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If Fructose Is So Bad – Should I Eat Fruit?

With all the nuances of dietary recommendations from keto to paleo to vegan to who knows what else, one thing is clear: there is absolutely no need for added fructose, or any sugars for that matter, in the human diet. And there is an ever-expanding body of research that clearly points out the incredible threat that fructose poses to human metabolic health. Fortunately, many people are getting this message and doing what they can to almost eliminate, or at least substantially reduce the amount of fructose that they consume.

Among the highest sources of fructose in the human diet are sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices. Statistics are clearly demonstrating that consumption of these beverages, at least here in America, is declining, no doubt because of the increasing recognition of the health threat posed by fructose. Continue reading

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Continuous Glucose Monitoring – A Powerful Tool for Metabolic Health

As we have discussed so often, metabolic function is the central player for the entire body as it relates to health, disease resistance, and longevity. It is absolutely essential that we maintain normal blood glucose levels. Fortunately, we are learning more and more about how food choices and activities influence blood glucose, and this allows us to make important changes that can pave the way for health.

Today, we are going to explore new technology, the continuous glucose monitor (CGM), with our guest Casey Means, MD. She is the founder of Levels, which is an incredibly sophisticated but also user-friendly platform using data from CGM monitoring devices to allow us to fully understand the effects of our lifestyle choices, in terms of how they play out as referenced by our blood sugar levels. This data, provided in real time, basically allows us to modify our lifestyle choices in order to have a significant positive effect on our health destiny.  Continue reading

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Another Reason to Avoid Fructose

Is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) really as much of a problem as people would like us to believe? And in fact, what about fructose in general? After all, the actual biochemistry of fructose metabolism does not activate insulin, and therefore it might not be as big of an issue in terms of representing a health threat compared to other sugars, like glucose or dextrose. Right?

Well, let’s dig into the science a little bit and see what we can learn. In a new study published in the Journal of Hepatology, researchers wanted to explore how fructose, sucrose (common table sugar, which is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose), or glucose affected the body in terms of some fairly important parameters like the generation of fat in the liver.

The study evaluated the effects of these sugars in 94 healthy young men over a seven-week period. The subjects consumed, on a daily basis, drinks containing fructose, sucrose, or glucose, 80g per day, or a drink that did not contain sugar. Continue reading

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COVID-19 Isn’t Random

One of the common statements often repeated in the media about COVID-19 is that it is seemingly random in terms of both getting the virus and having a poor outcome. But, upon further inspection, that’s not what the actual science is revealing. As we move deeper into our involvement with this virus some important patterns are emerging that make it quite clear that COVID-19 does indeed discriminate.

In a recent article, Dr. Austin Perlmutter explored how COVID-19 is actually an “opportunistic infection,” meaning that it takes advantage of patients whose immune systems are not functioning optimally. In the past we would have considered less than optimal immune function to be a characteristic of people who have had, for example, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, exposure to immune-suppressing medications after organ transplantation, or a diagnosed autoimmune disease. But as Dr. Austin Perlmutter has made clear, we now need to broaden our scope and embrace the notion that so many of our most common degenerative conditions, from diabetes to obesity, actually compromise immune function and allow the SARS-CoV-2 virus the opportunity to do its dirty work. Continue reading

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How A Keto Program Helps Parkinson’s Disease

These days so much is being written about the health benefits of lifestyle and nutrition strategies that produce ketosis. Indeed, actually treating certain conditions is now a fair-game discussion because of the robust scientific support being generated from institutions around the world.

I have previously presented information detailing the therapeutic benefit of a ketogenic lifestyle for issues like diabetes (both types 1 and 2), dementia, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. To be sure, there’s some outstanding work being done that demonstrates the effectiveness of a ketogenic program in Parkinson’s disease (PD). And one of the pioneers in studying the ketogenic diet in PD is Dr. Matthew Phillips, a neurologist in New Zealand who we’ve previously featured on The Empowering Neurologist. More recently, I had the opportunity to co-author, along with Dr. Phillips, a book chapter focused on the use of a ketogenic diet as an actual therapeutic intervention for Parkinson’s disease. Continue reading