get your lean body mass in pounds or kilos. To determine whether you're getting too much protein, simply calculate your lean body mass as described above, then write down everything you're eating for a few days, and calculate the amount of daily protein from all sources.
Again, you're aiming for one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which would place most people in the range of 40 to 70 grams of protein per day. If you're currently averaging a lot more than that, adjust downward accordingly. You could use the chart below or simply Google the food you want to know and you will quickly find the grams of protein in the food.
Red meat, pork, poultry and seafood average 6-9 grams of protein per ounce.
An ideal amount for most people would be a 3 ounce serving of meat or seafood (not 9 or 12 ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18-27 grams of protein
Eggs contain about 6-8 grams of protein per egg. So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12-16 grams of protein.

If you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)
Seeds and nuts contain on average 4-8 grams of protein per quarter cupCooked beans average about 7-8 grams per half cup
Cooked grains average 5-7 grams per cupMost vegetables contain about 1-2 grams of protein per ounce
As much high-quality healthy fat as you want (saturated24 and monounsaturated). For optimal health, most people need upwards of 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fats. Good sources include coconut and coconut oil, avocados, butter, nuts, and animal fats. (Remember, fat is high in calories while being small in terms of volume. So when you look at your plate, the largest portion would be vegetables.)
As many non-starchy vegetables as you want
Exercise regularly and intensely. Studies have shown that exercise, even without weight loss, increases insulin sensitivity.25 High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a central component of my Peak Fitness program, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by as much as 24 percent in just four weeks.
Improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Today's Western diet has far too many processed and damaged omega-6 fats, and is far too little omega-3 fats.26 The main sources of omega-6 fats are corn, soy, canola, safflower, peanut, and sunflower oil (the first two of which are typically genetically engineered as well, which further complicates matters). Our bodies evolved for an optimal 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. However, our ratio has deteriorated to between 20:1 and 50:1 in favor of omega-6. This lopsided ratio has seriously adverse health consequences.
To remedy this, reduce your consumption of vegetable oils (this means not cooking with them, and avoiding processed foods), and increase your intake of animal-based omega-3, such as krill oil. Vegetable-based omega-3 is also found in flaxseed oil and walnut oil, and it's good to include these in your diet as well. Just know they cannot take the place of animal-based omega-3s.
Maintain optimal vitamin D levels year-round. New evidence strongly supports the notion that vitamin D is highly beneficial not only for type 1 diabetes as mentioned before, but also in type 2 diabetes. The ideal way to optimize your vitamin D level is by getting regular sun exposure, or by using a safe tanning bed. As a last resort, consider oral supplementation with regular vitamin D monitoring, to confirm that you are taking enough vitamin D to get your blood levels into the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml. Also please note that if you take supplemental vitamin D, you create an increased demand for vitamin K2.
Get adequate high-quality sleep every night. Insufficient sleep appears to raise stress and blood sugar, encouraging insulin and leptin resistance and weight gain. In one 10-year long study27 of 70,000 diabetes-free women, researchers found that women who slept less than five hours or more than nine hours each night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept seven to eight hours each night. If you are having problems with your sleep, try the suggestions in my article "33 Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep."
Maintain a healthy body weight. If you incorporate the diet and lifestyle changes suggested above you will greatly improve your insulin and leptin sensitivity, and a healthy body weight will follow in time. Determining your ideal body weight depends on a variety of factors, including frame size, age, general activity level, and genetics. As a general guideline, you might find a hip-to-waist size index chart helpful. This is far better than BMI for evaluating whether or not you may have a weight problem, as BMI fails to factor in both how muscular you are, and your intra-abdominal fat mass (the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around your inner organs), which is a potent indicator of leptin sensitivity and associated health problems.
Incorporate intermittent fasting. If you have carefully followed the diet and exercise guidelines and still aren't making sufficient progress with your weight or overall health, I strongly recommend incorporating intermittent fasting. This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food around the clock. They would cycle through periods of feast and famine, and modern research shows this cycling produces a number of biochemical benefits, including improved insulin/leptin sensitivity, lowered triglycerides and other biomarkers for health, and weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings. Intermittent fasting has also been identified as a potent ally for the prevention and perhaps even treatment of dementia. Ketones are released as a byproduct of burning fat, and ketones (not glucose) are actually the preferred fuel for your brain. Keep up your intermittent fasting schedule until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (or your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). After that, you only need to do it "as needed" to maintain your healthy state.
Optimize your gut health. Your gut is a living ecosystem, full of both good bacteria and bad. Multiple studies have shown that obese people have different intestinal bacteria than lean people. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immune system will be and the better your body will function overall. Fortunately, optimizing your gut flora is relatively easy. You can reseed your body with good bacteria by regularly eating fermented foods (like natto, raw organic cheese, miso, and cultured vegetables).

You CAN Prevent and Treat Diabetes

You don't have to be a part of the diabetes epidemic that is taking place before your eyes; you merely need to make some lifestyle changes and be mindful about your habits. The changes, detailed above, will prevent you from heading down the diabetes path, and can be the U-turn you've been looking for if you're already insulin resistant or diabetic. None of these strategies are expensive or overly time-consuming. However, they do require a measure of honest reflection and discipline.
Now that you have an understanding of what diabetes really is and how it develops, you can steer clear of behavior patterns that harm your health, and incorporate those that will enhance your quality of life. Again, type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is easily preventable, and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs, by addressing your diet and other lifestyle habits, such as exercise, sleep, and intermittent fasting. I suggest taking a lifestyle inventory to see where you might have room for improvement. For example:
  • Review your eating patterns. How much sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates are you eating daily? Is corn syrup a primary staple of your diet, hidden in the processed foods you buy on a regular basis? Are you spending your time in the middle of the grocery store, or around the periphery? (Most processed foods come from the middle aisles.)
  • Are you an "emotional eater"? Do you tend to overindulge in comfort foods when you are feeling sad or angry? If so, review the information on my website about EFT, which you might find very helpful.
  • Evaluate your activity level. Are you getting enough exercise each week?
  • Are you getting enough sunlight? Have you measured your vitamin D levels lately? Unless you are deeply tanned, that is the only way to know your level. Do you need to consider a vitamin D supplement?
  • Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet? Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including muscle spasms and abnormal heart rhythms. To learn more, please see my interview with Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle.
  • What patterns are you inadvertently passing along to your children? What example are you setting for your kids, in terms of nutrition and exercise? Are they getting the message that health is a priority? Getting healthy can and should be a family activity! When everyone is involved, you can support each other and give kudos for positive strides, making it more fun for everyone. The payoffs to your health will be great, and you will be passing along good lifestyle habits to your children, which will serve them for years to come.