Drink for Your Health

Drink for Your Health

No doubt, if you’ve been following my blog, or reading Grain Brain, you’ve certainly gotten the message that you’ve got to do everything you can to avoid consumption of sugar. Scientific research has certainly made it clear that sugar consumption strongly relates to such maladies as coronary artery disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, this aggressive castigation of sugar consumption has led to an increase in people choosing to drink “sugar-free” beverages with the misguided sense that this represents a healthy alternative. The reality of the situation is that nothing could be further from the truth. In a study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, French researchers attempted to determine the risk of developing type II diabetes in individuals who consumed artificially sweetened beverages in comparison to those who actually consumed sugar sweetened beverages. The study was extensive in that it evaluated more than 60,000 women over a period of approximately 14 years. Continue reading

The Vitamin That May Save Your Brain

The Vitamin That May Save Your Brain

We’ve certainly learned a lot more about the health benefits of vitamin D over the past decade. While it’s long been recognized that vitamin D is important for strong and healthy bones, it’s role in health and longevity is now recognized as casting a very wide net.

Over the past several years, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk for such brain-related disorders as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, and even dementia. With reference to the latter, a new study published in the journal Neurology, correlated low levels of vitamin D to increased risk of developing dementia to a far greater degree then anyone had predicted.

The study represents a collaboration of multiple highly respected institutions around the world and evaluated a group of 1,658 elderly individuals who did not have dementia, and measured their vitamin D levels. The average follow-up was about 5 ½ years. Of this group, 171 participants developed dementia, and of those, 102 had full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. When the data was evaluated, the correlation of low vitamin D level to risk of developing dementia was profound. Even having a moderate deficiency of vitamin D was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing dementia of any kind. Those who were “severely deficient” were found to have an increased risk of dementia by 122%. Continue reading

CoQ10: Powerful Supplement for Health

CoQ10: Powerful Supplement for Health

We’re certainly hearing a lot about the nutritional supplement, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), as of late, and with good reason. The clinical application of CoQ10 has now been validated in many conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, chemotherapy, and periodontal disease. It’s now being explored for therapeutic efficacy in such diverse entities as immune function, migraine prevention, high blood pressure and even sperm motility.

CoQ10 is found in virtually every cell in the body, where it plays a pivotal role in the process whereby the cell is able to convert fuel into energy. Beyond this obviously critical function, CoQ10 also serves as one of the body’s most crucial antioxidants, protecting every cell against the damaging effects of chemicals called free radicals. So it’s no wonder CoQ10 is receiving so much attention.

CoQ10 is manufactured in the body, and levels of this life-supportive chemical are enhanced when CoQ10 is consumed. Lower levels may be associated with the use of various medications including:

  • Statin drugs used for lowering cholesterol. These include Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor, and Mevacor. Continue reading
But… it’s Gluten Free?

But… it’s Gluten Free?

I frequently hear from patients and friends that they are surprised they aren’t losing weight even though they’ve “gone gluten-free.” It’s at that point that I ask for a little bit of clarification in terms of what they think being gluten-free really means. I often learn, surprisingly, that people often say that they only shop from the gluten-free aisle in the grocery store as if that’s some kind of feather in their cap.

Many grocery stores do in fact have gluten-free sections. And what is so disenchanting is the realization that what they are selling includes gluten-free pastas, cakes, cookies, breads, etc. that, while they maybe gluten-free, are nonetheless huge sources of carbohydrates and simple sugars. Continue reading

4 Reasons Why Kale is a True Superfood

4 Reasons Why Kale is a True Superfood

By: Austin Perlmutter, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

When it comes to healthy vegetables, kale may be among the best. Packing a powerful punch of antioxidants, nutrients and excellent digestive support, its role in optimal wellness is tough to dispute. For anyone still undecided, here are the top 4 reasons to make kale a part of your life.

  1. Kale is jam-packed with vitamins. Eating one cup of chopped kale gets you over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A, 134% of your daily value for vitamin C, and almost 700% of your daily value for vitamin K! In addition, kale contains important minerals like manganese, potassium and copper.  Continue reading